Dermot Gallagher shares verdict on major controversy in Leeds United vs Arsenal
Dermot Gallagher believes referee Chris Kavanagh got the big decisions right during Leeds United’s defeat to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
The Whites had a goal disallowed at the start of the second half and then had a penalty awarded and overturned in stoppage time at the end of the game as they made it six games without a win despite a strong performance against the league leaders.
But speaking during the “Ref watch” segment live on Sky Sports [17 October], Gallagher felt the goal was rightly ruled and that it would have been harsh to award a penalty and send off Gabriel for what he described as a “petulant” incident.
“I thought it was a foul,” he said of the goal.
“When you see it, it’s hard to say it’s not a foul. The interesting thing is Bamford has pointed to his chest there, as if to say it isn’t a handball. But you can see quite clearly he pushes him in the back.”
Gallagher then defended the referee and officials for how they handled the incident with Gabriel, saying the kick wasn’t violent conduct and that Bamford “quite clearly” committed a foul first so it couldn’t be a penalty.
“I think this is a really interesting incident because the referee doesn’t give anything,” he continued.
“He goes across to the assistant, and he says he thinks Gabriel has kicked out violently, so it has to be a penalty because the ball was in play. So he’s given a penalty and a red card.
“You see quite clearly that Patrick Bamford has committed a foul and then the kick is petulant, it’s unsporting, but it’s not violent.
“So when he goes to the TV monitor VAR tells him to have another look and ultimately the right decision is made.
“There’s no doubt Gabriel has flicked out, I think it’s petulant, reckless at worst but it’s not violent for me. It would be very unfair for a centre-half to be serving a three-match ban for what wasn’t an act of violent conduct.”
When you see the incidents happen you can see that they were probably the right decisions, but that doesn’t make the chaos of the game easier to swallow in defeat.
The first half was poor, but Marsch really changed the game with his half-time substitute and Arsenal couldn’t handle the intensity or the press, but we lacked the quality to put the ball in the back of the net.
The goal being disallowed was a kick in the teeth as nobody even noticed the foul beforehand, while Bamford then followed that up with missing a penalty that was given.
To add to that misery it was then his foul that got the penalty at the end ruled out, so while it was a great performance from him overall he ended up costing us the game in the end.
The officials weren’t to blame because ultimately they got the decisions right, but it still seems unfortunate that they all went against us once again.