Referee : Craig Pawson
A new ref, a new opponent so for our referee previewer it was new territory as it was for me as a reviewer. So what can we say about the ref his performance. Let us go over the match in a chronological order.
Only 2 small fouls in the first 15 minutes. So we must give credit for Burnley for not trying to kick us off the park from the start. Then a few offside decisions had to be made and the first assistant referee messed up a big one when Gibbs was not even close to being offside when he could have escaped on the left. Not his first mistake against Arsenal in his career. Take note Andrew.
The first real foul was well spotted when Boyd tackled Cazorla from behind who was on a promising run. It took a while before the card was out but he correctly gave it. No complaints from me here.
But alas… I do have to complain about his next decision. Or lack of decision. An Arsenal corner had Boyd clearly losing his mind. And he stuck out his hand well above his head and touched the ball that flew over him. Mertesacker was completely not himself for minutes after the ref ignoring this deliberate handball. That was a stonewall penalty and a booking. And that would have been his second booking. Ref losing many points with this.
And again the assistant was blind and didn’t came to the rescue of his referee. This assistant must go in the book, he has messed up too many times to my liking and always against Arsenal. If Arsenal had been given the penalty and score from it they would have had an easy match probably or at least a much easier match. And probably would have scored more goals against 10 players from Burnley.
For the rest he had a fairly good game in the first half. Only missing a foul on Monreal from Sordell in the last minute. A foul on a defender should always be called referee! Basic rule!
In the second half he had to make only a few decisions. And with the 3 correct goals for Arsenal his score went up a lot. Apart from afoul on Alexis that he missed just before we scored not much wrong. Only in extra time when Arsenal was 3-0 up he missed a pull on Mertesacker so that the latter missed a clearance and Burnley could have scored. Again a foul on a defender that was missed by the ref and again the same assistant didn’t do his job by at least signalling the foul to the ref.
A score in the first half of 72% overall. If we look at the weighted decisions it went down to 58%. The missed penalty and second yellow card responsible for this. Oh and did I told he should have booked Flamini also? He should have booked him in the first half. If we look at the important decision a very bad score. For the same missed things of course. Only 20% correct important decisions. Not that good!
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In the second half his score went up as he has not many fouls in this match. An overall score of almost 85% an weighted it even went up to 89%. Only looking at important decision his score was even 100%. Well done!
If we look at the full 90 minutes he had an overall score of 77%. If we put weight on the decisions he got 72%. And if we look at only the important decisions his score was 50%.
The bias score was in favour of Burnley. Mostly down to the not given penalty and second yellow/red card for Boyd.
Now as this is his first review I will not call the ref biased. I can accept an honest mistake. A video ref could have shown the foul and the penalty but we are not that far yet. We still hope that it will come one day of course. So I will give the ref the benefit of doubt about the not given penalty. If in the future he proves he has the balls to give a penalty to Arsenal I will call this decision an honest mistake. If he refuses to give the most blatant penalties then I can only think that he knows the laws of the PGMOL. Take note: the laws of the game and the laws of the PGMOL are two separate things.
If there are points to keep in mind for the future it will be about his penalty decision and looking at fouls on defenders that he missed each time in extra time of each half. Maybe down to being fatigued?
In short we have seen worse referees if we forget the non action against time wasting where he did as the other referees in the PL: nothing.