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11th November 2013

A relatively quiet weekend on the refereeing front with most games passing off without major incident.

Obviously the major talking point was the last minute penalty at Stamford Bridge that preserved Jose's unbeaten home league record.

I can't help thinking that was why so much fuss was made over the penalty. Had it have happened at Norwich v Fulham or Villa v Cardiff I don't think much would have been said about it.

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The new terminology, "soft penalty", has become prevalent recently but a penalty is penalty, just like a death is a death and murder is murder. The degrees are not important the end result is the same.

We all know that the correct decision is even more difficult to make with players doing their utmost to deceive opponents and officials by going to ground far too easily, often instigated by the merest contact.

So to the Chelsea penalty and I have looked at it over and over again, something Andre Marriner the match referee did not have the benefit of doing before he awarded the match saving opportunity to Chelsea.

Steven Reid definitely makes contact with Ramires who was travelling at speed and that contact is likely to have unbalanced the Chelsea man as he prepared to shoot. Its all opinion, but for me I don't think the ref was wrong on this occasion.

Sunderland surprised everybody with their deserved victory over away day strugglers Manchester City despite having to face the Alamo late on. Their task might have been even more difficult had they have played well over half of the game with ten men, as Larsson should have seen red for his over the top tackle on Garcia.

The Ref did not see the incident clearly you would imagine as otherwise a card would have been shown. Surely the FA will step in and ban the Sunderland man. If they do that will be three Sunderland players serving three match bans, deservedly so as they were guilty of very poor challenges.

The last game of the weekend ended in controversy as Stoke won a point with a last kick penalty. Earlier in the game Ashley Williams was lucky not to see red for an over the top challenge. The penalty though left the Swans fuming.

Rule number one, if no-one appeals for a penalty there is a very good chance there isn't one.

The referee thought he saw something but he was mistaken. No intent and questionable as to whether the ref had a clear view so sudden rush of blood to the head and penalty given.

He's a new referee on the Premier League list and he hopefully will learn from this error.

Have a good week.

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