Date: 21st December 2020 at 6:35pm
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Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has been sharing his thoughts on current top-flight referee Craig Pawson and his handling of the penalty incident during Tottenham Hotspur’s recent 2-0 defeat to Leicester City. 

Late on in the first half of the north London club’s game against Leicester, Spurs full-back Serge Aurier gave away a penalty after shoving Wesley Fofana in the back on the edge of the Spurs box which Pawson was advised to review on the pitchside monitor.

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Jamie Vardy converted the penalty before a Toby Alderweireld own goal in the second half secured the three points for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Speaking exclusively to This Is Futbol, Halsey had this to say on Pawson’s handling of the penalty incident in the first half of the match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

He said: “It’s alarming for me that a supposed referee of Craig Pawson’s calibre [missed the incident]. I mean, he’s four yards away from the incident. He’s got an absolute clear view, [the] best seat in the house.

“Aurier has got no chance of winning the ball, he’s got no chance of winning that ball. It’s a clumsy challenge, a clear foul and of course into the box, it’s a penalty.

“How Craig Pawson has not recognised that is beyond me. I’d be kicking myself if I missed an incident like that.”

Although many Spurs fans would probably disagree, this incident was a prime example of how VAR can help the referees officiate the games to a higher standard by helping them review potential penalty incidents like the one against Aurier if they originally missed them in real-time.

Moving forward, many Spurs fans will be hoping that Aurier or any other Lilywhites player doesn’t give away any silly penalties that costs them any points throughout the remainder of the season.

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Given how Aurier was given a poor match rating of 5.58/10 for his performance against Leicester, the lowest of any Spurs player on the day, he will need to make sure he doesn’t repeat this type of performance again or he could find himself out of the team in the future.