Ref for this match was Mark Clattenburg
A bad start for the assistant when he ruled Özil offside when he was clearly not. Özil scored but we don’t know really if this was because of the CP defender stopping after the whistle or not. So will not take the goal decision as a wrong itself.
The next minute Coquelin planted his studs on the chest of Campbell. If this was an Arsenal player being stamped on the chest (Cazorla at Liverpool, Alexis against Newcastle,…) I wanted to see a red card so no problem for me to say that we have been lucky on that moment when Clattenburg did nothing. Not even a yellow. Maybe he thought it was too soon in the match and this was the first foul of the match. But we were lucky anyway.
Monreal then slipping (the pitch was very slippery in some places) and taking Zaha down without the ref giving a foul. A mistake in favour of Arsenal once again for me.
Next talking point the penalty. Welbeck was fouled once outside the penalty area (half on the line) and once inside the penalty area. The first foul was also made with the foot of the defender on the line of the penalty area so already half a penalty one could say. But the ref was entitled to give the penalty as the second foul was clearly inside. Cazorla converted it in to a correct goal.
Coquelin then got a yellow card a bit later when Gayle went down. I had the impression it was a dive but the director only showed one angle and in that angle another Crystal Palace player was blocking the view on the incident. So I gave the decision as correct to the ref but I had a big feeling it was a dive. So I also agreed with the yellow card (if it was a foul) but the doubt is still there. This is why I would love to be in the directors seat and pick any camera angle myself.
Gayle was looking to go down whenever an Arsenal player came near to him and Clattenburg did fall for it but this time the card rightfully didn’t come out.
For the second Arsenal goal there was some debate if it was offside or not. Welbeck looked level at the replays I got to see when the ball was played and so if there is doubt the attacker should get the benefit of the call. So for me it was the correct decision to let Welbeck continue his run. Maybe the assistant made up for his earlier miss with Özil?
Taken all this on board the ref had a score of almost 77% in total and when we put weight on the decisions his score is also 77%. Looking at the important decisions his score was 83%. Well done in fact, a nice balanced half. His bias in the first half also was rather very nice to Arsenal. One important decision going our way and only minor decisions going for Crystal Palace.
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On to the second half.
Early on a corner was not given when the Crystal Palace keeper used the crossbar to put a ball out of play. And a minute later Ledley pulled down Alexis to stop a quick Arsenal attack. That should have been a yellow card and after he had received one in the first half for a same infringement he should have been sent off. A bit negating the not sending off of Coquelin one could say.
Giroud got booked for a clumsy challenge as you can usually see forwards do when they are trying to defend. The fans of Crystal Palace shouted for a penalty when the ball hit the arm of Chambers but it was a header from close range and his arm was in front of his body so certainly no deliberate handball and the ref was right to let it go.
Alexis being fouled on the edge of our own penalty area but the ref let it go and gave a foul against Monreal who stuck out a leg and the Crystal Palace player made sure he went down. Luckily the free kick went just wide as it would have been unfair to score from a free kick that should have gone the other way.
But that was one of the few errors he made in this second half.
His score in the second half was 77% overall and when we put weight on the decisions his score was almost 83%! Only looking at the important decisions his score in the second half was 66%.
Overall score over the whole 90 minutes was …yes 77%. If we put weight on the decisions the score was just under 80%. And only looking at the important decisions the score was 75%.
So that looks all rather nice and well. One of the better referee performances we have seen all season.
The bias in the first half was rather balanced but in the second half if he made mistakes it was in favour of Crystal Palace. It didn’t change the outcome of the match but still that is the only bad remark I can make when I look at that. He lost his bias balance somewhere at half time and that is why we maybe got more problems in the second half than we had in the first half.