7 The Daily Telegraph Monday 21 September 2020 *** In setting up all of Son Heung-min’s goals, Harry Kane is only the sixth Premier League player to provide four assists in one game and the first Englishman Goal 4 Goal 3 Tottenham Southampton Run Shot Pass Tottenham Southampton Run Shot Pass Son Kane Son Kane Again dropping deep, Kane plays a ball over the top for his team-mate to score On the right flank, Kane clips another pass into Son, who makes no mistake I had referees from all over the world contacting me over the weekend, expressing their bemusement at two inexplicable handball decisions. The first came on Saturday when Victor Lindelof, the Manchester United centre-half, was penalised after the ball struck him on the arm. The second happened yesterday when Tottenham’s Matt Doherty conceded a penalty after the ball bounced up and hit his arm. In both cases, there was nothing the defender could have done to avoid the handball and that would have been clear to the referee when he checked the pitchside monitor. So why were the penalties given? You can only assume that the Professional Game Match Officials Board instructed officials in pre-season to punish accidental handballs even if that runs contrary to the rule book. The Laws of the Game state that an accidental handball is punishable only when it leads to a goal or a goalscoring opportunity. Neither of these situations applied here. Clearly, David Coote, at St Mary’s, and Martin Atkinson before him, reached the wrong conclusion, and in the latter’s case it led to a penalty that arguably changed the course of the game at Old Trafford. Michael Oliver was presented with a similar situation when the ball struck Gabriel’s arm too quickly for the Arsenal centre-back to get out of the way. In choosing to reject West Ham’s demands for a penalty, Oliver made
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