Ref Watch: Inconsistency in injury time, Emerson Royal red card, Thiago Silva handball, and more

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher with Ref Watch is here to defend two minutes of injury time after seven substitutions and five goals at the Etihad, among other things.

Although the outcome was already clear, Manchester City fans were surprised when the fourth official signaled only two minutes of extra time at the end of their 6-3 Manchester derby victory over United - despite three separate substitution stops and five second-half goals.

Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal

INCIDENT: Emerson Royal tries to challenge Gabriel Martinelli on the flank, but his studs catch him on the side of the ankle, above his boot. Anthony Taylor shows him a red card, which is then upheld by VAR.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Good choice.

DERMOT SAYS: "I think when you see the assistant's point of view, because I'm sure he played a big part in this, he sees the coming together - this is what they've been working on all season, and I thought it was inevitable there would be a red card."

"We've seen it this season: a challenge directly above the ankle, with the studs. In comparison to the Virgil van Dijk challenge in the Merseyside derby, I defend the referee, but I don't think that was a red card."

Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace

INCIDENT: Thiago Silva is intercepted in possession by Jordan Ayew in the Chelsea half, where he is arguably the last man. He loses his balance during the challenge and falls to the ground, slapping the ball away from the Palace forward who is heading away from goal.

He is cautioned, but Palace chairman Steve Parish tweets, "What is the point of VAR?" in disappointment that he was not sent away

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Good choice.

DERMOT SAYS: "I believe it's a yellow card, and the referee is correct." I believe it is a potential scoring opportunity, though it is not obvious. He must get the ball and travel a long distance towards the goal. Will he be able to beat the defender there? It must be obvious to send him away.

"Someone did throw a red herring at me, saying there are two handballs, so two yellow cards, but you only give one handball, so that one dies."

Aston Villa 0-0 Leeds

Tyrone Mings is brought down from a free-kick inside the Leeds penalty area by Liam Cooper. The incident is waved away by the referee, and the VAR does not intervene after a brief review.

DERMOT'S OPINION: Could have easily been given.

DERMOT SAYS: "That's a huge risk to take, why would you do that?" If his challenge is not seen, and if the VAR sends the referee over to the review monitor, I believe they will recommend a penalty.

"I don't think he'll have much of an argument if he gets a penalty imposed on him."

INCIDENT: Three minutes after halftime, Luis Sinisterra is shown a second yellow card for sticking his leg out to block an Aston Villa free kick inside the opposition half.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Good choice.

DERMOT SAYS: "Why give the referee the chance?" You're on a yellow card because you're simply requesting a decision. He has no choice but to show a yellow card because he has nowhere else to go.

"You're dropped on the halfway point with very little risk, and he's paid a very, very high price. He's left the referee with no choice."

Newcastle 1-4 Fulham

INCIDENT: Nathaniel Chalobah's sliding challenge catches Sean Longstaff on the shin. Darren England initially shows him a yellow card, but VAR intervenes. Mike Dean transfers him to the review monitor, who changes the booking to a red card.

DERMOT'S VERDICT: Good choice.

Brentford 0-0 Bournemouth

Jordan Zemura is knocked off his feet while running into the box by a sliding challenge from Brentford's Kristoffer Ajer. Referee Thomas Bramall waves away penalty appeals but is then sent to the VAR review screen, where he maintains his original decision.


"I thought it was a foul, I thought it was a penalty," DERMOT says. Ajer goes after the man with the ball, and when he's slid in, Zemura goes to jump in - Ajer raises his leg. You don't have to bring your leg up that high when sliding in for the ball, so I believe it's a penalty.

"I wonder if Tom is thinking about Ajer having the ball when he goes to the screen. There's no doubt he'll get it in the end. He might not have realized he'd gone through the player first."