In a special Tuesday edition of Ref Watch, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher explains the best and worst of the big decisions in England and Scotland.
Wolves 0-3 Man City
INCIDENT: Nathan Collins takes on a challenge against Man City’s Jack Grealish and leads with his studs as he hits the England forward in the chest. He gets a straight red card from referee Anthony Taylor.
DERMOT SAYS: “I think very few people would think it isn’t” [a red card]. I don’t know why he took that challenge, he’s high, he’s dangerous, he caught him above his waist – you can’t say anything, it must be a red card.
“It is to Anthony Taylor’s credit that he identified it right away, saw the seriousness of it and got a red card.”
On similarities to Erling Haaland’s unpunished high boot vs Crystal Palace: “It’s a totally different challenge, he’s there. Collins has taken the challenge, Haaland has gone to get the ball – the defender comes into his space, he doesn’t know he’s there, he doesn’t see him.”
“Collins knows Grealish is there, he sees him, his studs are up and impressing. It’s just another challenge – I think Haaland should have been given a yellow card for putting his foot so high, but no red.”
“Collins has a duty of care to his opponent. His studs hit him in the stomach. He approached Grealish and it was the other way around for Haaland.”
Newcastle 1-1 Bournemouth
INCIDENT: A cross from Kieran Trippier from the right side of the Bournemouth penalty area hits the outstretched arm of Jefferson Lerma from close range. After a VAR review and a trip to the review monitor, referee Craig Pawson gives Newcastle a penalty.
DERMOT SAYS: “It’s the right decision and a decision by the VAR. From the referee’s position he has no idea where that ball hits. He doesn’t know if it hits his knee, arm or thigh, but his arms are out. We have given it this year as soon as your arms are out it will be given.
“If it hits his forearm, I can understand it’s not given because it’s for his body, but it hits the hand that’s out. We’ve seen consistently that if the arms are out, or above the shoulder, it’s penalized .
Aston Villa 1-0 Southampton
INCIDENT: Jacob Ramsey, initially in an offside position, volleys Aston Villa ahead of Mohammed Salisu’s attempted header from a Villa corner. A VAR review deems the midfielder onside because Salisu had played the ball.
DERMOT SAYS: “In the Nations League final, we caused a stir about Kylian Mbappe’s goal and playing the ball, being in possession of the ball. The rule was rewritten that if the defender makes a clear attempt to play the ball, or he ball is in control or not, it plays the attacking player onside.
“Salisu is going to clear the ball and at that moment he resets. It’s not ideal, but they have to work with that.”
Scottish Premiership: St Mirren 2-0 Celtic
INCIDENT: St Mirren’s second goal, scored by Jonah Ayunga, is given despite calls from Celtic goalkeeper for a push on Stephen Welsh by the goalscorer.
DERMOT SAYS: “He’s lucky. He pushes Welsh in the back, pushes him away. Joe Hart has the perfect view, the way the referee wants it. If he had that view, he would foul.”
“I think if the VAR comes to Scotland, that would be out of the question.”
Rangers 2-1 Dundee United
INCIDENT: Tony Watt and Borna Barisic go shoulder-to-shoulder after a ball in the Rangers box, before the Dundee United striker lands on the ground and asks for a penalty, which is not given.
DERMOT SAYS: “I don’t think it’s a penalty. He goes in, it’s awkward, but I don’t think he clamps it. They come together and at that point he goes down, but they stand side by side.”
INCIDENT: Malik Tillman chases Jamie McGrath’s run into the Rangers box and sets foot on the Dundee United man’s run. McGrath falls to the ground, but the referee points for a goal kick.
DERMOT SAYS: “I think this is definitely not a penalty. If you look, he goes in, the players come together, but for me – not a penalty. I think he gets the ball, that’s the key.”
Hibs 3-1 Aberdeen
INCIDENT: A long free kick in the Aberdeen area hits the outstretched arm of Ross McCrorie in the penalty area. Despite protests from the hosts, the referee gives a corner.
DERMOT SAYS: “It’s not his intention to do it. He’s going to head the ball, there’s no doubt about it. His arm is outstretched and I think if that goes to VAR in England it would always be given as a penalty.”
INCIDENT: Hibs is given a penalty before half time when Liam Scales knocks down Ryan Porteous near Aberdeen, leaving manager Jim Goodwin unhappy when Scales is sent off for a second yellow card despite his shirt appearing to be first pulled out.
DERMOT SAYS:: “That’s Jim Goodwin’s argument, but if you look at him… [Scales] holds it so that the referee thinks it is a yellow card violation. Besides the penalty he is already on a yellow card so he has to go. Even with the VAR, remember that it can’t get involved with the red card because it’s a second yellow.”
Championship: Watford 2-2 Sunderland
INCIDENT: Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray continues to ask for a penalty after what he believes is a push from Watford’s Hamza Choudhury on Black Cats winger Jack Clarke.
DERMOT SAYS: “I don’t think this is a penalty either. He feels the player on himself and throws himself forward. I don’t think that amount of contact would let the player go down like that – and that’s what convinced the referee not to give a punishment.”
WSL: Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea
INCIDENT: Liverpool Women are awarded a penalty when Gilly Flaherty throws a long throw from close range onto Millie Bright’s outstretched arm.
DERMOT SAYS: “This falls into that brace – the hands are out. You’ll say it’s very close, but the arms are out. I think it’s right on her arm, but her arms are out. Her argument will be that so is close, but as we said before, the arms are out.”
INCIDENT: Liverpool Women receive a second penalty when Katie Stengel is knocked down near Chelsea by Kadeisha Buchanan, who seems to get something at the ball.
DERMOT SAYS: “Chelsea will claim she has the ball. She gets the ball, no doubt about it, but she certainly gets her opponent first and wraps herself around her opponent. She gets the ball, but it’s a penalty. “