Ref Watch: Should Arsenal have been awarded ‘scandalous’ penalties?

Dermot Gallagher dissects the big refereeing flashpoints from the midweek action in the Premier League…

Arsenal 0-0 Newcastle

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Gary Neville said it would have been scandalous if Murphy’s supposed handball was awarded although he did feel Newcastle were lucky to get away with Dan Burn’s shirt pull on Gabriel.

INCIDENT: Mikel Arteta slammed two “scandalous” penalty decisions after Premier League leaders Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle on Tuesday night.

Arteta felt his team first should have been awarded a penalty on the hour mark when Newcastle defender Dan Burn appeared to tug Gabriel’s shirt as he tried to meet a dangerous free-kick.


DERMOT SAYS: I think Dan Burn takes a massive risk. I understand why the referee didn’t see [the incident]. He’s blocked off and you can’t see his position here. He’s grabbed at his shirt. The trouble is when it goes to VAR, the VAR isn’t going to say if he’s right or wrong.

Is there a clear and obvious error? When Howard Webb was appointed [as chief refereeing officer] at PGMOL recently, there was a meeting where they said they wanted the referees to make more decisions on the field and for the VAR to intervene only when there was a clear and obvious error.

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Mikel Arteta said he was extremely proud of his players despite the stalemate draw with Newcastle but felt Arsenal were denied two penalties which he described as ‘scandalous’ decisions.

If you drill down into it forensically, your decision will be that it is a penalty. But from a VAR perspective, where they have the time to see it, I think it’s 50-50. That’s why they err on the side of the referee and it wasn’t given. Burn has won the battle there as when you look at the replay, it’s easy to justify a penalty. But when you consider how they want VAR to operate now, I can understand why it wasn’t given.

INCIDENT: Arteta was again raging on the touchline in stoppage time when Granit Xhaka’s cross hit Jacob Murphy’s arm.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Right call, no penalty.

DERMOT SAYS: I definitely think this isn’t a penalty. I’d have been very surprised had this been given. It gets smashed in, you can see how close the player is. He’s trying to get his arm out of the way. Is his arm in a position you’d expect defending that ball? I’d say yes. Has it come at him with speed? It’s come very fast at him from a short distance.

I think if that was given against Arsenal, Mikel Arteta would’ve been equally incensed.

Brentford 3-1 Liverpool

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Dermot Gallagher dissects the lead up to Mbuemo’s third goal in Brentford’s game against Liverpool on Monday and if Konaté should have been awarded the foul.

INCIDENT: Brentford sealed their victory when Bryan Mbeumo outmuscled Ibrahima Konate to fire a third past Alisson in the final 10 minutes at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank said afterwards: “Konate is a big lad, and pretty strong – in a dual with Bryan [Mbeumo] I would back Konate to win that nine out of 10 times. So well done to Bryan.” But should it have been a foul?

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, goal.

DERMOT SAYS: I thought Mbeumo was just too strong. When I saw it, I didn’t think Mbeumo does too much wrong. I actually think Konate’s foot comes up and catches Mbeumo which puts him down on the floor.

Manchester United 3-0 Bournemouth

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Dermot Gallagher dissects Marcos Senesi’s tackle on Man Utd midfielder Donny Van de Beek and whether the tackle was accidental or not.

INCIDENT: Bournemouth defender Marcos Senesi avoids even a yellow card for a challenge on Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek which is set to rule the Dutchman out for a lengthy period.

The 25-year-old was visibly distressed as he walked off the field having been caught by Senesi – who slipped as he went in for a tackle.


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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Manchester United and Bournemouth.

DERMOT SAYS: I think this is a classic example of how accidents do happen on the field. Senesi definitely gets the ball and he’s got to follow through as he’s got momentum.

Van de Beek comes into him and the shins clash and that’s what causes the problem. Both shins clash and I think both players are equally culpable. It’s not a foul for me and it’s just an unfortunate injury.

Aston Villa 1-1 Wolves

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The Ref Watch panel debate whether Hwang Hee-chan should have been given a red card for his ‘reckless’ tackle on Douglas Luiz.

INCIDENT: Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan is booked for a reckless challenge on Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz but should VAR have upgraded it to a red card?

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Yellow card, correct decision.

DERMOT SAYS: I think this is the correct call. I think it’s a yellow card because the player hasn’t come a long way. He doesn’t have the necessary speed and intensity in order for it to be a red card.

He’s low and that’s the key thing. Referees are now looking at where the impact and the contact is taking place. It’s below the ankle. It’s reckless but I don’t think it’s dangerous. What they’re looking for to give a red card is when it’s halfway up the shin or knee height.

I’d have been very surprised if a red card had been given as it actually gets checked. Referees look at if a player is more airborne than sliding in when we consider if it’s out of control. The VAR stuck with the referee and I felt it was the right call.

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