Dermot Gallagher reviews controversial decisions in the Premier League after each round of games, on behalf of Sky Sports, but has now been asked to review the whole season and pick out what the very best and worst decisions were.

The former top ref has gone back eight months, when the season was only a few weeks old.

The very best and worst happening on consecutive days back in September 2017.

The games were when Manchester City hammered Liverpool 5-0 on Saturday 9 September and then Newcastle winning 1-0 at Swansea the following day.

Dermot Gallagher believes that it was a great decision to send off Sadio Mane for his high foot that injured Man City keeper Ederson.

However, he thinks it was totally inconsistent to not then send off Matt Ritchie, the Newcastle winger only getting a yellow for a high foot on Swansea’s Alfie Mawson.

I would argue that no two incidents are ever exactly the same and just as two relatively similar tackles can have different outcomes, it is the same as Sane and Ritchie. The Liverpool player’s actions were more dangerous and reckless than those of Matt Ritchie.

Dermot Gallagher asked on Sky Sports what the best and worst refereeing decisions of the season were.

‘Best decision…


Sadio Mane is sent off by Jon Moss for a high boot on Man City goalkeeper Ederson in Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat at the Etihad in September.


Did this set the tone for the rest of the season regarding high boots? Yes and no. When this happened, it came out of the blue. I look at it and think Mane has gone high, leading with studs, with speed and intensity, the goalkeeper has gone to head the ball, no doubt.

I don’t think for one minute he has gone to hurt the player, but he has caught him. It’s indefensible to expect to keep him on the field.

It still split people on that Saturday morning. I looked at it and thought: “How can you keep a player on for doing that?”

And the worst…


Matt Ritchie’s high boot on Alfie Mawson in Newcastle’s 1-0 win at Swansea in September is punished only by a yellow card by Mike Jones.


This came just a day after Mane’s challenge. In my opinion, having worked so hard on the Saturday to explain why Mane’s was a red card, I find it difficult to explain on the Sunday why the referee hadn’t given a red card.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose


    • Peaky

      Good holiday Moose ? Did Nutty behave ? When’s the next one ?

  • Peaco

    A good referee is one that you don’t notice allowing the game to naturally ebb and flow as far as i’m concerned. This spectacle of “celebrity” refs trying to carve a slice of the action for themselves is absolutely appalling – what’s all this high-giving and hugs they do before a match with their linesmen – makes me cringe. Can you imagine what Dickie Bird or Pierre Luigi Colina would make of it? Gallagher though is the worst of the worst, And it’s strange to hear him on Sky give his opinion yet seldom refer to the laws of the game.

    • Jezza

      Excellent comment.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      They should not be making money off the back of refereeing as well. The referees becoming pundit z list celebrities. For me the names should not be publicised. The referee name should not be announced before games. He shouldbe mic’d up. If they want the fame they should face the cameras after the match to explain their decisions.

      For me the inconsistency in the officiating only gets worse and they arent interested in improving. Its a jobs for the boys. Last nights decision for me was the worst of season. Goalkeeper denies a goal handling outside box and gets a yellow? A £150m payday for a club and he makes a decision like that being ‘apparently’ one of our best referees? Oh dear…

      • Kneebotherm8

        ‘Twas a terrible non decision by the ref……….Villa should have been down to ten men without a doubt……….the goalie handles a goal bound shot when outside the box and gets a yellow card?………that’s the worst decision I’ve seen all season…..

      • Cockneytrev

        I agree
        Remember a few seasons back when given handleoutside the box and received a straight red, I can’t remember who it was against,,
        I don’t mind decisions against us as long as it’s consistent,, e.g. The shirt pulling penalty this year,,,

    • FatParosite

      Don’t get wound up by retired rent-a-gobs

  • Billmag

    Gallagher is par for the course as far as referees are concerned, looking at the decision’s this season he has never been on our side when reviewing them on a Monday.

  • Himanshu Dhingra

    What about when Huddersfield player did the same to Mbemba

    • Peter C

      (Kungfu) Kachunga was his name, and the challenge drew blood, should’ve of been sent off, but it happened early in the game. A Newcastle player wouldn’t have got off so lightly.

  • Dillon Tovak

    This guy has gone against us with every single call this season.
    I don’t know what his problem is but there’s definitely some bias so he should stop being so unprofessional and grow up.

    • Big Al 1967

      Totally agree. Hated him when he reffed us as well because he never ever gave us a decision. The bloke has an agenda against us and it comes across very clearly when he does his round up
      Remember the Gayle/Mcguire incident at Leicester and then the Arsenal/ Southampton the same weekend when 2 players were sent off for the exactly the same type of incident. Old Dermot said Mcguires yellow was right as were the 2 red cards’!!! For the same thing!! The presenter and pundits were incredulous and tried to challenge him but the old fool was having none of it.

  • ghostrider

    Gallagher is a scripted man of bias for the establishment of the footballing hierarchy.

  • paul mclaughlan


    • huntforbeer

      He always was

  • East Durham Mag

    Does anyone else get the impression Mr.Gallagher might not like Newcastle United that much. All aboard the Sky gravy train Dermot 😏.

  • MadMag83

    Wait, Sane plays for Liverpool?

  • Dingus

    Valencia on Atsu. I bet he didn’t think that was a red at the time

  • Wor Monga

    There was a boatload of worse decisions last season than the Richie foot up decision, there was no malicious intent or dangerous contact, in that incident and it required only a warning which was given whereas the earlier one was straight in at head height and studs up directly into the keeper, which could have led to a serious injury…

    …the verdict (to name and shame an official in this way) should have been made like any other judgment (goals, Managers etc) in football should have been carried out by a panel…

    …after a proper list had been made of the 10 worst decisions over the season, and then given out in order rather than asking one ex ref for his own personal biased opinions!!!

  • Wor Monga

    Nothing shocks me now with the standard of refereeing in this country, and the get outs they have for their mistakes…remember the HBA broken leg assault at Man C, Haidara at Wigan, and Lejeune this season…when players were badly injured but it was a case of…”none of us didn’t see nuffin, M’lud”…

    …then away at Forest last year when 2 of our players were wrongly sent off which left us losing precious points…where was Gobsh*te Gallagher then when we needed him?!!!

    • Peter C

      Couldn’t Agree More, Gallagher One of The Most Overrated Refs There’s Ever Been

  • Rich Lawson

    Utter B######s ! Really that’s the worst you’ve seen this season ? Do you watch football regularly then ? I’m not even going to dignify your choice by listing the other ridiculous decisions I have seen over the year. Ref’s get paid proper money now,time they put some concistency and professionalism into their decisions and consulted the other 3 officials more.

    • Ram Kishore

      This guy believes he’s the number one and wants others who are refereeing to follow his decision..
      Just see how he says that Jon Moss didn’t follow what he said on the day before

  • pedrodelgardo

    Really struggling to get my knickers in a twist about this, coulkd have gone either way which it did.

  • Weyhhadaway

    Opening game, Kane on Lejuene?

    • Phil Scott

      Just about to type this, can’t remember if it was Kane but it was the worst
      “tackle” this season by far.

      • porciestreet

        He only got away with it cos he’s golden nuts. Remember when Neil Lennon decided to headbut shearers boot……..same thing.

    • Red Ray

      Been saying this today too, had kane got the red he deserved we would have probably gone on to win and kept shelvey on the pitch. That would put em both on 1 but would that have stopped Kane getting selected for England? No chance. What a wasted opportunity. Lascelles didn’t even get a look in either.

    • Ken

      Surely the worst decision was the Ritchie penalty to goal kick

    • thewildchimp

      Alli’s yellow for a bone-crusher on De Bruyne for me. But it’s kinda hard to pick between the two. Alli wins because it was out of spite, Kane simply went “full-retard” on Lejeune, like he often does.