Ref Watch: Dermot Gallagher runs through big decisions from weekend


Dermot Gallagher runs through the biggest refereeing decisions from the weekend’s football, and highlights what was a bad day for Man Utd’s Chris Smalling.

Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd

Newcastle denied penalty

INCIDENT: Chris Smalling treads on the foot of Dwight Gayle on the corner of the box with the score at 0-0. Craig Pawson waves play on.

Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd

DERMOT’S VIEW: The simple answer is yes. He didn’t play the ball, and as I’ve said many times, it’s all about the ball. I actually think that because where Craig is, I believe he may be assessing whether it happened inside the area or not, and because of that he loses sight of whether it is actually a foul. He completely forgets, I think.

Smalling dive correct

INCIDENT: Smalling was then booked for simulation, going down despite Jonjo Shelvey not having touched him. Newcastle then scored the winner from the resulting free-kick.

DERMOT’S VIEW: I think it’s an excellent spot, they’re not easy to give. Sometimes when a player goes through the air like a torpedo it’s easy to give, but this wasn’t. It’s definitely not a foul, definitely simulation, and it’s a very, very important decision to make too, because Newcastle scored from the free-kick.

Craig Pawson books Smalling for simulation

Yellow correct for Valencia

INCIDENT: Antonio Valencia is booked for a high boot on Christian Atsu, though some believed he should have seen red.

DERMOT’S VIEW: I think this is a yellow card and not a red card because Valencia is stood stationary, he hasn’t come at speed at Atsu. He hasn’t actually led with his studs either, he’s come with the side of his boot. It’s not nice, it’s reckless, but it’s not a red.

Stoke 1-1 Brighton

INCIDENT: Stoke are awarded a last-minute penalty by Bobby Madley for Dale Stephens’ shove on Jese. Charlie Adam then misses the penalty, appeals for another penalty as he is brought down under pressure from Lewis Dunk on a rebound, and the match ends 1-1.

Sheff Utd 2-1 Leeds

DERMOT’S VIEW: I don’t think [the awarded penalty] is a penalty at all. If anything, I think Jese touches Stephens first, and there’s not enough from him to go down.

Regarding the rebound, I actually thought it was a foul, but I can understand why the referee doesn’t give it. It’s so, so difficult to see. The referee is not going to give a penalty, because he can’t be convinced.

Sheffield United 2-1 Leeds

INCIDENT: Sheffield United are awarded a penalty by Andy Madley in their 2-1 win over Leeds on Saturday after John Fleck was brought down by Eunan O’Kane inside the box. Billy Sharp scored the resulting spot kick.

Stoke 1-1 Brighton

DERMOT’S VIEW: This is where I think VAR would never clear anything up. I don’t think it’s a foul, but my best friend does. For me it’s not a penalty.


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