Champions League final referee got Benzema’s disallowed goal and other big decisions right, says Mark Halsey

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Karim Benzema’s disallowed goal for offside in the first half of the Champions League final was the correct decision by referee Clement Turpin, who had a good game in Paris.

The offside rule can be confusing at times, and this was a complex situation. That is why it took three minutes 22 seconds for the VAR team to make their call.

The first thing to say is the Real Madrid striker was in an offside position because there was only one Liverpool player between him and the goal.

Benzema originally had broken the offside trap, cut inside and after a mix up between Alisson and Ibrahima Konate, the ball broke to Federico Valverde.

The Real midfielder touched the ball forward and that is key because although Konate and Fabinho deflected the ball into Benzema’s path, their actions were deemed as not a deliberate play, the initial offside does not get reset.

Law 11 offside states: a player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has: rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent.

Clement Turpin was the right choice for the Champions League final

I think Clement Turpin proved to be an excellent appointment by Uefa for the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

The experienced 40-year-old has been an international referee since 2010 and he has the trust of Uefa refs’ chief Roberto Rosetti and that’s vitally important for European football’s showpiece match.

Once French giants Paris Saint-Germain went out of the competition then he was always a frontrunner to officiate the Stade de France final.

Last season he officiated the Europa League final between Manchester United and Villarreal and was also the fourth official when Liverpool lost to Real in the Kiev final four years ago.

He has refereed seven Champions League matches so far, including the quarter-final first leg between Chelsea and Real at Stamford Bridge.

Turpin is highly-rated and his performances in the competition this season earned him his final spot, and I think we can say he got the big calls right last night.

I like his manner and his man-management of matches, he doesn’t brandish cards too quickly, he tries to use common sense when he can and all of that gains the respect and trust of the players.

Premier League refereeing needs to improve next season

The Champions League final was a good night for the match officials, but overall I feel it wasn’t the best in the Premier League in 2021/22.

There have been so many bad decisions over the course of the season. So much inconsistency with VAR and penalty decisions in particular.

The main talking point has to be the use of VAR in the Premier League – you don’t know what you’re going to get from one game to the next. Holding and pulling in the penalty area – sometimes we see a penalty given and sometimes we don’t.

PGMOL chief Mike Riley said at the beginning of the season that toenails and heels wouldn’t go against teams when looking at offsides, but we did see some of those very marginal calls given as offside. Still, I think the use of VAR needs to improve, that’s the challenge for the PGMOL and their officials.

A tribute to the retiring Mike Dean

Mike Dean

The Premier League will miss Mike Dean because he’s been an excellent referee. A lot of people will be happy to see the back of him as he retires but he’s been an outstanding servant to the PGMOL.

Dean has officiated more than 500 Prem games and his quality and consistency of performance has kept him at the top. He has not decided what he is going to do next but he will be sorely missed.

Dean was not the only referee to hang up his whistle yesterday as Martin Atkinson, who was an elite official, and Jon Moss are also retiring. Moss was a decent ref but he wasn’t in the same class as Dean or Atkinson, for me.

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