It could have been a very costly mistake and Rob McNichol wonders whether one his favourite referees gave Wigan a free-kick partly because of Arsenal fans' jibes...
You may think David Luiz's chuckles were unpleasant, but Rob McNichol wonders what else could be done when the officials took exactly the right action...
So Chelsea are in crisis (fans hate the manager), Manchester United are in crisis (out of Europe, lost a lead in the cup), Arsenal are in crisis (eight long trophyless years), Man City are in crisis (no second title for Roberto), Liverpool are in crisis (still mightn't make the European places), Everton are in crisis (losing 0-3 at home to Wigan? Why that's worse than all the hard work Moyesy has done, isn't it?) and Tottenham are in crisis (well, maybe not, but they lost sloppily to 'crisis club' Liverpool, didn't they?).
So, by my reckoning, that makes West Bromwich Albion the best team in the country. And yet it took a big - and very wrong - decision for them to hold onto a winning position at the weekend.
The offside decision against Roland Lamah was laughable - unless you're a Swan - and had it happened during United v Real the recriminations might have been even bigger than the fall-out from Nani's high foot.
Lamah worked his own opening and crossed the ball only to see it ricochet against a defender and the goalkeeper before returning to him. He slotted home and celebrated - after all, he'd just scored a vital equaliser.
Or had he? The flag went up from the assistant to the bemusement of...well, everyone, frankly. Initially, it was a bit of a headscratcher, but some of the reaction was a little over the top. I have read and heard ludicrous chest-thumping about the fact that interpretations of the offside law have gone mad and that the assistant clearly doesn't know the rules.
I'd suggest that quite simply he thought that it was a Swansea player who had last played the ball before it went back to Lamah. Obviously that decision was incorrect, but it was just a poor piece of observation, not a wacky interpretation of events.
I'm more disappointed that the officiating team between them did not get to the bottom of the incident. I would have liked to have seen a discussion between referee and assistant, because even if the linesman thought he saw it strike a Swansea player, referee Lee Mason should have been able to see differently. A quick chat should have solved the problem.
Earlier in the game, at 1-1, West Brom missed a penalty, and the thing that struck me about that was not the award, but how far Michel Vorm was off his line when he saved it. When the ball was struck Vorm was a good yard or two out of his goal.
You could of course argue that on virtually every penalty-kick, players enter the penalty area and nothing is done, but I'd suggest that the assistant's sole job at a penalty is watching whether the keeper moves, and he failed to do so.
It's funny that sometimes goalkeepers can be allowed to do things that other players just wouldn't get away with. Take Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan bumping into the back of Noel Hunt at Reading on Saturday. Guzan just barged the Irishman out of the way so he could catch a high ball. It wasn't two players jockeying for position, it was just one knocking the other one out of his road. Blatant, yet unpunished.
I have more sympathy for referee Jon Moss missing the seemingly obvious shirt-pulling on Christian Benteke which perhaps prevented Villa taking the lead. On that occasion the ball was out wide and the shirt-pulling took place way off the ball. It was unfortunate for Villa, but the ref can't see everything. Guzan on Hunt, though, was the focus of play at the time.
Quelle surprise that a week after I praise Mark Clattenburg for an excellent performance that he is embroiled in a bit of controversy. In fact, I'm not sure anyone came out of Norwich v Southampton with any credit.
First of all, before getting to the contentious penalty that actually was given, you have to address the moment in the first half where Grant Holt was hauled back in plain sight, by the shirt, yet nothing was given. That was very hard on Norwich.
Then, in the dying minutes, City actually were given a penalty for something much less obvious. Holt had a tangle of legs with Luke Shaw and over he went. I don't think it was a dive. I think he went down extremely softly and probably could have stayed up, but I think there was a coming-together. But I think Holt instigated it as much as Shaw. It was just two players running into each other.
For not the first time this weekend, it seemed like a poor piece of communication between referee and assistant. I would think from the assistant's point of view he can see it wasn't a foul, but it seemed like Mark Clattenburg has blown reasonably quickly for a foul. It is noticeable that his view was far worse than the assistant's. I think the delay and discussion was not necessarily to discuss whether there was an infringement, but instead to verify if the incident was inside the box or not.
Southampton then let themselves down with their reaction to Mr Clattenburg, with a couple lucky to not be cautioned at least, given how confrontational they were with the referee. The manager entering the field of play at full-time to discuss matters with Mr Clattenburg was pretty comical given that he supposedly cannot speak English.
Then there was a further question mark as, similar to the above with Michel Vorm, although not as pronounced, the Southampton goalkeeper was a step or two off his line before Holt struck the (saved) penalty.
Rob McNichol - follow him on Twitter
The ref and AR's are miked up and are in constant communication. Whilst I accept that the wrong decision was reached it is all about angle s into play. The AR gave his decision on what he saw at the time; if the ref obviously did not it differently or could not be certain....officials cannot guess but only give what they see from the viewing angle they have.- yorkref