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Debatable Decisions EPL – Week 13

744   //    01 Dec 2012, 15:21 IST

Offside calls and free kicks that led to goals were the order of the week for round thirteen of the Premier League and, for the most part, they were all pretty clear cut and easily judged. There’s always space for a really dodgy penalty, though and Liam Ridgewell did his best to remind us that it isn’t only foreign attackers that like a nice bit of simulation. Enjoy!

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Jamie Mackie of Queens Park Rangers celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford on November 24, 2012 in Manchester, England.

Man Utd – QPR

Mackie Goal Disallowed For Offside

Simon M – He’s offside. Clearly offside. What more can I say?

Simon F – Not by much but he is offside.

Callum – Not as close as the commentator thinks for me, clearly offside, the correct decision.

David – Head and foot are in front of the last defender, so he’s offside.

Michael – Nice easy one to start off, that’s what we like! Clear offside. Not a lot to add to that, really.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision


SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Romelu Lukaku of West Brom scores to make it 3-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light on November 24, 2012 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland – West Brom

Free Kick For Sunderland Goal

Simon M – Poor challenge, he clearly knocks Sessegnon off his stride and doesn’t get anywhere near the ball.

Simon F – It’s a soft one, but I think Sessegnon is impeded enough to warrant a free kick.

Callum – Well he hasn’t won the ball, don’t see why it shouldn’t be a free-kick, the challenge was clumsy.

David – He sticks the leg out and causes him to stumble, but Sunderland seemed to retain possession. One of those occasions when I’d like to see some advantage but I suppose it was enough for a free, technically.

Michael – The first nibble was definitely a foul for me. Nothing malicious in it but doesn’t win the ball and does enough to deprive Sessegnon of his balance.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Ridgewell Penalty (Given & Scored)

Simon M – Woeful decision. Amazing that there wasn’t a big fuss made about this, had it been Ashley Young or Luis Suarez then the internet would have exploded. The worst part isn’t the fact that the referee gets it wrong, which is terrible, but that the MOTD commentator calls it “clever”. What?

Simon F – Never in a month of Sundays. Ridgewell just drops to his knees without any contact or impediment and conned the ref.

Callum – As soon as I’d seen it I thought, ‘dive’. Looks like I called it correctly, should no way of been given and Ridgewell should have been booked for it and all.

David – It’s a total dive. Falls when he realises he won’t get the ball past the defender.

Michael – If this had been Luis Suarez then we would still be hearing about it now. Johnson goes to block the expected cross – no more – and doesn’t get anywhere near the ball or man. It was a dive. Cheating doesn’t get any more transparent. It was at an absolutely crucial stage of the game too. Some might say that if you go to ground in the box and get nowhere near the ball then you only have yourself to blame but last time I checked not being close to the ball was not an offence in football.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

WIGAN, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Ronnie Stam (L) of Wigan in action with Nicky Shorey of Reading during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Reading at the DW Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Wigan, England.

Wigan – Reading

Free Kick For Reading Goal

Simon M – I think he’s caught, there’s not much in it, but travelling at the speed he is travelling even the slightest touch was going to send him flying.

Simon F – Not the easiest one to tell but I don’t think there’s anything in this to give a foul for.

Callum – Think the Reading player has slipped over, from the camera angle given anyway. Would not had given it myself.

David – That looks really soft to me. The ball was going out anyway, so I’d say the Reading man has chanced it and won the free.

Michael – Doesn’t look enough in it for me to be a foul. Just looks like he knew he was going nowhere so chanced his arm by doing down. Bad call.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Tabb Penalty Shout

Simon M – The defender stands on Tabb’s foot and Tabb goes down, somewhat theatrically. I think this should have been a penalty, but no doubt the referee’s view would have been obscured by the number of players chasing the ball. Still a penalty, though.

Simon F – Tabb clearly gets his ankle caught, he doesn’t help himself by going down rather theatrically, but it should have been a penalty nonetheless.

Callum – Penalty. Nowhere near the ball, and clips Tabb, Reading should have been given a penalty here.

David – Another exaggerated fall, but he caught him as he was going through. Has to be a spot-kick. Moreover, if the Ref doesn’t think it’s a penalty, then it has to be a dive and a yellow, surely?

Michael – I think that is a penalty. One of those where even if he didn’t catch him he has impeded him enough without winning the ball for it to warrant a foul.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Di Santo Goal Disallowed For Offside

Simon M – Really poor from the officials. We often talk about tight calls, but the way Reading’s defence is positioned means that it’s clear to see along the line and see that Beausejour is onside and Di Santo is onside too. Shocking decision from the linesman.

Simon F – It’s a very, very tight call but I don’t think Beasejour if offside and the goal should have stood.

Callum – Looks onside to me.

David – So hard to tell. His left foot might be beyond the last defender but the angle of the camera can fool you in these situations. I think I’d call it onside.

Michael – I think this was a shocking decision. The attacker looks to be in line with three of the defenders and behind the other. The linesman is very well positioned too and the Reading defence has made it easy for him with their relatively strong line. If we can’t expect officials to get this one right, then we can’t expect anything.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Leon Osman of Everton moves away from Bradley Johnson of Norwich City during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Norwich City at Goodison Park on November 24, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

Everton – Norwich

Free Kick For Norwich Goal

Simon M – Second time this season Everton have suffered at the hands of a ghost foul, a foul that isn’t even a tackle just a player falling over. Baines is behind the attacker, the attacker slips and the referee blows the whistle. Incredible.

Simon F – There may have been a very, very slight push in the back from Baines, but I’m not convinced. Either way, what made Morison fall over was his complete fresh air shot at the ball. No foul.

Callum – He may have slipped, but don’t go pushing someone in the back. Silly foul to make.

David – This is a bizarre one for me. The way he goes down is comically unnatural, but Baines does have his hands up and pushing into his back, even if it’s almost negligible. It’s a foul, albeit as unnecessary as they come.

Michael – I’m not having that at all. Good grief. I have watched it a few times and still can’t see what Baines did wrong. Can only assume it was a pity-free-kick for the fall. Awful.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Damien Duff of Fulham battles with Geoff Cameron of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Fulham at the Britannia Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Stoke on Trent, England.

Stoke – Fulham

Jones Goal Disallowed For Offside

Simon M – I’m tempted to give this as incorrect, purely because I feel sorry for Kenwyne Jones and how woeful he is. I can’t though. He’s clearly offside, a good yard or so in it.

Simon F – Just strayed offside, so a good call by the assistant.

Callum – Good yard offside there. Correct decision.

David – Yup, both the “scorer” and two other Stoke players are on the wrong side of the defence.

Michael – Ahhh, good old reliable offside. The oasis of fact in an ocean of opinion. Great thing about offside is that there is very little grey area about it. It either is or it isn’t, and this one quite clearly is. Correct decision.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal and Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on November 24, 2012 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa – Arsenal

Weimann Goal Disallowed For Offside

Simon M – Quite a few offsides this week and thankfully the majority are quite clear cut. This one is pretty obviously offside.

Simon F – Offside, no more to be said.

Callum – Offside. Doesn’t help that MOTD put the line in the wrong place though.

David – Even with the deflection, he’s “gaining an advantage” by being where he is, which is in an offside position according to the FIFA rulebook.

Michael – Another nice and kind offside call. Definitely off. Not by much, mind you.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Agbonlahor Penalty Shout

Simon M – Perfect example of a sliding tackle and winning the ball properly. No need to dive through the air, use both feet or go in studs up. A brilliant tackle and proof that good tackling is still alive and well and acknowledged by officials in the Premier Legaue.

Simon F – A case of a cleanly won tackle, then two players’ momentum carrying them into each other. No foul.

Callum – Good tackle, won the ball. No penalty.

David – I think this is a good tackle. It’s a fine line between lunging in and being correct, but the defender doesn’t scythe in to Agbonlahor’s legs or anything, he just gets in front of him.

Michael – The defender wins the ball before clearing out the man. Great tackle and a great decision by the referee.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 25: Demba Ba of Newcastle is challenged by Adam Lallana of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary’s Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Southampton, England.

Southampton – Newcastle

Fonte Tackle On Cisse (Yellow Given)

Simon M – I think it’s high, I think it’s unnecessary and I think his studs are showing. No other option other than to show a red, in my opinion.

Simon F – I think in this case the officials got it right. Fonte doesn’t jump in, his foot is high, but for me it lands in the zone marked “reckless” rather than excessive force.

Callum – Had Cisse gone over rolling around, I’m fairly sure it would have been a red. I would have given a red for it too.

David – I’m inclined to agree with the ref here. He’s on the ground, only one foot, nothing malicious. A foul certainly, but a red would have been very harsh.

Michael – I think a yellow card is just about spot-on for this. His foot ends up being high, admittedly, but that is more because it bounces up off something (possibly his other leg), and only after both ball and man have gone. Foul for being a little late and overly aggressive, but no more.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

SWANSEA, WALES – NOVEMBER 25: Swansea City player Ki Sung-Yueng in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Swansea, Wales.

Swansea – Liverpool

Enrique Goal Disallowed For Offside

Simon M – He gives the officials what for after this decision, not sure why because it’s a very good call on a very tight decision.

Simon F – Am I allowed to vote this one incorrect simply on the basis that Liverpool REALLY need the win? No? Enrique was just offside and the goal was correctly ruled out.

Callum – Just offside. Correct decision.

David – That is close alright, but I think his left leg is across the line at least. Offside, just.
Michael – Again, this one isn’t offside by much but it is definitely offside. Only one part of his body that can legally score a goal needs to be in an offside position and that is just about all there is in it, but offside nonetheless.

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.

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