Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher examines whether Chelsea weren’t on the wrong side of key decisions during their 1-1 draw with Brighton in the latest Ref Watch …
Chelsea 1-1 Brighton
ACCIDENT: Thomas Tuchel felt Chelsea should have suffered a penalty in the second half when Christian Pulisic went down following a tackle from Joel Veltman.
VERDICT OF DERMOT: Correct decision, no penalty. Not enough to overturn the decision on the pitch.
DERMOT SAYS: It was a good cry, I can’t deny it. When I first watched it, I thought Chelsea had quite a shout. The referee did not give it, and when the VAR looked at it he came to the conclusion that Pulisic was already going down. On this basis he sided with the referee and decided that it is not a clear and obvious mistake.
ROB WOTTON: His foot had been taken away, so why wasn’t it a clear and obvious mistake?
DERMOT SAYS: It was not a clear and obvious mistake for the VAR and this is the crucial point. He felt he didn’t go beyond the tolerance level and, on that basis, they feel it makes no sense to send referee Mike Dean to the sideline monitor.
ROB WOTTON: I am still perplexed. Do you think it was a penalty?
DERMOT SAYS: I thought it was a nice shout out when you first see it, but many times you see things on first viewing and think it’s a good tackle. This is the beauty of having replays and VARs in big decisions. On that basis in this case, they decided it was not a sanction.
My instinctive reaction was that it could be a penalty, but on second viewing I can understand why they think Pulisic is coming down soon.
ACCIDENT: Tuchel was also frustrated by Mike Dean’s decision to penalize Mason Mount before putting the ball into Brighton’s empty net just before the equalizer.
VERDICT OF DERMOT: Correct decision, no goal.
DERMOT SAYS: It is difficult to judge. There is a camera angle from the center of the pitch and there are no replays. Mount walks in and challenges Veltman, and he’s a long way out of sight. We have watched it over and over again, and there is no conclusive evidence that it is not a foul and therefore you have to be on the referee’s side on the pitch.
ROB WOTTON: But the question Thomas Tuchel raised was why whistle so early? Why not let it run and then leave it to the VAR?
DERMOT SAYS: The easy answer is that Mike Dean thought it was a foul and therefore doesn’t need VAR. This is the end of the game at that point. I don’t see anything that proves Mike Dean wrong, and on that basis I have to side with the referee.
ACCIDENT: Should Antonio Rudiger have seen red for his challenge on Tariq Lamptey? Mike Dean showed the Chelsea defender a yellow card.
VERDICT OF DERMOT: Correct decision, yellow card.
DERMOT SAYS: This is a very, very unwise challenge. The other thing I’d say is that when he pleads innocent, I don’t think he has any case! He goes flying in a tackle and is undoubtedly reckless.
Where he is lucky is that he lands on the ball. He doesn’t actually take Lamptey, but his actions alone mean he must be at least a yellow card. Failing to capture Lamptey saved him from a red card, but he can’t stand there and protest his innocence.
Brentford-Manchester City 0-1
ACCIDENT: Brentford striker Ivan Toney was embroiled in an ongoing battle with Fernandinho and the pair got tangled just before half-time during Manchester City’s 1-0 win. Did Toney step on the Brazilian while he was on the ground?
VERDICT OF DERMOT: Correct decision, no red card.
DERMOT SAYS: I think referee David Coote was right, actually. It’s interesting because both matches on Wednesday night were very exuberant at times. Fernandinho and Toney have clashed a few times, they had clashed just before this incident.
Toney has been saddened by some decisions and I think this is what the pros refer to as “leaving him a little on”. I think that’s what he did. He’s not violent, he’s reckless and I think the referee judged him really well. She saw him for what he was, rather than overreacting.
This is the skill of a Premier League referee and why they are at the top. Coote didn’t panic and was sucked into something more than he really was.