In case you have not come across this series before, we have reviewed hundreds of matches over the past few years – both matches involving Arsenal and those not. At the end of the seasons we’ve also compared the way referees have handled different teams.
Ref for this match was Martin Atkinson
A few interesting talking points in this match and to start with a big one : the Arsenal goal.
I can’t remember having to deal with such a close offside decision ever in our reviewing history. But when the line was shown on tv you could see that Özil was offside with half a foot. Now I must say that the line was based on the feet of the Tottenham defender so there could have been another body part of that defender that played Özil onside. But based on the evidence Özil was offside and so the assistant should have raised his flag.
So I will say it was not a correct goal. However if I had been the assistant I also wouldn’t have given it as offside. Because in case of doubt you have to give the advantage to the attacker. And if ever there was a case of doubt this was it. But based on video review the goal could and should have been cancelled.
The next important decision was to not card Mason for a scissor tackle on Özil. Ref Atkinson not being able to detect serious fouls….now where did we hear that story again in the last days? Clamping your legs around an opponent is always dangerous for injuries so no excuses for missing the yellow card.
Arsenal had two penalty appeals for handball. I turned them down on both occasions. The first one was when the ball bounced between an Arsenal player and a Tottenham defender. Both players standing very close to each other at a throw and it was more the ball rolling down from shoulder height and then bouncing from chest to chest and some arm contact. The other one was when Mason tried to clear a ball and kicked it against his own arm. No problem with the non-decision of the ref on both occasions.
Bentaleb with a kick in the stomach of Ramsey and again the ref kept the yellow card in his pocket. But of course when Arsenal players even don’t commit fouls but other players go down in a spectacular way the cards come out for Monreal and Welbeck. So next time you play with Atkinson make sure that the tumble is spectacular if you want other players to be booked.
Let us move on to the second half. And again Atkinson showing himself as incapable of spotting dangerous and this time reckless challenges. Rose planted his studs on the Achilles of Giroud without the ref even calling a foul. That was an ankle breaker. Rose should have been sent off for that. You don’t plant your studs on a player like that.
Next thing missed was Dembele making a deliberate foul on Ramsey who wanted to start chasing another Tottenham player. Dembele was watching the run of Ramsey and made sure he obstructed him. Monreal tried to get out of the way in the first half and got a yellow, Dembele got nothing not even a foul and he was making a deliberate off the ball foul. Oh the ref saw it and even signalled advantage for Tottenham…. strange.
Lamele handling the ball and Atkinson not seeing it, then stopping play as the arm also touched Monreal in the face for a possible head wound and then restarting the match with a dropped ball. How many fouls do you have to see before you give a foul Mr. Atkinson?
Then Mason stopped a quickly taken free kick by sticking out his leg and hit the ball. He got a yellow card for that but it should have been his second after his scissor tackle on Özil in the first half. We are in minute 78 with a score of 1-1 at that moment. So either Mason would not have done it and Arsenal could have gone on to have a possible goal chance or he would have been sent off. Could have made a difference.
Next missed call was when Giroud was pulled back but nothing was given, Giroud then went in late and got a yellow card. If the ref had given the first foul the second one and the card would not have been given. Rose finally getting a yellow card in the dying seconds when he should have been off the field already.
The first half score with a total score of 60% and when we put weight on the decisions the score goes to 61%. Only looking at the important decisions the score goes down to 50%.
In the second half the overall score was 62,50% and when we put weight on the decisions the score was 60%. Looking at the important decisions the score was 58%.
The total score over 90 minutes was 61,54% and when we put weight on the decisions the score was 60,76%. On the important decisions the final score was 55%.
So not really a great score. In fact another low score. Another unacceptable score.
21 wrong decisions in 90 minutes was the final count. Too much to be acceptable. 12 normal wrong decisions and 9 important decisions where we had to put weight on the decisions.
The bias score was typical for Atkinson in an Arsenal match with a bias of 90% against Arsenal. But he made one important error in favour of Arsenal, or better said his assistant. But far too lenient with some dangerous and one reckless challenge. But that is the norm these days at the PGMO it seems.
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