Debatable Decisions EPL – Week 30

Arsenal v Reading - Premier League

Week 31 of the Premier League season and after two weeks of shocking decisions in almost every game, we had a week where there weren’t all that many debatable decisions to discuss. However, despite the lack of dodgy decisions, there were plenty that we marked as incorrect and one or two game-changing ones at that. I wonder how Martin O’Neill felt about that Gardner penalty shout when he was told to leave the Stadium of Light!

Sunderland – Man Utd

Gardner Penalty Shout

Simon M – If Rafael had stood still and let the player come at him then I would have called this correct because I hate the concept that players need to get out of the way, but he jumps at Gardner, not at the ball.

David – Rafael shouldn’t have to get out of the way just to suit the attacker, and he turns into what could be seen as fair shoulder-on-shoulder contact. No penalty.

Callum – Penalty. No attempt to play the ball. Yellow card for Rafael too.

Michael – Definitely seemed to just jump into him. I’d have let it go though. Not sure Rafael did anything that Gardner wasn’t just as guilty of.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Bardsley Tackle (Yellow)

Simon M – That’s a nasty one. It’s late, stud showing and high. Has to be a red.

David – That’s not as bad as it first appears, but I still think it’s a late, reckless, studs out tackle onto Cleverly’s leg. Don’t like it. Red.

Callum – Late, studs in leg. Red card.

Michael – Painful one for Cleverley, and I am loath to say nice stuff about Phil Bardsley, but I think a yellow was just about right for that.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision


Free Kick For Southampton Goal

Simon M – I don’t see anything in that. Another example of a player challenging for the ball in the only way possible and getting a free kick given against them. Is he supposed to stand back and let the opposition win it?

David – I don’t see it. Bit of contact when he had an eye on the ball. Incorrect.

Callum – There’s a shove, free-kick.

Michael – So soft it is probably scared of ice cream. Never a free kick.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Swansea – Spurs

Corner For Swansea Goal

Simon M – Very difficult for the linesman and I think he gets it right. Looks like Bale got the last touch.

David – Looks like Bale makes contact last.

Callum – Looks like it came off Bale. Corner correct.

Michael – Total 50-50. I have looked at it three or four times and still can’t decide. Therefore, I can’t really say that the officials got it wrong. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Arsenal – Reading

Oxlade-Chamberlain Penalty

Simon M – Looks to me to be outside the area and it’s a trip, rather than a pull, so I don’t see it continuing into the area.

David – Trips him, just outside the area.

Callum – Foul. Outside the area however. Free-kick.

Michael – Might have been JUST outside, but if it was then it carried on sufficiently inside the box to justify a penalty for me.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Wigan – Norwich

Possible Martin Handball In Area

Simon M – His arms are in against his body and don’t move towards the ball, this would have been an extremely harsh penalty to award.

David – Arms down, close to chest, moving out of the way. No penalty.

Callum – If it didn’t hit his arms it would have hit his body. No penalty.

Michael – Hands down, not looking at the ball, no time to react. Standard ‘no hand ball’ rebuttal from me.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

West Ham – West Brom

McAuley Disallowed Goal

Simon M – Haha, even McAuley has a smile on his face after that one and not one single West Brom player contests it. Definite foul.

David – He jumps into the keepers outstretched arms just as he’s catching the ball. I’d call that interference. Correct.

Callum – Foul. Gone straight through everyone with his arms out, almost handing off rugby style. Correct decision to disallow the goal.

Michael – If you jump into a goalkeeper without your focus being on the ball (he was looking down), then I don’t see how it can be anything other than a foul.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Lukaku Penalty

Simon M – Two players jump either side of him, neither touches him and he ends up on the ground. Not sure if it was a dive, but definitely not a penalty.

David – I don’t see it. Seems like he’s diving to me.

Callum – There’s no attempt to play the ball by the defenders, and Lukaku is taken down, seem them given, and I would give it too.

Michael – Nothing in that for me. Less than nothing. Never a penalty.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Aston VillaLiverpool

Suarez Penalty

Simon M – That’s the most obvious penalty this season. Woeful defending.

David – I’ve had numerous looks. At first I was fairly sure this was a dive, but the more I look at it, the more I think the defenders leg moves unnaturally during the tackle, like he’s made contact with Suarez’ knee. Penalty.

Callum – No debate here. Penalty.

Michael – The veritable stone-waller.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Westwood Tackle (Yellow)

Simon M – That’s a really nasty one and could have caused a lot of damage had Henderson made more of an effort to get to the ball. Has to be a red.

David – Yeah, that’s bad. I said red for Bardsley earlier and this is more of the same. Incorrect.

Callum – Won the ball. No foul, no card. Simple.

Michael – Nasty one, but it’s a pure judgement call. I’d say yellow is about about fair given the speed it all happens at.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Benteke Disallowed Goal

Simon M – Hmmm, clearly offside.

David – Offside, clearly.

Callum – Miles offside.

Michael – Clearly offside. Good decision.

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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Edited by Staff Editor
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