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Debatable Decisions EPL – Week 12

801   //    25 Nov 2012, 17:22 IST

Debatable Decisions Week 12 and this weeks round of decisions saw the footballing world discuss two red cards, both issued for high/late/two footed/whatever else tackles, but one most agreed with and the other an awful lot disagreed with. There’s still plenty of space for yet more dubious handball decisions, which really are a delight to judge. Enjoy!

Arsenal – Spurs

Adebayor Red Card

Simon M – I didn’t see too many people arguing with this decision, not even Spurs fans and the focus of attention was on Adebayor’s attitude and what possessed him to go in like that when his team looked to be taking control of the game.

Simon F – I fail to see how anybody could claim that this was an incorrect decision. Adebayor jumped into the tackle and deserved to go.

David – Awful, reckless, mistimed, high, studs up. He has to go.

Callum – Red card, feet high, late etc. No complaints.

Michael – Not expecting many arguments about this one. It has high, unnecessary, and very very nasty indeed. Definite red.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision


West Brom – Chelsea

Olsson’s possible handball in area

Simon M – Really tough one. Olsson has his arms down by his side, but he does lean in towards the ball and it definitely strikes his arm. I’m going to side with the officials. His arm doesn’t move towards the ball, he does and he is trying to make sure his arms are out of the action zone.

Simon F – Although Olsson had his hands down by his sides, he leaned into the ball and it hit his arm, that is intent for me and should have been a penalty.

David – His arm is down, he’s moving to get it out of the way. Accidental. No penalty.

Callum – Moves his arm towards it, and I’d be inclined to say yes that’s a handball, but his hands are by his side and he’s trying to chest the ball. No penalty.

Michael – Olsson does seem to have moved towards the ball to block it, but the arm itself hasn’t moved an inch. I don’t think you can give a handball for that.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Moses’ Penalty shout

Simon M – Crazy decision from the referee. The defender is staring straight at Moses and his intentions are clear. He just barges him over and doesn’t even pretend that he’s going for the ball. Laughable.

Simon F – Incorrect decision. And a staggering one at that. Moses is simply flattened and Chelsea for the second time were denied a penalty.

David – There is usually a bit of leeway given for “shepherding” in situations like this, or for a “fair shoulder”. But the defender only has eyes for Moses as he runs into him, shoulder to chest. That crosses the line, for me, into illegal obstruction. Penalty.

Callum – Looks like a penalty to me, didn’t try and play the ball, just went for Moses. Should have been given a penalty.

Michael – I think that’s a penalty. For me, the deciding factor is that the defender is looking directly at the man and seems to have no regard for the ball. If that one isn’t a foul, then I don’t know what is.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Man City – Aston Villa

City Penalty #1

Simon M – Lost for words on this one. Without doubt the worst decision of the season so far. Terrible.

Simon F – The ball isn’t even that close to Weimann’s arm, and the referee should have spotted the nudge from the City attacker anyway. An awful decision.

David – For the “handball”, I can’t see any contact. If that’s what the ref gave it for, I think he’s wrong.

Callum – Strange one, doesn’t look like there was anything to give. Wouldn’t have given it myself. Handball you say? Nope, not for me, he was fouled leading up to it.

Michael – Watched it about 8 times now and I still can’t see any offence at all. Disgraceful decision. If anything at all, it was the Villa defender on the near post who was fouled.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

City Penalty #2

Simon M – Feel a bit sorry for Bannan with this decision, but the referee had no choice, but to award the penalty. Unlucky, but correct.

Simon F – I have sympathy for Bannan on this one, but it was a penalty for me.

David – Hmm. He doesn’t mean to, and his arm is out for balance. Significant deflection of the ball though. Tough to call, but I’ll side with the ref. Penalty.

Callum – That is a handball. Penalty, the correct decision.

Michael – Slightly torn on this one. He is making an obvious effort to get his hand out of the way, but it is one hell of an important touch with the arm. If I was pushed, I’d err on the side of caution and not give it.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Reading – Everton

Morrison’s possible Handball in area

Simon M – His arms are all over the place there. You might argue ball to hand, but his hands aren’t in a natural position and I’m afraid I’d have to award a penalty here.

Simon F – His arm is up as he dives in for the block. I’d have given a penalty for this.

David – He’s turning to try and show his back, the ball is coming towards him at speed. I wouldn’t give it.

Callum – Handball, red card. Simple.

Michael – This one seems quite clearly to be a ball to hand rather than hand to ball situation. We say it every week but the ball hitting your hand is not an offence on its own. No penalty. I might actually advocate giving a penalty for handball some day. May be.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Free kick for Reading Goal

Simon M – Goes through the back of him. It’s a niggly foul, but a foul nonetheless.

Simon F – There’s just about enough in this one for me to side with the referee and say it was a foul. On a side note, when the hell did Everton sign Hitzlsperger?

David – Looks like he barges into the back of him. Distant angle, but I agree with the ref.

Callum – I would have given it, there’s contact and he’s come in from behind. Free kick the correct decision.

Michael – I dare say I’d have given that. I think the Reading player gets himself in front of the defender, so is entitled to his own footing. Nothing malicious or sinister, but a foul nonetheless.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Le Fondre Penalty

Simon M – Poor defending and, as we so often see, the defender goes too far in trying to make up for his mistake. Coleman jumps straight into the back of Le Fondre and sends him flying, clear penalty.

Simon F – Utterly brainless defending from Coleman, possibly a contender for the ‘Gary Caldwell Award for Idiotic Defending’ this season.

David – The way he jumps is very odd if he means to make a fair challenge. I always think frees for contested headers are awarded too much, but I think this is an example where the contact is over the top and an infringement of the rules. Penalty.

Callum – No brainer. Penalty. Straight into the back of him.

Michael – Very similar situation to the free kick we have just discussed. Le Fondre gets himself in front of the defender to receive the pass so if Coleman wants it, he has to go round him, not through him. Instead, he jumped into his back and knocked him over. Penalty kick.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Liverpool – Wigan

Possible Red Card for Suarez

Simon M – We were accused of an anti-Liverpool bias this week, which I found hilarious because I’ve been talking about Suarez’s rep affecting the decisions against him all season long. This isn’t one that I feel I need to defend him. I think it’s an honest challenge that goes wrong. I don’t think it’s dangerous, intentional or out of control, but was poorly timed and looked a lot worse than it actually was. It’s very similar to the Distin tackle a couple of weeks ago, but the difference is I felt that was intentional and deserved a red, this didn’t.

Simon F – Over the ball, late, endangering his opponent. As in the incident with Distin the other week, I don’t think it was deliberate, just woefully mistimed and dangerous, and deserving of a red card.

David – Late, studs onto the foot, dangerous. Red card.

Callum – Ugly stamp, red card in my opinion.

Michael – Much as I dislike giving Suarez the benefit of the doubt – ever – I think there is more than enough to suggest that the ball was his main thought here. I could have lived with a yellow for that challenge as it turned into something nasty, but not dangerous or intentional or using excessive force, so no justification for a red card.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Throw in build up to Liverpool goal

Simon M – Throw in should have gone Wigan’s way, but it was the slightest of flicks off Suarez and I do have sympathy for the officials because it would have been difficult to catch.

Simon F – The ball definitely flicks off Suarez and Wigan should have had the throw in.

David – It hits Suarez’ head. Should have been a throw to Wigan.

Callum – Wigan should have had the throw in there, but the contact is the slightest, not sure I would have seen it in real time myself.

Michael – Definitely takes a flick off Suarez so should have been a Wigan throw. Not sure it mattered that much, though. Wigan still had a chance to defend it.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Fulham – Sunderland

Hangeland Red Card

Simon M – If I do a flying kung-fu kick through the air and kick the ball at the same time as kicking someone’s nose off, I’d get a red card. Jumping through the air, both feet off the ground, out of control and in a dangerous manner deserves a red card, getting the ball means naff all.

Simon F – Will commentators PLEASE stop trying to excuse tackles like this by saying “he got the ball”. Hangeland jumped in, a textbook case of excessive force and absolutely deserved his red card. Whether he got the ball or not is completely beside the point.

David – “Getting the ball” is immaterial here. I think is a dangerous, off the ground lunge, studs to foot. Red card was deserved.

Callum – Nope. Feet on the floor by the time contact made with the ball, one footed. Won the ball, not a sending off.

Michael – I think this was a fairly honest challenge but the moment Hangeland brought his second foot into the tackle, it crossed that line into ‘excessive force’. Everything else then becomes immaterial – including the fact he got a fair chunk of the ball.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Fletcher goal ruled out for Offside

Simon M – Clearly offside, no discussion needed.

Simon F – A clear offside and well called by the official.

David – Well offside.

Callum – Definitely offside, no question.

Michael – Definitely offside. As clear as you want it.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

You can follow our judges on Twitter; Simon M – @Deb_Decisions, David – @NFBblog, Callum – @CallumMaclean81, Michael – @Capt_Fishpaste and Simon F – @SFurnivall.