There was plenty of drama on the opening weekend of the Premier League season, and with that came some controversial refereeing decisions.
Simon Hooper was handed his first Premier League fixture, taking charge of Norwich City versus Crystal Palace, and there were a number of contentious decisions that went against the Canaries.
After going 2-0 down, Alex Neil’s men fought back to 2-1 before Cameron Jerome acrobatically fired home into the top corner. However, his celebrations were short-lived with Hooper deciding the striker’s foot was too high and chalking the goal off.
Then, at 2-1, Sebastien Bassong was bundled over by Connor Wickham in the penalty area, but the decision again didn’t go the way of Neil’s men, and Palace soon broke away to score and wrap up the points.
Even Palace manager Alan Pardew admitted the goal probably should have stood, and Jerome tweeted this after the match:
I still think refs should be able to come out and explain decisions after the game! Take nothing away from #CPFC great counterattack team
— cameron jerome (@camjerome33) August 8, 2015
Is it time for referees to face the media post-match?
Elsewhere, there was praise for Michael Oliver, despite Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho keeping quiet on Oliver’s display during the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Swansea City.
Oliver dismissed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after he brought down Swans striker Bafetimbi Gomis, with the Belgian stopper denying a clear goalscoring opportunity and, despite some Chelsea protests, the foul was just inside the box.
Mourinho’s opposite number, Garry Monk, unsurprisingly thought Oliver got the decision right, and that was perhaps backed up by a Courtois apology on social media later in the evening.
2-2 , red card, not the start I expected. Sad to let the team down on that moment. They fought really hard till the end to win this game !
— Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) August 8, 2015
Elsewhere, Craig Pawson had a flashpoint at St James Park when Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic launched himself at Southampton full back Matt Targett within seconds of coming on as a second-half substitute.
Pawson, along with his assistants, had impressed throughout and his handling of the situation was spot on once more – cautioning the debutant who was no doubt trying to endear himself to the Magpies faithful.