Written by Henry Clark

You’d be lying if you said you’d never had a poor refereeing decision given against your team. But sometimes they do get it right. Here are three key decisions over the Premier League Boxing Day fixtures reviewed:

credit Tom Brogan

Match: Watford vs Crystal Palace.

Incident: The ball is played out wide to Wilfred Zaha. As he approaches the box he quickly angles his run across Miguel Britos. There is very slight contact from the knee of Britos. Zaha appeals for a penalty.
Action taken: Yellow for Zaha for simulation.
Verdict: Partially wrong – I believe that if there is any contact, however big or small, then it cannot be a dive. There is no doubt that Zaha looks for the penalty – that’s why he angles his run across the defender. There is not enough contact for a penalty but I don’t agree with Mark Clattenburg’s decision to book him for it; Clattenburg should’ve just let play go on with no penalty or booking given. I have no doubt that Zaha’s reputation played a part in the decision and in any case the contact took place just outside of the box.

credit Sean Macentee

Match: Manchester United vs Sunderland.

Incident: A long aerial ball is played into the Sunderland box and is chased by Juan Mata. As the ball approaches Mata, Lamine Kone, who tracked his run, collides with the United forward.
Action taken: No penalty.
Verdict: Correct – Although Kone isn’t focusing on the ball the challenge on Mata isn’t enough to warrant a foul. As it’s only shoulder to shoulder contact and Kone is in control of his movement (with both feet on the floor) his challenge isn’t over-physical and more controlled. Mata falls due to a loss of balance more than anything else.

credit DSanchez17

Match: Burnley vs Middlesbrough.

Incident: After a scramble in the Middlesbrough box Martin de Roon prods the ball towards his own goal. On-loan defender Callum Chambers is struck on the arm by the ball but the penalty appeals are turned down with Craig Pawson’s view obscured in the crowd.
Action taken: No penalty.
Verdict: Wrong – Chambers is very close to De Roon as the ball is knocked forward and some may argue that he didn’t know a lot about the incident as it happened so quickly and closely to the centre-back. However, through watching the replays I feel that Chambers has committed his arm into a downwards movement to stop the path of the ball going to Victor Valdes in the Boro goal. Although this didn’t prevent an attacking move a penalty should’ve been awarded but there would’ve been no reason to give Chambers his marching orders. I can understand why the referee hasn’t awarded the penalty but on second glance I feel Burnley should’ve been awarded a spot-kick.

Do you agree? Did Zaha dive?  Were you left less than impressed by an official against your side? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @alloutfootball_ or @HClark_hcafc

featured image by Tom Brogan