Men in a muddle

Men in a muddle

Refereeing controversies have threatened to overshadow the football on display in the EPL this season. Gary Lim singles out the main culprits.

1. HOWARD WEBB
Man United 1 Tottenham 2 (Jan 1, 2014)

"Scandalous" was how David Moyes described the incident which he thought robbed his side of a penalty, one which could have earned them a draw against Tottenham on New Year's Day.

With the Red Devils trailing 1-2, he thought Webb should have awarded a penalty when winger Ashley Young (far right, in red) was brought down by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris after crossing the ball into the penalty box.

But from the replays, it was clear Lloris had made no contact with the ball.

THE REACTIONS

Man United manager Moyes: "It was a scandal. It's reckless, it's late, it's in the penalty box, I don't know what else you can say. "If you follow through on a player anywhere else on the pitch, foot-high, it's a sending-off and a penalty kick."

Spurs manager Tim Sherwood: "At the time, I thought it was a penalty. It's one of those that could go either way, but if we have got away with that one I'm pleased because I remember coming here with Harry (Redknapp).

"We were 2-0 up at half-time and (Heurelho) Gomes made a save, he quite clearly played the ball first, but they got a penalty."

2. MARK CLATTENBURG
Everton 2 Southampton 1 (Dec 29, 2013)

It was late in the game, and the Saints were pushing hard for an equaliser.

They thought they had earned a break when Adam Lallana's cross seemed to have struck Everton defender Antolin Alcaraz's arm in the penalty area.

Lallana led the appeals for a penalty, but Clattenburg didn't award a spot-kick.

Southampton lodged a complaint with the referees' governing body -the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) - claiming that the official had "abused and insulted" their skipper.

But the PGMOL ruled yesterday that Clattenburg had no case to answer to.

THE REACTIONS

Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino: "We just want Southampton to be refereed with the same rigour as all the other clubs.

"We want the same treatment; nothing better, nothing worse."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "That's the first time I have heard that the referee abused Lallana.

"I thought Clattenburg had a very good game in terms of controlling the players and his manner.

"I don't think that that was the case."

3. KEVIN FRIEND
Stoke 2 Sunderland 0 (Nov 23, 2013)

It looked like a fine tackle.

Near the half-hour mark, Sunderland defender Wes Brown slid in cleanly and took the ball away from Charlie Adam, who didn't even appeal for a foul.

Both teams' players continued with play without fuss, until the referee blew his whistle belatedly.

Out came the red card, to the shock of the Sunderland players and disbelief of everyone who saw it.

THE REACTIONS

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "I don't think there is any explanation.

"Was it a two-footed tackle? No. Was he not in control? No.

"Over the ball? No. Was the opponent in danger? No.

"Did he make contact? No.

"Please explain to me. It is difficult to accept."

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker: "The Wes Brown red card for Sunderland at Stoke is a bewildering decision."

4. ANDRE MARRINER
Chelsea 2 WBA 2 (Nov 9, 2013)

West Brom looked on course for a first league win at Stamford Bridge since 1978, until Marriner intervened.

Ramires crashed into the ground after colliding with defender Steven Reid in the penalty box with just 25 seconds of injury time to play. The two players had gone shoulder to shoulder and the Brazilian already seemed to be on his way down even before contact.

But Marriner blew for a penalty, to the disgust of the Baggies.

Eden Hazard made it 2-2 from the resulting penalty.

Mike Riley, the referees' chief, later called the club to apologise.

THE REACTIONS

WBA then-manager Steve Clarke: "I'm flabbergasted at the decision. I can't believe he gave it. I saw it at the time.

"I've been in the game a long time and I knew he was already on the way down before anyone was near him."

Mike Riley: "I understand why Andre gave it. He thinks he sees Ramires getting in front of Reid, catching his back leg and making him off-balance without playing the ball, so it's a penalty.

"The truth is, only Ramires truly knows (if he's diving)."

5. ANTHONY TAYLOR
Chelsea 4 Cardiff 1 (Oct 19, 2013)

Cardiff had taken a shock lead at Stamford Bridge and were naturally expecting a Chelsea onslaught.

But they didn't expect a Chelsea offensive from referee Anthony Taylor as well.

As Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall bounced the ball, Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o kicked the ball away.

The ball eventually fell to Eden Hazard who gleefully netted the equaliser.

The law states that a goalkeeper is in possession of the ball even when he is bouncing it, so Eto'o had committed a foul.

THE REACTIONS

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay: "It's a huge mistake. A horrendous error."

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll: "It appears that the officials then compounded their error after the match by making the implausible excuse that (Andy) Garratt (assistant referee) had seen the incident and thought Marshall had dropped the ball."


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