“Possibly a career-threatening challenge” – Mark Halsey has his say on last night’s red card incidents

Posted by

Last night was a big one in the Premier League’s relegation battle as both Everton and Burnley looked to grab some vital points over Leeds United before the final day of the season. 

There were remarkable scenes at Goodison Park as Everton came back from 2-0 down at halftime, to win 3-2 and confirm Premier League football for another season. As for Burnley, they failed to get all three points but did manage to get one and now have destiny in their own hands going into the final round of fixtures.

As the stakes and tension were high in both games, that brewed some moments to talk about and there were plenty of red card incidents that provoked discussion.

Former Premier League referee, Mark Halsey, spoke exclusively to CaughtOffside to help make sense of the decisions and starting with Aston Villa vs Burnley, the former official shared his thoughts on the Ashley Barnes’ elbow on Tyrone Mings, stating: “Barnes was extremely lucky not to see red for what looks like a deliberate elbow into Mings’ face, I’m astonished that VAR never looked at it. Perhaps, that’s why we don’t have any VARs going to the World Cup.

“Had Paul Tierney seen that and sent Ashley Barnes off, I don’t think Burnley could have any complaints but even more, I’m not sure how John Brooks, in Stockley Park, has not seen that and recommended a review, it’s astonishing to be fair.”

Barnes was lucky to still be on the pitch says Halsey

Later in the game, Matthew Lowton was sent off for a tackle on Calum Chambers and on that decision, Halsey stated: “It’s a subjective decision. The challenge, was it reckless or was it a challenge that endangered the player’s safety? I think what was far worse was the Everton one we saw [Ayew tackle].

“I think had Paul Tierney issued a yellow, in the first place, I don’t think that would have been overturned and I don’t think Tierney would have been called over for a recommended review; I think it would have stayed because it is subjective. Some will say it was a reckless challenge and some will say, well perhaps it is a serious foul play challenge.”

Moving on to Everton vs Crystal Palace and one of the season’s most astonishing decisions was how Jordan Ayew stayed on the pitch after a terrible tackle on Anthony Gordon. Speaking on that decision, Halsey agrees as much, stating: “I thought it was a very poor challenge, that did endanger the player’s safety. He’s come from the side, he’s come across like a scissors kick just below the knee and that challenge was a very, very poor challenge.

“Once again, I’m not sure how VAR never recommended that challenge for review. We’ve seen challenges in the last few weeks, Ayling at Arsenal, which was recommended for review and subsequently, Ayling was sent off, Rondon’s challenge as well against Brentford.

“I thought that was a very, very poor challenge, possibly a career-threatening challenge because that could’ve done serious damage to Gordon.”

The former Premier League referee continued by saying: “Anthony Taylor wouldn’t have had a good view because when Ayew’s going in for the challenge on Gordon he’s got his back to him so he cannot see the intensity of the challenge, so had he been on the other side or front on, he may have had a different view. Having said that, I am surprised VAR never got involved and recommended a review.”

Ayew’s terrible tackle on Gordon
More Stories ashley barnes Jordan Ayew Mark Halsey Matthew Lowton