REVIEW OF WEEK 34 PREMIER LEAGUE REFEREE PERFORMANCES

FRIDAY 30TH APRIL

SOUTHAMPTON V LEICESTER CITY RESULT 1-1
Referee: Robert Jones. Assistants: Darren Cann, Mark Scholes. Fourth official: Andre Marriner. VAR: Jonathan Moss. Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.

The big decision in this game was the red card for Vestergaard of Southampton. The referee correctly judging that this foul on Leicester’s Vardy merited a sending off.
When making the challenge, the defender cannot use the ball as a decoy. Yes, he got a touch on the ball but followed through with the boot which came into contact with the player.

Vestergaard challenged for the ball and had the offence been inside the penalty area, the penalty kick would have been awarded and a yellow card issued. The question the referee had to consider is that if Vardy had not been fouled, would he have had a shot on goal? There was this opportunity and it was doubtful that another defender would have been able to put in a challenge.

I support the referee’s decision on this one and it will be interesting to see if the home team will appeal the red card.
Once the foul was committed on Vardy the referee in deciding the denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) has to then consider the following criteria:
* distance between the offence and the goal
* general direction of the play
* likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball.
* location and number of defenders

Based on this criterion, I do believe that Vardy would have been able to have a shot on goal and that any covering defenders would not have been able to tackle him.

Leicester were later awarded a penalty kick after a Southampton player was judged to have handled the ball.

Last week we saw Fabian Balbuena of West Ham United’s red card correctly overturned because he was clearing the ball upfield, whilst not challenging for the ball.

SATURDAY 1ST MAY

CRYSTAL PALACE V MANCHESTER CITY RESULT 0-2
Referee: David Coote. Assistants: Marc Perry, Nick Hopton. Fourth official: Stuart Attwell. VAR: Jonathan Moss. Assistant VAR: Gary Beswick.

The referee can be happy with his performance, avoiding any controversy in a game where players just wantED to get on with demonstrating their skill sets.

City had the ball in the net, but it was correctly ruled offside by a good first-time decision from the Assistant referee,

The main talking point for me is really to thank Manchester City’s Aguero who over the years has graced the game and entertained us with his exquisite skills. I am sorry to see him leave the Premier League.

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION V LEEDS UNITED RESULT 2-0
Referee: Chris Kavanagh. Assistants: Dan Cook, Neil Davies. Fourth official: John Brooks. VAR: Jarred Gillett. Assistant VAR: Lee Betts.

Referee Kavanagh had yet another red card overturned in mid-week. Under my watch some years ago, he would be sitting on his hands and reflecting rather than being appointed to this game.

A lack of accountability and the latest PGMOL Accounts showing a turnover of £23 million been spent. I think that we should all expect better performances from our match officials and a few need to be moved on.

Referee Kavanagh pointed to the penalty mark in the 14th minute with no hesitation after a Leeds United player had fouled his opponent. VAR Jarred Gillet confirmed the call.
Kavanagh has an annoying habit of stopping ten yards short of the penalty area at times that he needs to get closer to the action. He will then be in a better position to detect any offences in the penalty area. This habit leaves him exposed to error and he should not be thinking that the VAR will pull him out of trouble.

Danny Welbeck scored Brighton’s second and that probably secured their position in the Premier League next season.

CHELSEA V FULHAM RESULT 2-0
Referee: Kevin Friend. Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes. Fourth official: Robert Jones. VAR: Darren England. Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn.

The opening goal was scored by Chelsea’s Havertz after a great pass from Mount. Havertz then had the ball in the net but it was correctly ruled out for offside.

The Chelsea goalkeeper made a terrific save just before halftime before Werner and Havetz teamed up to score Chelsea’s second goal leaving Fulham facing relegation.

Despite Fulham’s poor season, I do think that their Manager Scott Parker comes across in a positive way and is aware that Fulham will have to win their remaining games.

EVERTON V ASTON VILLA RESULT 1-2
Referee: Simon Hooper. Assistants: Harry Lennard, Derek Eaton. Fourth official: Andy Madley. VAR: Graham Scott. Assistant VAR: Peter Kirkup.

A huge mistake by Everton’s Holgate in losing possession of the ball allowed Villa to open the scoring.
VAR intervened to look at an aerial challenge but correctly ruled that the contact by the arm in the opponent’s face was accidental.

Everton scored an equalizer through Calvert-Lewin before Villa hit the crossbar and then the post in a short space of time.

Villa scored the winner through El-Ghaze, whose strike on goal was terrific. It left England’s Pickford no chance of making a save.

SUNDAY 2ND MAY

NEWCASTLE UNITED V ARSENAL RESULT 0-2
Referee: Mike Dean. Assistants: Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan. Fourth official: Andy Madley. VAR: Chris Kavanagh. Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes.

I thought that Newcastle United were unlucky to have Shar dismissed in the 90th minute. The challenge was reckless and worthy of a yellow card not red. VAR Chris Kavanagh did not intervene.

MANCHESTER UNITED V LIVERPOOL
Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett. Fourth official: Craig Pawson. VAR: Paul Tierney. Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.

Sadly, this game did not go ahead DUE TO PROTESTERS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE STADIUM

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR V SHEFFIELD UNITED RESULT 4-0
Referee: Andre Marriner. Assistants: Scott Ledger, Simon Long. Fourth official: Kevin Friend. VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: James Mainwaring.

Gareth Bale showed what an outstanding player he is scoring a terrific hat-trick.

There is no doubt in my mind that John Fleck of Sheffield United should have received a red card for the stamping offence on his opponent Lo Celso. VAR Peter Bankes who was involved in the West Ham dismissal that was correctly overturned went missing today and did not intervene and advise the referee to review. This was another poor management decision to appoint him to this game after last week’s episode.