Edinson Cavani’s goal for Man Utd at Spurs inevitably disallowed, Dermot Gallagher tells Ref Watch

Dermot Gallagher also gives his verdict on a potential penalty and red card at Turf Moor, while also telling us whether Leeds defender Liam Cooper should have been sent off against Man City at the Etihad

In the latest edition of Ref Watch, former Premier League official Dermot Gallagher assesses the key incidents from the weekend’s games, including two controversial decisions in Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Tottenham on Super Sunday.

Tottenham 1-3 Man Utd

INCIDENT: Edinson Cavani had a goal controversially disallowed on 33 minutes after the VAR spotted a flailing arm from Scott McTominay on Heung-Min Son in the build-up.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Inevitable the referee is going to give a foul.

DERMOT SAYS: It raised a lot of interesting debates. The first thing is when the VAR [Craig Pawson] looks at this, he checks is it a red card? Well, most certainly not. The game goes on and once the ball goes in the net, he then checks is it offside? No. Then he has to go back and see if there is an offence in the attacking buildup? I’m not convinced, but what I would say is that once the referee [Chris Kavanagh] is sent to the screen and he sees that in slow motion, it is inevitable he is going to give a foul because it is difficult to say he did not catch him in the face and therefore the referee has gone back and given the free-kick.

I think not (should McTominay have got a second yellow?). We are already saying the majority of people did not think it was a foul, so to go back and give him a second yellow would really have been rubbing salt in the wounds. It was careless, it was not reckless, it certainly was not dangerous.

INCIDENT: Jose Mourinho said in his post-match interview that he thought Paul Pogba should have been sent off for an elbow on Serge Aurier.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Yellow, not red card.

DERMOT SAYS: I think this is reckless, it is a very short distance, his arm is crooked, he has not really thrown it, but I do think that is reckless and had he got a yellow card, he could not really complain. But I do not think it is enough for a red card.

GARY NEVILLE’S VERDICT: How many people before VAR came in didn’t want technology? Most people did and I find myself in this position a lot with commentary, that I’m a little bit like a zombie. We see every single game, every single decision, every single VAR check and you’re almost a little bit numb. You’ve lost sight of what is a foul, what is a free-kick, what is a red card, what is an offside to the point whereby you don’t register the magnitude of what’s happening in front of you.

In the first half today, you’d be devastated if that was given as a free-kick against you as an attacking team – but I don’t know what the answer is because that’s subjective. It’s not an offside or a handball, which are the ones that have been causing great controversy, that’s one of those ones that will always be a problem.

There were two other similar incidents [to the McTominay foul] – there was the Aurier one on the far side and there was the Marcus Rashford one. I’m a cynic about these types of things and I would say out of every hundred of those types of things, arms in the face, I’d say 75 are meant. I think a player knows what he is doing if he puts an arm into another player. I always knew that I was doing it and would potentially get away with it.

At the end of the season, we need to look back at what’s happened with VAR and think about how it can be improved. I don’t go along with the fact it needs to be binned because I do think offside can be sorted if we can use the foot in the right place to put the line on, I think we can get consistency. We are where we are, but the fans absolutely despise it.Gary Neville

I think Son had tried to grab McTominay, he tried to have a bit of a tussle with him, but I think it’s the ones where there’s a little bit of a follow-through and they leave it in or stamp on them. Players can usually get out of the way and avoid making contact with the player’s face. I am a cynic around these things but maybe it’s because I played the game and I always knew when I thought I was going to put my arm up to someone’s upper chest or ribs, you just knew it was that type of game.

At the end of the season, we need to look back at what’s happened with VAR and think about how it can be improved. I don’t go along with the fact it needs to be binned because I do think offside can be sorted if we can use the foot in the right place to put the line on, I think we can get consistency.

We are where we are, but the fans absolutely despise it. They hate it and we’ve got to be really conscious about that. We as commentators, ex-football players and analysts, we’re probably not the barometer of if it should stay and the fans despise VAR.

I would keep it, I would regulate it, I would make some changes to it, changes to the offside rule definitely. They’ve made changes this season, the handball is better, going over to the screen is better but just generally, I think I would personally stick with it for another season to see if it is the teething problems from the first couple of years.

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle United

INCIDENT: Nothing is given, despite James Tarkowski catching Sean Longstaff in the head with a trailing boot, with the PGMOL saying the Burnley defender “played the ball first and Longstaff had stooped and put his head in”.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: It was definitely reckless and could have been a penalty.

DERMOT SAYS: When I was watching live, my gut reaction was penalty and when it went to the VAR [Stuart Attwell], I thought they would give a penalty. When they did not, the reason being is there is no doubt Tarkowski gets the ball first, he does not know where Longstaff is. But what I would say is it is certainly reckless. That said, he has to touch the player for it to be a foul in that situation, Anthony Taylor was not convinced, the VAR looked and sided with the referee.

Man City 1-2 Leeds United

INCIDENT: Liam Cooper was dismissed for an ugly lunge on Gabriel Jesus which was upgraded from a yellow card to a red after the VAR had instructed Andre Marriner to review the decision on the pitch-side monitor.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, red card.

DERMOT SAYS: Yes (it is a red). When Cooper goes to play the ball, he knows exactly where Jesus is, his point of contact is very, very high, with the studs leading, it is excessive force and it is not only one foot that connects, but his other foot goes through.

Liverpool 2-1 Aston Villa

INCIDENT: Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has a goal disallowed after Diogo Jota is ruled offside in the build-up.

DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, offside.

DERMOT SAYS: It goes back to the technology and as I’ve said many, many times before, all the teams signed up for the technology, everybody knew what it was, it is the best technology they have available at the moment, so therefore you have to trust it. The only way to do it at the moment is to have a definite yes or no (for offside) and on this occasion (and at Fulham on Friday night), it was ruled no.

And what it illustrates is the margins are so, so tight, I do not think anyone realised that.


Related Posts

Leave a comment

You must login to add a new comment.