Why was Giovani Lo Celso not sent off? Should David Coote have been taken out of the spotlight? Did Kevin De Bruyne handle the ball? Dermot Gallagher has all the answers…
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Dermot joined Rob Wotton, Sue Smith and Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News for his weekly review of the big decisions.
Read on for Dermot’s verdict from the latest games…
Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham
INCIDENT: Azpilicueta slides in to win the ball ahead of Lo Celso, who then appears to stamp on the defender’s leg. Referee Michael Oliver does not see the incident, but VAR official David Coote decides it is not serious foul play. The PGMOL later apologise for the ‘human error’ in failing to dismiss Lo Celso.
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DERMOT’S VERDICT: “It should have been a red card. I don’t think there’s any doubt about it, I think everyone expected a red card and looking back, everyone has said it should have been.
“What happened is, I think the VAR, who came to his conclusion looked at it and wanted to be sure, and has changed his mind a few times.
Should Michael Oliver have used the VAR review screen?
Dermot: “The problem is, the agreement is at the moment that if the VAR feels it could be upgraded to a red card that he recommends he goes and looks.
“With that notion in his mind and told Michael to go, I have no doubt that a referee of Michael’s calibre, at the level he is, would have looked at that and said I didn’t see it on the pitch, I’ve seen it now, it’s a red card.”
“When I refereed I did it on gut reaction, and 95 per cent of the time seeing something like that, my gut reaction would have been to take this action.
“If he’d have gone on the first replay, where you see it when his foot comes down, I think it would’ve saved a lot of hassle and he would have said yes.
“After the game, the match delegate comes in and they look at things. Michael is such a professional he would have been deeply upset he had not seen it, that would have hurt him immensely. Looking at him now, he’ll be looking at that thinking how did we not get that right on the day?
Why did the PGMOL apologise so quickly?
Dermot: “When that incident happened the world and his wife wanted to know why. The Premier League came under immense pressure to explain why.
“Everyone knows it was a human error, the guy made an error on the day. That’s what it was. What they did is just announce that, it’s unfortunate but we can’t go back.”
“What will happen is they will go forward, sit and come to a conclusion of ‘if this happens, we have to do this,’ because it can’t just be wiped away; they will have to go forward and make sure it never happens again.”
Leicester 0-1 Manchester City
INCIDENT: A free-kick from James Maddison hits Kevin De Bruyne on the arm, which is raised up to protect his face, inside the penalty area. The incident is seen by Paul Tierney and is not referred to the VAR, who was Coote – the same official on review duties during the Chelsea game earlier in the day.
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DERMOT’S VERDICT: “He puts his hand up to protect his face and then turns away. I think that’s what the VAR judges, that it’s not a clear and obvious error. I think if you give a penalty, nobody would argue, but VAR felt by the time he turned away the ball was too close to him, it hit him, but that was the outcome.”
INCIDENT: Ederson and Kalechi Iheanacho compete for a cross into the Manchester City box. Ederson gets a nick on the ball before the Leicester forward but catches him with his follow-through, leaving him needing treatment.
Should David Coote have sat out the Manchester City game?
Dermot: “The VAR, David Coote, had a breather between the two games – his game finished at 2.25pm, he didn’t have to go back until 5pm for the 5.30pm game.
“In the two-and-a-half-hour break there’s a very high-powered man from the PGMOL who sits him down, asks him how he feels, goes through things, sees how he feels in his own mind and whether he’s ok to go in.
“He felt he was right to do it, the PGMOL was right to do it, and looking back I think that was the right decision.
“In my days as a referee, we had Graham Poll. Love him or loathe him, he was good at one thing – in a game, if there was a perception he had made a mistake, he could park it and move on.
“Irrespective of what you said to him in that game, he would say that he couldn’t change it, it had gone. All he could deal with was deal with what’s next, and that’s what David had to do.”
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “I just think this is inevitable there’s going to be a clash. When you see the ball come in, they’ve both got their eyes on the ball. It actually hits Iheanacho on the shoulder, and as they both jump for it it’s inevitable they will collide.”
Burnley 3-0 Bournemouth
INCIDENT: Josh King scores an opener for Bournemouth from a corner. A VAR review overrules the goal, because of a handball in the build-up.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “I’ve lost count of the times I’ve watched this but I was told the angle from the GDS shows it strikes the badge on the sleeve of the shirt, which is part of the arm and that’s why it’s disallowed.
“According to the VAR it’s the correct decision, because they say they’re quite clear it has hit the badge.”
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INCIDENT: With Burnley leading 1-0, Callum Wilson scores an equaliser for Bournemouth on the break. Before play restarts, VAR rules against Bournemouth defender Adam Smith for a handball in his own box moments before, disallows the goal and awards Burnley a penalty.
DERMOT’S VERDICT: “I thought that was a handball. The difference here is, he extends his arm out. When the VAR looked at it, they thought it was handball.
“I predicted this season someone would give a penalty away and go up the other end and score, it’s taken 27 match round but that’s what’s happened.
“Without a doubt, in my mind, it’s a handball. He’s got to go back and give the penalty and disallow the goal. It seems very unfair to Bournemouth, but the original offence was the handball.”
Sheffield United 1-1 Brighton
INCIDENT: John Lundstram and Lewis Dunk go for a 50-50 ball in midfield, which Brighton defender Dunk gets to first, sliding in to clear it away. Lundstram stands on Dunk’s knee with his follow-through. Referee Graham Scott refers the incident to VAR for a potential red card, and it is ruled there is no serious foul play.
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