Ref Watch: Were the Emirates penalties right calls?

In the latest Ref Watch, Dermot Gallagher tells us whether the two spot-kicks awarded in Arsenal’s win over Chelsea were penalties or not…

Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

INCIDENT: Chelsea right-back Reece James brings down Kieran Tierney in the box for an Arsenal penalty.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: It is a penalty, once Tierney gets in front, he has his ankle clipped and then James goes into the back of his left thigh with his knee. Michael Oliver has got the perfect view, he can see the distance between the players, the connection and also, with no crowds in, he can also hear the contact which is a big thing with the referees now – if you get in the right position to make that decision.

INCIDENT: Arsenal defender Pablo Mari trips up Mason Mount for a Chelsea penalty.


DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: This is a much easier decision, it is definitely a penalty, if you dangle a leg like that and you do not get the ball at all, Mount moves the ball away, and for the referee, that is a much easier decision. And again, he has the perfect view.

Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace

INCIDENT: Villa defender Tyrone Mings is sent off after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Wilfried Zaha

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: It is definitely a foul by Mings, Zaha turns him and he just grabs out at him. Ironically, he had just been booked three or four minutes earlier after a foul on Zaha. Knowing you are on a yellow card, it is not wise to do that because the referee [Anthony Taylor] is just going to send you off, there is no doubt.

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Leeds United 1-0 Burnley

INCIDENT: Burnley forward Ashley Barnes’s strike is ruled out at Elland Road.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Incorrect decision.

DERMOT SAYS: This is all about options and in this situation, the referee [Robert Jones] has got three options: does he give the foul, which he does? That is the worst of the three options. Does he give a penalty for the goalkeeper coming in the back? That is an option, but I do not think it is a penalty. Or does he allow it to play on, which in this situation is the best option, see the outcome as I do not think it is a foul by Ben Mee. Once the ball has gone in the net, he then has all kinds of options that would allow him to process it. But because he has blown the whistle very early, those options have all been closed.

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INCIDENT: Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is unhappy after a penalty is awarded for bringing down Patrick Bamford.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: It is a penalty because if you watch, the ball goes to the left and Burnley feel that Pope has got the ball, but if you look at it, Bamford gets there first, he knocks the ball and it comes off Pope’s shin. But because he has come out recklessly and brought him down, the referee has the most beautiful view and he can see the challenge and Bamford play the ball to the left he knows he has got there first and Pope has made that foul. It is a penalty, and the only thing the referee did not do, he was well within his rights to give a yellow card to Pope for a reckless challenge. But that said, the penalty was the key decision and he got that right.

West Ham 2-2 Brighton

INCIDENT: Lewis Dunk puts Brighton 2-1 up at the London Stadium, but the ‘goal’ is checked by the VAR for a possible handball against the defender

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: The rule is if it strikes his arm, irrespective of it being accidental, and falls to him, which it does, and goes in the net, or falls to a colleague and goes in the net, the goal will be disallowed. You look at it, and we looked at it over and over while the VAR [Andy Madley] was looking at it, and I could not make up my mind as to whether it had hit his elbow, or the bottom of his stomach. And on the pictures available to the VAR at the time, and it took quite a long time and he studied it from a lot of angles, it was totally inconclusive. And on that basis, you cannot disallow a goal on a whim, you have to be sure, and on the pictures available he was not sure and he had to go with the on-field decision of goal.

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Wolves 1-1 Tottenham

INCIDENT: Wolves forward Fabio Silva goes over under a challenge from Eric Dier, but no penalty is given.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: I do not think it is a penalty at all. When you watch this, when you watch Silva’s left leg, he digs his foot into the turf and just scrapes it along and throws himself to the ground. There is minimal contact, but it would certainly not make his left leg react like that.

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