‘It’s A Red Card’ – Former Referee Calls Out Premier League Decisions Live On TV

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Image of Premier League logo. Credit: Twitter@premierleague

Former Premier League referee, Dermot Gallagher, has weighed in on some of the controversial decisions from the weekend’s action, including the North London derby and Chelsea’s latest defeat.

Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur – Eddie Nketiah Challenge

It was a typical North London derby on Sunday afternoon with tackles flying in and VAR having to get involved to check and double-check decisions, but Gallagher believes most of them were spot on.

The first talking point of the game was about Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah who went flying into a challenge with Guglielmo Vicario and was very lucky to not make solid contact when the Italian’s foot was planted, it could have been a leg breaker, but Gallagher believes it was correct to only award the striker a yellow card as he said: ‘”It was checked by the VAR, it was felt that the referee had got the decision right.”

Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur – Cristian Romero Handball

Next up in the entertaining 2-2 draw was a handball by Cristian Romero – who’d already scored an own goal during the game – and after a long VAR check, it was deemed that he did handle the ball and stopped a goalscoring opportunity, so there was no other choice but to award Arsenal a penalty, and Gallagher agreed with the decision despite the ball coming from such a short distance.

Gallagher explained: “Does Romero use his arms to balance for what he’s going into? Yes. But his arms are out, it strikes his arm. It blocks the shot going in.

“He might feel hard done by to concede a penalty, but he’s lucky because if Bissouma wasn’t behind him, he would have also been sent off as it was heading to the goal with no defender.

“His arm is out, VAR has seen it, it’s heading towards the goal. It didn’t surprise me when I saw the replay.”

Manchester City 2-0 Nottingham Forest – Rodri’s Red Card

Manchester City were cruising at the Etihad and on course to record yet another straightforward victory at home, only for their ever-dependable midfielder, Rodri, to see the red mist and have a moment of madness in the corner.

As he attempted to shield the ball out of play from the onrushing Morgan Gibbs-White, Rodri took offence to a shove in the back from the Forest player and eventually grabbed the midfielder by the throat, sending him tumbling to the ground and was brandished with an immediate red card.

Gallagher believes there was only one outcome once Rodri raised his hands, he said: “Casemiro on Will Hughes was the same thing. He grabbed him by the throat and he was sent off. You ask for consistency and there it is.

“When you put your hands on a player’s throat, you run a massive risk. That’s what the referee has seen.”

Chelsea 0-1 Aston Villa – Malo Gusto’s Red Card

Chelsea have now gone three games in a row without finding the back of the net and two of them have also been home defeats at the hands of Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa, but that wasn’t the most annoying and lowest point of the game.

That was instead saved for summer signing Gusto who launched a strong tackle on Lucas Digne and despite winning the ball, his follow through with strong and caught the Villa man on the ankle, which saw VAR get involved and encoruaged Jarred Gillett to review his decision and instead award a red card.

This is something Gallagher, once again, agreed with due to the force of the follow-through, he said: “It’s a red card, I thought it was when I first saw it. He’s jumped in and caught him with his studs.

“One thing you have as a player, you have a duty of care to your opponent. You can’t plant your studs on the opponent.

“The time taken to look at it was the referee looking at it, not the VAR. The VAR made the decision very, very quickly.”

Sheffield United 0-8 Newcastle United – Anthony Gordon Potential Handball

When Sean Longstaff netted Newcastle United’s first of many goals on Sunday afternoon, even he and Anthony Gordon looked unsure about whether or not it would stand with debates around whether or not the ball had gone out of play and also if the latter had handled the ball.

While the winger did indeed handle the ball and keep it in play, Gallagher has explained the reason why VAR decided to not intervene and let the goal stand.

“The whole of the ball has to be over the whole of the line. It obviously isn’t,” Gallagher said. “As he brings it over it hits his hand which ironically keeps it in play.

“It is deemed not deliberate, but he doesn’t go on to score. So therefore the new interpretation is that it has to be deliberate for it to be given as handball. The referee and VAR said no so the goal is given.”

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Written by

Aaron Hindhaugh

Qualified and experienced journalist covering all aspects of news and sport. Specialist in both Men's and Women's football with increasing coverage of golf and tennis.