Dermot Gallagher looks at the big refereeing highlights from Boxing Day action as the Premier League returns from its mid-season break.
Brentford 2-2 Tottenham
INCIDENT: Harry Kane missed a penalty after tangling with Ben Mee in the Brentford box.
VERDICT: No penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: I thought both Mee and Kane were picking on each other. Kane has also caught Mee from behind, so I think it’s a case where if a penalty is given, it has to be a decision on the field. The VAR will not overturn it. There needs to be enough doubt and that’s what we’ll see moving forward. The VAR will only intervene when it is clear and obvious.
STEPHEN WARNOCK SAYS: I think it’s a penalty. I think Ben Mee has lost the flight of the ball and also lost where Kane is. Kane has the right to try to get past Mee, but when you look at the position of the defender with his arms around his waist, I think that tells you it’s a penalty.
SUE SMITH SAYS: I was covering this game and was so surprised it wasn’t given as a penalty. You may feel that Kane is struggling as well, but he’s just trying to take Ben Mee away from him. There are two arms around Kane and once you do as a defender you try to do anything to stop the striker. I was very surprised that this was not given as a penalty.
Crystal Palace 0-3 Fulham
INCIDENT: Crystal Palace’s task was made even more difficult when James Tomkins, booked earlier for a foul on Aleksandar Mitrovic, was sent off in the 57th minute after receiving a second yellow card when his raised arm made contact with the Serbian as he passed in front of the Palace defender.
VERDICT: The referee was left with no choice.
SAYS DERMOT: The problem here is that the referee gave a foul and once he does I feel that he has to take action for the play itself. He thinks it’s a foul and a yellow card. Since it’s already in yellow, it means it’s red for two cautions. The VAR can only intervene with direct red cards.
Should VAR review second yellow cards?
SAYS DERMOT: If Tomkins had been shown a straight red for violent conduct, I think it would have been overturned by the VAR and he would have stayed on the pitch. The PGMOL cannot make the rules regardless of who is in power. The protocol at the moment is that a second yellow card is not allowed.
We don’t know if there will be a change in the coming years. People are just starting to accept VAR and it’s only just been introduced in Scotland, so that’s where it’s at for now. The fact of having a new referee official [Howard Webb]does not alter how the referee is assisted on the field.
In this case, it was Andrew Madley’s decision and VAR played no role.
“I thought the decision was very harsh. He couldn’t believe it because he didn’t even see the player. I don’t think it was a second yellow card.”
Sky Sports’ Sue Smith
INCIDENT: Tyrick Mitchell mishandled a pass from Tomkins and made contact with Kenny Tete’s shin in an attempt to recover the ball. Referee Andy Madley did not hesitate to show a red card, the decision quickly confirmed by VAR.
VERDICT: Correct decision.
DERMOT SAYS: If someone was starting a refereeing course today, all they would show you is the clip of that sending off. I would tell the person not to prejudge, but to allow things to unfold.
But if a player loses the ball because it’s a heavy first touch and their instinct is, “I’ve got to get it back quickly.” I don’t think Mitchell meant any harm, but this is where the referee has to be alert to what could happen and Mitchell goes too far.
When it happened at the time, I thought I was going to get kicked out.
Everton 1-2 Wolves
INCIDENT: Max Kilman is high with a boot on Idrissa Gueye during the second half of Everton’s 2-1 home defeat to Wolves. The score was level at the time of the incident at Goodison Park, with referee Craig Pawson brandishing a yellow card. But was Kilman lucky to escape a red?
VERDICT: Correct decision.
DERMOT SAYS: I think it’s the right decision. She is a tall boot, she is reckless but her eyes are always on the ball. The Everton man really gets into his area of the box and I don’t think Kilman knows he’s gone into it. He takes it high, it’s reckless, but it’s certainly not a red card for me.
Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
INCIDENT: Arsenal threatened in the first half, dominating with 72 per cent of possession, but were thwarted as Said Benrahma’s strike was the only goal at the break after William Saliba had fouled Jarrod Bowen inside of the area But was there any contact?
DERMOT SAYS: This is history being rewritten in many ways because I think it’s a shame. I feel that Saliba has caught him and made him lose his step.
That’s why the ball has run away and it’s ironic that when I saw it last night there was an incident involving Matt Jarvis many years ago on this very ground when he tried to stand and the referee didn’t let him gave. We don’t want to force players to think they have to go to the ground, and that’s what referee Michael Oliver has done here.