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Former top referee rules on these controversial Brighton v Newcastle incidents

4 weeks ago

Mark Halsey was one of the top Premier League referees back in the day.

The former top referee giving his call on controversial incidents in the Brighton v Newcastle match.

Incidents at both ends of the pitch that have been much talked about since Saturday’s match.

The incidents that Mark Halsey has looked at are…

Firstly, the penalty that was given after a challenge by Ciaran Clark on Leandro Trossard in the Newcastle penalty area just over a quarter of the way through the match.

Secondly, late in the day when Callum Wilson ran onto a ball from the halfway line and with just Robert Sanchez between him and the Brighton goal, the Newcastle striker went to ground as he attempted to go past the home keeper, with a red card given, as well as a free kick over 30 yards out.

Mark Halsey telling Sussex Live what his thoughts were on the two incidents:

The Brighton penalty:

“I think the defender Ciaran Clark has been naive in that situation.

“You can understand if David Coote gives that in real time.

“You could say, ‘Yes, there is contact’.

“When there is contact with a player in the box I like to see them go down straight away. You can see that Trossard takes another step then goes down.

“There is contact and if the referee had given a penalty straight away I don’t know if there would have been any complaints.

“The problem I have with it is that if you are watching an incident for more than two minutes, like they did after a VAR review, you will end up seeing whatever you want to find.”

“Was it a clear and obvious error? You could say no. Earlier on in the day, Alex Telles fouled Gabriel Jesus in the Manchester Derby in a very similar incident,”

“VAR did not intervene. So where is the consistency? When you see a clear and obvious error you only need one look.

“If it was given in real time I don’t think there would have been a problem but the fact that he didn’t give it, David Coote was in an excellent position to judge, and then the review takes more than two minutes and then they watch it in slow motion.

“That cannot be right. If you look long enough for a penalty you will find a penalty. If it takes you two minutes to mull over, it cannot be clear and obvious.”

Red card for Robert Sanchez:

“The law is very clear, a player that is denied a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity, the player has to be sent off if he has not made a genuine challenge within his penalty area.

“In this instance, he clearly caught him.

“You have got to look at the direction of play, the likelihood of gaining or regaining control of the ball, the distance from the goal, and the number of defenders in the vicinity.

“So that met the criteria of an obvious goalscoring opportunity.

“My only concern is how David Coote has not seen that in real time.”

A pretty good summing up by Mark Halsey I think.

It was astonishing with that second incident, when the referee on the pitch, David Coote, didn’t give an instant red card. Instead Newcastle United having to totally rely on VAR for some kind of minimal justice, although we’d all have far rather seen no foul and red card, instead Callum Wilson rolling the ball into an empty net after rounding Sanchez.

As for the penalty, as Halsey says, if Coote had given the spot-kick straight away, nobody could have criticised based on seeing the instant as it happened and judging it as so. However, once VAR got involved, was it really a ‘clear and obvious error’ by the referee on the pitch, not to give it? Surely not and as Mark Halsey says, having to study replays for a couple of minutes and the fact that Trossard doesn’t go down initially, only doing so theatrically a moment later, surely should have cast enough doubt on it being that supposed clear and obvious error.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Brighton 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 6 November 5.30pm



Trossard pen 24, Sanchez 90+2 red card


Hayden 66

Stats in brackets are at half-time:

Possession was Brighton 66% (67%) Newcastle 34% (33%)

Total shots were Brighton 14 (6) Newcastle 6 (2)

Shots on target were Brighton 5 (3) Newcastle 1 (0)

Corners were Brighton 2 (2) Newcastle 5 (2)

Referee: David Coote

Crowd: 31,267 (Newcastle 3,100)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Murphy, Krafth (Gayle 90+4), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Almiron (Joelinton 74), Saint-Maximin, Wilson

Unused Subs:

Dubravka, Schar, Lewis, Fraser, Willock, Longstaff, Manquillo

(Graham Potter reflects after dropping points to one shot on target Newcastle United – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer on the money with verdict after Newcastle make it 12 games and no wins – Read HERE)

(Brighton 1 Newcastle 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Brighton 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s comeback draw – Read HERE)

(Alan Shearer on that Brighton penalty and…Eddie Howe getting Newcastle United job – Read HERE)


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