Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher dissects the big flashpoints from the weekend’s action, with the key decisions in Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City and Chelsea’s draw with Liverpool reviewed.
INCIDENT: Martin Odegaard went down under a challenge from City goalkeeper Ederson. It looked a close call, with the movement of the ball suggesting Ederson made contact with it. Referee Stuart Attwell waved away Arsenal appeals, but replays of the incident appeared to show Ederson making contact with Odegaard before the ball. VAR Jarred Gillett looked at the incident but stuck with the on-field decision.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “Tough call, but I think it was fair to go with the referee’s on-field decision.”
DERMOT SAYS: “VAR did look, and it looked very closely. I think the dilemma was: if you have two different angles, you get two different versions. That’s the dilemma, it’s which picture you go with? It’s inconclusive to the VAR so he went with the on-field decision, which was Ederson played the ball, which I think was the best thing to do. And I think that’s what people want, for the referee to make the decision.”
Stephen Warnock: “I thought this was a really difficult decision, but when you see it through, for me, I still feel Ederson took his foot. I think he takes enough of Odegaard’s foot to give a penalty, but such a difficult one when you see the camera angles – very inconclusive as to what contact was made by Ederson – however, I would have given a penalty.”
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Sue Smith: “I think that’s why they had to go with the on-field ref because it was inconclusive. One angle, it looked like he had taken his foot first, and then the other angle you thought ‘has he got the ball first?’. But I have to agree, I thought that if I had to make a decision, I would have given a penalty.”
INCIDENT: Play continued after a clumsy challenge from Granit Xhaka on Bernardo Silva in the penalty area in the second half. Once again, Attwell did not give the penalty on the field. But, on this occasion, the VAR advised the referee to review the incident on the pitchside monitor and he changed his decision, handing City a way back into the game as Riyad Mahrez converted the spot-kick.