Dermot Gallagher dissects the big flashpoints from the weekend’s action on Ref Watch.
West Ham 1-2 Arsenal
INCIDENT: Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale races off his line to make an interception, seeming to catch Jarrod Bowen in the process, but the West Ham forward is booked for simulation.
VERDICT: Yellow card for ‘diving’ is harsh.
DERMOT SAY: “The outcome of this was actually a yellow card for Jarrod Bowen for simulation.
“People talk about this incident and say: ‘Is it a red-card offence from the goalkeeper?’
“For a red-card offence, it would have to be serious foul play. I’m not saying he didn’t go to take the player. He wants to stop the player, there is no doubt about that.
“It’s very difficult to send a player off when there is no contact made for a serious foul play offence. I wouldn’t say it is impossible, but it is very difficult.
“On balance, I think the best decision would probably be no yellow card for simulation. Let’s accept the goalkeeper went rashly, if you like, the player took evasive action, but he didn’t simulate.”
Gallagher added: “I don’t think a player has to suffer serious injury for it to be a serious offence.
“I do think it is very difficult to pull out a red card for a player who hasn’t made contact with another player. I don’t say impossible, but it is very difficult.
“On this occasion, the goalkeeper was rash. He took a risk. The goalkeeper has in his mind that he’s got to stop the player and I think he’s got lucky.
“Bowen had to evade him, there is no doubt about it, and that is why I think no yellow card. If the referee had just given a throw-in, I think that’d be more acceptable. Bowen is the one I feel sorry for. I’m very glad he didn’t suffer injury, but he was unlucky to get a booking.”
Warnock: Ramsdale’s rash.
Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News: “Ramsdale’s rash
“I think it is a foul by Ramsdale because of the speed in which he comes out. Bowen has to ride the tackle and naturally he’s going to lose his balance. I don’t think it is a red card but Ramsdale’s rash, which tells you it is a foul.”
Smith: No Bowen booking, but Ramsdale’s lucky
Sue Smith on Sky Sports News: “It’s a really interesting debate. I don’t think Bowen should have been booked for it because as a player, when you are running through at so much pace, you knock the ball around and you see the challenge coming in. You see Ramsdale coming at you with so much pace and you do everything to avoid it because you don’t want to get injured.
“He certainly shouldn’t have got a yellow card for that and I’m more in favour that it should have been a foul by Ramsdale, even though he didn’t make contact. That’s where the dilemma is because he’s very lucky he didn’t connect with him because if he did it would’ve been a definite red card.”
INCIDENT: There is a suggestion defender Rob Holding handled the ball in the build-up to Arsenal’s winner.
VERDICT: Correct call, accidental handball.
DERMOT SAY: “It was looked at and it was deemed that it didn’t rebound off the hand to a guy that scores. There’s no doubt about that because the game goes on.
“The ball may have touched his arm, but it wasn’t deemed a handball because it was totally accidental. The referee quite rightly says play on.
“If the ball strikes you on the arm, it has to be deliberate, or your arm has to be above your shoulder and in the air.
“But I would say, if it did strike his arm, it was totally accidental, and it didn’t lead directly to a goal.”
Newcastle 0-1 Liverpool
INCIDENT: Newcastle defender Fabian Schar and Liverpool midfielder James Milner clash in the lead-up to the visitors’ winner at St James’ Park, with referee Andre Marriner playing on.
VERDICT: Correct call, no foul on Schar.
DERMOT SAYS: “I don’t think this is a foul. It’s a really good tackle.
“Milner wins the ball and then Schar goes into him. That is why he goes over.
“The ball goes on and as I say, it’s not a foul for me. That set the tone for the rest of the weekend for me, and I think it was a really good level.
“Milner didn’t win the ball and go through Schar. He wins the ball cleanly and then Schar connects with him and goes over. No foul and it is great refereeing.”
Everton 1-0 Chelsea
INCIDENT: Richarlison picks up a flare that has landed on the pitch and throws it back into the crowd after scoring Everton’s winner.
VERDICT: The incident should be included in the referee’s report.
DERMOT SAYS: “I would suggest the referee has sent it straight to the FA. In his match report after the game, he’s contacted the FA and said: ‘This has been drawn to my attention. You need to look at this.’
“As you’ve said, it has already unfolded that the FA are to investigate it and we’ll see what happens after that.”
When asked about the procedure with the ref having a lot to remember, Dermot added: “That’s the benefit of the fourth official. The fourth official will coordinate everything for him, they will talk after the match and put the report in based on what they’ve seen together.
“It’s about accumulating as much information as you can, relaying it to the FA, and the FA dealing with it.
“The referee would have to be convinced that it is a danger to a spectator, if he’s thrown it into the crowd like that. It doesn’t show where it went. We saw an incident years ago where Jamie Carragher was sent off for throwing a coin back into the fans at Arsenal once in the FA Cup.
“He got sent off that day, but it is rare and I think the best procedure really is for the referee to leave it to the FA because they are in charge of discipline.”
Tottenham 3-1 Leicester
INCIDENT: The ball appears to strike Heung-Min Son’s arm as he challenges Leicester forward Ayoze Perez for a loose ball just inside the penalty area, but referee Jon Moss waves play on.
VERDICT: Son is very fortunate.
DERMOT SAYS: “I think Son takes a massive risk. He puts his arm into it.
“If a penalty is given, I don’t think he’s got a lot of argument.
“As it was, I don’t think the referee saw it and the VAR wasn’t convinced so it was play-on, but I think he was lucky.
“VAR wasn’t convinced because it is a subjective decision. Has the ball struck his arm? Has he moved his arm into it? I think because of the way he is turning his body he’s moved towards the ball. Other people say no.
“There were four people in the studio on Sunday and two thought penalty and two thought no. That’s where you are.”
‘Son’s body language points to penalty’
Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News: “I think it’s a penalty and what you can also see from the incident is, Son’s under no pressure when that ball drops to him once he’s handled it and it drops at his feet.
“Now he knows he’s clear of Ayoze Perez but look at him lash at the ball. It’s almost like he’s saying he’s made a mistake and that’s a natural reaction when you think you’ve done something wrong. You panic.
“If he’s thinking I haven’t handled the ball I think he’d have run with it out of the box. Body language comes into it again, but I think it’s a penalty.”
‘Son’s arm is close to his body’
Sue Smith on Sky Sports News: “I think this is where subjectivity comes in because I don’t think it is a penalty.
“I think his arm is quite close to his body and he just gets in between. The ball does touch his arm but I don’t think he’s actually moved his arm to the ball.”