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Debatable Decisions EPL – Week 9

1.03K   //    03 Nov 2012, 21:20 IST

All systems go for some terrible officiating in the Premier League this weekend. A number of them weren’t exactly ‘debatable’, but we’ll rant about them anyway.

Arsenal v QPR

Mbia Red Card

Ant – What on earth was he thinking? Surely no one can have any arguments with this. A very obvious red card.

David – I suppose there’s small chance he really was aiming at the ball, but I deem it unlikely. Silly thing to do. Correct decision.

Simon – A ridiculous kick out from Mbia and left the referee with no choice but to send him off.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Arteta Possibly Offside For Goal

Ant – I think he’s off side and this really should have been spotted by one of the officials.

David – Beyond the last defender when the ball came to him. Incorrect decision.

Simon – A scramble of sorts with players everywhere, so I have some element of sympathy with the officials, but they got this one wrong. Arteta was definitely offside.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

Man City v Swansea

Balotelli penalty shout

Ant – There doesn’t seem to be too much in this to me at all, no penalty.

David – It’s so hard to tell from that angle. I suppose the defenders arm is up and at Balotelli’s shoulder and that can’t be for pleasant reasons. Incorrect decision.

Simon – Like Ant, I don’t think there is much in this. No penalty.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Aston Villa v Norwich

Norwich penalty shout

Ant – Once again not too much in this, I don’t think this is anywhere near being a penalty.

David – Think he clips his foot and gives him a bit of a push inside the penalty area. Penalty for me.

Simon – I think Vlaar gives the Norwich player a shove and prevents him from challenging for the ball. Penalty for me.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

Bennett Two Yellows

Ant – First one is a clear yellow, the second one I think is a bit harsh.

David – First yellow, certainly. Second, I suppose he is obstructing him to a large extent, only interested in stopping the player, not the game. Norwich player not innocent though. I don’t know if Bennett was on a last warning or not, but I think it’s a bookable offence regardless. Correct decision.

Simon – I’m with the referee on this one. The first there is no question over, the second is a cynical pull on a player who has beaten him.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Possible Herd Second Yellow

Ant – I think he should have been booked for this and sent off. It was a risky tackle to try when you’re already on a yellow.

David – Second yellow? Case for a red here. Potential foot breaker, reckless and clumsy. Should have been sent off. Incorrect decision.

Simon – A clear booking, and Herd was very lucky to get away with this.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

Stoke v Sunderland

Possible Huth Handball In Area

Ant – I hate judging handballs but to me, although close range, it looks like he knows he is about to use his arm.

David – I couldn’t give a penalty for that. Arms low, not moving towards ball. Accidental contact. Correct decision.

Simon – His arm is down by his side and not in an unnatural position but he leans into the ball. A 50/50 decision that I can see both arguments for, but I’ll (just) side with the referee.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Gardner Yellow Card

Ant – A poor tackle but nothing too malicious yellow card for sure.

David – Oof, that’s a bit clumsy. However, his left foot is tucked in, he avoids direct stud contact and there’s nothing malicious. Worth a yellow, nothing more. Correct decision.

Simon – As the guys have said, it’s a poor tackle but just the right side of the red card line. The referee got this one right.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Rose Yellow Card

Ant – Once again a poor tackle but not deserving of anything more than a yellow card.

David – I would class this is marginally worse than the last one, because of the stud contact on the foot. Other foot catches him too. This is worth a red in my eyes. Incorrect decision.

Simon – Reckless more than anything, slightly worse than Gardner’s but still (just) only a yellow card.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Whitehead Yellow Card

Ant – A stupid tackle to make but a yellow is once again fair.

David – He seems to only have eyes for the player here. However, I don’t think the foul is bad enough to warrant a straight red. Correct decision.

Simon – Another borderline call, again probably just the right side of the line.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Chelsea v Man United

Torres Two Yellows

Ant – First one was a yellow and could have even been red, and although he went down theatrically for the challenge from Evans, I think he was caught.

David – The first incident wasn’t a yellow, it was a straight red for me, any day of the week. Way too high, studs up onto the chest of Cleverley. Dangerous and completely unnecessary. The second, there is contact and a foul. Under the laws of the game, refs can book players for “feigning injury” aside from simulation, and I do think Torres is exaggerating this, but it’s so rare to see that rule enforced. Incorrect on the first, because it could have been red, incorrect on the second because it wasn’t a dive.

Simon – A double incorrect decision for me. Torres’ first challenge should have seen him given a straight red, but I think he was unlucky to be sent off for diving.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision x 2

Ivanovic Red Card

Ant – Not that much contact but enough to bring a player down when he was through on goal, red card all day long.

David – It’s not a terrible foul, but Ivanovic still causes Young to fall to the ground from leg contact here when he was clear in on goal. Rules are clear. He had to go. Correct decision.

Simon – Denial of a clear goalscoring opportunity. Red card without a doubt.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Hernandez Possibly Offside Goal

Ant – The lines on the replays show he was clearly offside.

David – He’s offside certainly. I have sympathy for the linesmen, given the quick movement and positioning of the players involved, which make no decision easy, but the goal should not have stood. Incorrect decision.

Simon – I have sympathy for the officials given the speed of the action and the position of the Cech in particular, but the simple fact is that Hernandez scored from an offside position.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

Possible Second Yellow For Mikel

Ant – I don’t think this was a yellow, so correct decision.

David – I don’t think so. Valencia’s momentum takes him into the Chelsea man. Correct decision.

Simon – Nothing booking worthy here.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Everton v Liverpool

Possible Second Yellow For Sterling

Ant – Sterling does clip him and for me this is one of those where the player would have been booked if this was his first challenge, but with him already being on a yellow he won’t be sent off.

David – It’s a foul certainly, but from what I’ve seen/been told Sterling was not engaged in persistent infringement before this incident. With that in mind, I can’t deem it worth of a second yellow. Correct decision.

Simon – A derby match and he had just picked up his first booking only moments earlier, but it doesn’t change the fact that this tackle was worthy of a yellow card and he should have been sent off.

Overall verdict: Correct decision

Throw In In Build Up To Everton Equaliser

Ant – Looks pretty obvious that the ball came off the Everton player.

David – Think it touches the Everton man last. Incorrect decision.

Simon – I was surprised by the lack of an appeal from Wisdom, as this clearly comes off the Everton player last. It’s no excuse for the subsequent poor defending, but Everton shouldn’t have had the thrown in to benefit from.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

Suarez Possible Red Card

Ant – This would have been hard for the officials to give but I think Suarez knows what he is doing and he should have been sent off.

David – Accident or no, that is bad. Not challenging for the ball, studs directly onto the players foot. Red for me. Incorrect decision.

Simon – Deliberate or not, this is dangerous play and Distin can count himself very lucky to come away from this without serious injury. Clumsy at best and worthy of a red card.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

Suarez Disallowed Goal For Offside

Ant – Suarez is onside and the goal should have stood, I’m not sure what exactly the linesman was doing but it took him an age to actually raise his flag for the offside.

David – Neither the assisting player nor the final strike are beyond the last defender. Incorrect decision.

Simon – Incomprehensibly poor decision from the assistant referee. And a poor one from the referee not to give the foul by Coates as he nods it down for Suarez. Doubly incompetent officiating.

Overall verdict: Incorrect decision

You can follow our judges on Twitter; Ant – @Acidburn81, David @NFBblog, and Simon F – @SFurnivall.

Debatable Decisions is the brain child of two football fans fed up with referees getting things wrong, players cheating and managers lamenting their 'continuous' bad luck.
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