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Question Number: 30018

Mechanics 1/14/2016

RE: Rec Adult

Russell of Sydney, Australia asks...

Keen to hear the panels thoughts on the Key Match Incidents in the City v Everton and Swansea v Sunderland EPL matches.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Russell
I watched the Swansea V Sunderland game.
My take on the incidents.
1. On the penalty it would have looked in real time that the Sunderland player Wes Brown made contact with Swansea Andre Ayew s kick which caused him to kick the ground. Video showed that there may not have been contact or that it was minimal.
2. On the sending off the Swansea player Kyle Naughton came with a raised boot, studs showing and again in real time it would have looked nasty with the Sunderland player Yann MVila going down winching in pain. Again replay showed perhaps a less dangerous contact with the ball played and then contact on the opponents foot. I could see how the player was sent off and he may get off on appeal based on the English view that challenges that get the ball are not seen as reckless or using excessive force. To me it was a bad challenge
3. The Swansea disallowed goal was 100% correct. The Swansea player Rangel was clearly in an offside position and the save did not reset the offside so it was offside for gaining an advantage by being in that position.
4. The Sunderland offside decisions were very tight and again in real time they will all have looked onside. Stepping up at the last moment is always fraught with danger for the defending side.

In the Manchester City V Everton game the two appeals for penalties were questionable. On the Aguero one I think he could have had a foul outside the penalty area and he probably looked for the second contact which was less obvious.
On the Sterling one I think the player was too dramatic and he looked like he was going down based on the fact that Stones had committed to the challenge on a wet surface and that Sterling was going nowhere with little other option. I think it could have been given yet I think it would have been what I would call a *looked for* soft penalty rather than a genuine foul. All in all it was one that could go either way. Perhaps when a team is desperate and has umpteen chances then the risk is that it looks to the referee to win it for them with a last gasp penalty appeal. Referees have to be strong in those and in my opinion 100% certain of the penalty as it is such a big decision. City should look at their own performance in front of goal rather than berating the ref for a no call.
As a final point it all shows that referees and assistants can never compete with technology. The official has a single view from his vantage point and in real time. These decisions IMO were genuine calls based on what was presented and I would have no complaint with any of them.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Ah the arm chair position with remote control how wonderful ! lol

I hold the first goal was marginally offside, a lean of the body and head of Defoe clearly closer to the goal line. I think that call was an easy call missed because it was slower in developing .

As far as I could initially make out the timing of Defoe's run at the third goal he looked even with the far defender as the ball was just leaving the foot. Keep in mind the camera angle and the spread across the field. I think the that AR was in a decent position and it was the defender furthest away from him that kept Defoe onside. Defoe was on the dead run the defenders were stationary so a classic close decision that in retrospect always looks suspicious. To some degree we suffer confirmation bias when we review in slow motion and stoppage rewind evaluations of close decisions. The fact Defoe looked over at the AR is in my opinion a bad idea as the AR has NO bearing on stopping play. Yes he could raise a flag but it is the referee whistle not the flag or defenders raising their arms to use the washroom that stops play. I can not fault the AR or CR on that goal as much as it was a rapid movement of events.

I did not think the PK was strong but it was given, In real time from the referee's angle of view he saw contact.
The red card was unfortunate I thought the send off decision harsh it will likely be appealed. The referee saw it as a stud stomp from his angle and in real time

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