• Brett Rosenheim

Premier League Matchday 2 Recap

This past weekend Premier League fans witnessed a controversial, action filled Matchday 2, with 3 red cards, a WHOPPING 44 goals (including 3 games with 7 goals each) and several key decisions that could’ve gone either way!

West Ham supporters will feel that Arsenal new boy Gabriel Magalhaes was lucky to not be disciplined for a penalty after the ball seemed to strike his arm when defending a West Ham free kick. URef users were divided as ever, with an 8% swing in favour of the referee’s decision to allow play to go on. When asked about the decision after the game, David Moyes was unhappy with the call, saying “It hit’s the boys arm. Even with the old rules we’d be saying it’s the penalty”. The Brazilian was involved in another penalty shout when he appeared to take Jarrod Bowen down in the box. It was a tough call to make, suggested by the mere 58% of URef users that agreed there was not enough contact to warrant a spot kick.

Majority of URef users disagreed with VAR’s decision to overrule David Coote’s initial non-call to award Southampton a penalty for a handball on Doherty. Just 42% of users agreed with the decision! Spurs fans will be glad it wasn’t enough to deprive them of 3 points they thoroughly deserved after devastating displays from Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane. URef users also were split 50/50 for a non-call to keep Oriol Romeu on the pitch after a clumsy challenge on Giovani Lo Celso, after the Spaniard was handed a yellow card just 5 mins into the fixture.

The Manchester United v Crystal Palace game involved Victor Lindelöf conceding a penalty when his hand interfered with a Jordan Ayew cross. While 64% of URef users approved with VAR’s review, the real controversy came when Jordan Ayew’s saved penalty was called to be retaken after David de Gea appeared to step off his line in the midst of saving the spot kick! When asked about the decision to retake the penalty, former Newcastle United midfielder Jermaine Jenas spoke as a pundit on Match of the Day in the UK and asked for “some common sense”, while ex-Liverpool forward Danny Murphy criticized the pedantic nature of the new rules.

Red in the Face

The notorious Mike Dean awarded his first red card of the season to West Bromwich Albion’s Kieran Gibbs after a moment of madness from the ex-Arsenal left back. Gibbs, seemingly unprovoked, shoved James Rodriguez in the face away from play and there was no denying the referee made the correct call. In what was a brilliant game to watch for the neutral fan, Mike Dean otherwise had little to do and only awarded one other yellow card for Abdoulaye Doucouré in the first half.

Referee of the Week

A solid display from Kevin Friend has earned him his first Ref of the Week title this season! A penalty and a red card meant Friend had to be on his toes, but URef users had an overall approval rating of 84% for his 3 key decisions in the match. There could be no denying Saint-Maximin’s challenge on Lamptey warranted a penalty kick, while Friend successfully took advantage of the pitch-side monitor this week to review Yves Bissouma’s clumsy challenge that ended up with his boot in Jamal Lewis’ face and was certainly a red card offence.

Next week Look Out for…

Liverpool v Arsenal promises to be an exciting fixture as both teams have started the season with 2 victories. With Gabriel being successful in two VAR reviews against West Ham and Mane being denied a goal scoring opportunity by Andreas Christensen, it will be interesting to see how these players fare against each other!

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