Plus: Were Manchester United denied a penalty when the ball hit the arm of Cristian Romero in the Tottenham box? Was Keira Walsh correctly punished for handling the ball in England’s Women’s World Cup final defeat to Spain? Dermot Gallagher has his say in the latest Ref Watch…
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher dissects the flashpoints from the weekend’s Premier League action – and a bizarre incident involving a Portsmouth fan!
‘Mac Allister’s boot is not high’
INCIDENT: Alexis Mac Allister is shown a straight red card for a challenge on Ryan Christie in Liverpool’s win over Bournemouth.
DERMOT SAYS: “It’s not a red card for me. The problem here is that the referee thinks it’s a high tackle, but the only reason that happens is because both players are there.
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“The boot actually catches him on the ankle. If his foot was on the ground and he caught him in the same place, it’s not a high tackle.
“They’ve both got their feet off the ground, not a red card for me. Liverpool would have to convince the panel it’s a clear and obvious error by the referee to win any appeal.”
Sky Sports’ Stephen Warnock: “Clear and obvious has to go out the window. Right and wrong has to come in. Is it a red card, yes or no? Have you made a mistake, yes or no? That’s not a red card. It has to be overturned.”
‘Proximity saved Spurs’ Romero from handball’
INCIDENT: Alejandro Garnacho’s shot in Man Utd’s 2-0 defeat at Spurs hits Cristian Romero’s outstretched arm. No penalty is awarded, despite a VAR check. Man Utd captain Bruno Fernandes later calls for an apology from the PGMOL.
DERMOT SAYS: “I would say it’s 100 per cent no that he’ll get an apology. The feeling is that he was so close, we talked last week about handball and it’s very, very difficult.
“The more you drill down into it, the more it causes problems. One of the problems there is that the arm’s out, is it in an expected position? Is it above the shoulder? Has the ball come too fast? You can ask all those questions, and that was the decision.
“I think it’s generally acknowledged the Lewis Dunk one last week [against Luton] was an error. This one, they’ve gone on the proximity.”
Sky Sports’ Sue Smith: “The frustrating thing for Man Utd is seeing others given. You don’t want to see them given all the time when it’s so close – what is a natural position?”
‘Fernandes upset Oliver for yellow’
INCIDENT: Bruno Fernandes is booked for protesting against Antony’s yellow card despite being Man Utd’s captain and allowed to hold discussions with the on-field referee.
DERMOT SAYS: “You can see that he doesn’t quite go as politely as you might think. You can see the way the referee reacts, he’s said something to him.
“He’s allowed to talk to him, but whatever triggered it, Michael Oliver didn’t like it.”
‘Walsh makes movement towards ball’
INCIDENT: England’s Keira Walsh is penalised for a handball inside the area against Spain in the World Cup final following a VAR review from the referee.
DERMOT SAYS: “They operate a very strict policy if it hits a hand anywhere outside the body and she does make a movement towards it.
“You always feel once it goes to the VAR it’s going to be given.”
Sky Sports’ Sue Smith: “I just don’t think it’s clear and obvious if it takes so long.”
‘Fan ref did great!’
INCIDENT: Portsmouth fan Julian Browning was brought in as a back-up fourth official after one of the refereeing team was injured in their 0-0 draw with Cheltenham.
But then after the assistant referee was also forced off, he ended up picking up the flag and running the line for the rest of the game!
Dermot says: “It’s fantastic scenes. Imagine if he’d got injured though! Who would’ve come on then?
“He did great, and he’s the first person on Ref Watch who’s been praised by you across all the years!”