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Ref Watch: Dermot Gallagher analyses VAR controversy at West Ham and late drama at Man Utd

Was Tomas Soucek's late winner for West Ham against Aston Villa correctly disallowed for handball? Did Amad Diallo deserve to be sent off after scoring a dramatic late goal for Man Utd against Liverpool? Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has his say in the latest Ref Watch...

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Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher discusses whether West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek's late winner against Aston Villa was correctly disallowed after a lengthy VAR check

Former referee Dermot Gallagher dissects the flashpoints from the weekend's action including VAR controversy in the Premier League and late drama in the FA Cup.

West Ham 1-1 Aston Villa

INCIDENT: Let's start at the London Stadium and right at the end of West Ham's 1-1 draw against Aston Villa, where the hosts thought they had won the game through Tomas Soucek.

This decision took five minutes to check before the goal was ruled out for handball. Are you confident the right decision was eventually made?

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VAR chalked off two West Ham goals against Aston Villa for handball after it was adjudged that Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek handled the ball in separate incidents

DERMOT SAYS: "I think it would have been disallowed anyway and it could have gone on longer.

"When it happened, I heard the VAR say to the referee: 'Bear with me, this is going to take a long time'. He used the word 'complex'.

"If you go through the process, the first is - is it offside? That took time.

"Is it handball? Bear in mind, there are two different handball offences that have taken place here. If it goes in off Jarrod Bowen's hand, it's automatically disallowed because of what we saw with Michail Antonio earlier in the game.

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"If it strikes Soucek's hand, it didn't result in a goal, it led to another player possibly scoring a goal. So it had to be a deliberate handball and they took a long time to find the angles.

"If they had decided it wasn't handball, they then would have defaulted to a foul on Ezri Konsa because I think Soucek grabs him and pulls him down.

"However you look at it, I think it's the right decision.

"If Bowen handles the ball, then it's factual that it's gone in off his hand. If it strikes Soucek or Soucek strikes the ball, it's subjective so the referee had to go to the screen, which elongates the process."

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham's match against Aston Villa in the Premier League

INCIDENT: West Ham had the ball in the net twice more. Firstly, when the whistle had already gone for a foul on Emi Martinez.

DERMOT SAYS: "The referee gave a foul quite quickly because you hear the whistle go quite clearly before.

"He leans into the goalkeeper, the whistle has gone. I thought he had given handball at first and then you see he'd given a foul on the goalkeeper.

"If the whistle hadn't have blown, the referee could've waited to see what happens and VAR could still disallow the goal for a foul on the goalkeeper."

INCIDENT: Then another West Ham disallowed goal earlier in the game - another handball, this time from Michail Antonio.

DERMOT SAYS: "It was a factual one and VAR overruled himself."

Man Utd 4-3 Liverpool

INCIDENT: Let's switch to the FA Cup briefly and to Old Trafford where Amad Diallo was sent off for a second yellow card after taking his shirt off in celebration of his 121st-minute winner in Manchester United's sensational quarter-final against Liverpool.

Diallo said himself he forgot he had been booked - does emotion need to be taken into consideration?

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Peter Stevenson and Adam Bate react to Manchester United's thrilling 4-3 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals

DERMOT SAYS: "It's 25 years since they decided this should happen so he should have got used to it by now!

"I don't really think we should be talking about. It was one of the best games you've seen, one of the best refereeing performances I've ever seen.

"The referee is hamstrung, isn't he. He's gone through the game perfectly, it was so blatant that he'd taken his shirt off so it was a yellow card. It's just unfortunate.

"It goes back to the famous Ryan Giggs goal. He took his shirt off and in certain areas of the world, it's seen as offensive. So FIFA decided it was going to be outlawed. It's not the ref's fault.

"It's just a law. It's not one the referees like because he's the pantomime villain now.

"I'd rather look at John Brooks [the referee] and say 'for 120 minutes, you played your part in this spectacle', and for one minute, it wasn't in his hands."

Burnley 2-1 Brentford

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League game between Burnley and Brentford

INCIDENT: Back to the Premier League and referee Darren Bond needed VAR to help him award Burnley a penalty for Sergio Reguilon's foul on Vitinha. It took three minutes for VAR to reach a decision.

DERMOT SAYS: "It is a penalty and a red card. He definitely charged into Vitinha's back and he can't play the ball. Because it's not the body challenge - when you trip a player, you can argue that you've gone to play the ball. Very hard to say that when you push him in the back.

"Therefore, it defaults to a red card as well.

"You can't say you have a right to play the ball because you can't play the ball with your hands. The player is in possession of the ball and could have had a shot, so it's a goalscoring opportunity and a red card."

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The Ref Watch panel were astonished that David Fofana's challenge on Zanka wasn't given as a penalty which at the time was deemed as 'mutual holding'

INCIDENT: Brentford manager Thomas Frank felt there was a "clear penalty" for a foul from David Fofana on Zanka. It wasn't spotted on the field but surely VAR has to tell Darren Bond about this?

DERMOT SAYS: "They felt like it was mutual holding and each player was holding each other.

"When you look at it, how unwise is it to make a challenge like that? If it is a challenge at all.

"If you do that, you're running a massive risk."

Stephen Warnock: "It's astonishing it's not given as a penalty."

Luton 1-1 Nottingham Forest

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League game between Luton and Nottingham Forest

INCIDENT: To Luton's 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest now and the home side thought they had scored through Teden Mengi but referee Darren England disallowed it for handball. Was this the right decision?

DERMOT SAYS: "Like London buses with the handballs this week. It's the same thing.

"He handles the ball, puts it in himself and scores the goal, so it has to be disallowed.

"I thought handball... but because it's been drilled down to be so precise, we've actually made it more complicated. It's become the most difficult decision for referees to make.

"If you allow the referee to decide if it's intentional and they would be more comfortable with that.

"Week after week, we're upset about it but we have to live with it because they decided. But by being so precise, it's become so difficult."

Stephen Warnock: "How do we work out what the line is on someone's arm and how much of the ball is over the sleeve line and onto the arm?

"It's a massive grey area and it's going to continue that way."

Was Rangers' postponement made too late?

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Rangers boss Philippe Clement was unhappy with how the situation was handled as their clash with Dundee was postponed less than two hours before kick-off

INCIDENT: Rangers' Scottish Premiership game at Dundee was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Referee Don Robertson made the decision on player safety grounds but Rangers manager Philippe Clement was not happy with the process.

DERMOT SAYS: "The referee was checking if it [the pitch] was playable. The ball doesn't bounce among other things - is it dangerous for the players? He said he didn't feel like it was up to scratch.

"The process for the club would be, if there was a doubt, get the referee in early, or a local referee of that calibre.

"But the match referee, he went at 10.30am and called it off.

"If Dundee felt it wasn't playable the night before, they could ask for an SPFL referee if the match referee can't get there."

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Referee Don Robertson insisted he had to put the players' safety first after postponing Dundee's clash with Rangers due to a waterlogged pitch

Celtic 3-1 St Johnstone

INCIDENT: Should Celtic have had a penalty for handball from Luke Robinson on the line during their 3-1 win over St Johnstone? VAR checked it but the referee was not called to his screen.

DERMOT SAYS: "I think this is a very common sense decision.

"It strikes his arm, he's on the goal line, he has no chance of avoiding that. It's hit him from two or three yards.

"If the referee gives a penalty, he then has to give a red card. It's just too harsh for a player who has no [way of avoiding it].

"I think the referee did the right thing. There's no way he can avoid the ball striking him. It's impossible."

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and St Johnstone

Leeds 2-0 Millwall

INCIDENT: To the EFL now and in the Championship, Leeds felt they should have had a penalty after Millwall defender Jake Cooper clattered into Joe Rodon. Why wasn't either a foul given or handball?

DERMOT SAYS: "I think it should be a penalty. He clatters into Rodon, he does get a touch on the ball, but I think that's more by luck than judgement.

"I just can't see how you can do that."

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Millwall
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