Referee Michael Salisbury was correct in every decision made during last Saturday’s Premier League contest between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Such is the opinion of former Premier League referee Graham Poll, who has delivered his verdict on a game full of various controversies.
The first incident arose following Salisbury’s decision to not award a penalty to Wolves following a tackle on Nelson Semedo by Leeds’ Junior Firpo.
Then, Wolves centre-back Craig Dawson managed to survive a VAR check for a potential red card following a tackle on Jack Harrison – and was arguably lucky not to see a second yellow following a challenge on Patrick Bamford later in the match.
As Wolves pressure began to mount after they managed to bring the scoreline back to 2-3 despite previously being 0-3 down, right-back Jonny Otto was sent off following a high challenge on Whites defender Luke Ayling.
Unused Wolves substitute Matheus Nunes was also shown a red card due to an off-field incident after Leeds’ final goal was allowed to stand.
Wolves have received three apologies from refereeing board PGMOL so far this season, but would be mistaken if they believed they should receive another after Saturday’s match, says Poll.
“Wolverhampton Wanderers were not ‘hard done by’ or unfairly treated and there is certainly no apology needed from [head of PGMOL] Howard Webb after an absorbing match at Molineux,” Poll told Betting Sites (as per BirminghamLive).
“There were an unusually high number of big, important decisions for referee Michael Salisbury to make, assisted by VAR, and they did pretty well,” he continued.
“I fully expect Wolves to calm down today, review the video and accept the red cards and subsequent disciplinary action.”
Poll also supported Salisbury on his decisions regarding the various tackles made in the game, and even claimed Wolves were “fortunate” to finish the game with ten men on the pitch rather than nine.
“The first is a shocking tackle by Jonny (Otto) on Leeds’ Luke Ayling. It’s over the top of the ball and studs landing on Ayling’s leg.
It certainly endangers the safety of the opponent and is a clear red card. Salisbury really should have seen it ‘live’ but it is just the sort of situation that VAR was brought in for and the intervention ensured the correct decision was taken.
It could have been worse for Wolves! Wolves were actually fortunate not to see red earlier in the match when Craig Dawson went in on Jack Harrison. Replays showed that a red card could have been justified for Dawson.”
Controversies aside, Saturday’s win saw Leeds head into the international break 14th in the Premier League table, just one point behind the weekend’s opponents with a game in hand.