Mark Halsey: Three most controversial games

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Long-standing Premier League referee Mark Halsey officiated his last ever fixture – Norwich City’s 3-2 victory over Manchester City – recently, having valiantly battled back from suffering a cancerous tumour in his throat and prolonged break from the game between 2009 and 2010.

Here we take a look at some of most controversial games officiated by Halsey in recent years.

1. League Cup Final – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea, 24 February 2008      

The 2008 League Cup final saw Tottenham overcome a first-half Didier Drogba goal to win 2-1 in extra-time. Jonathan Woodgate’s headed winner came after Halsey had awarded Spurs a 68th minute penalty for a handball by Wayne Bridge, subsequently converted by Dimitar Berbatov.

A moment of real controversy had emerged earlier however, when Halsey blew the final whistle in normal time with Chelsea’s Solomon Kalou one on one with Paul Robison, much to the dismay of his team-mates and club staff.

2. Premier League – Liverpool vs. Manchester United, 23 September 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was infuriated when Halsey sent off midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in this fiery affair, but not United defender Jonny Evans after a coming-together in the 39th minute. He went on to also award United a late penalty to hand them a 2-1 victory, leaving the official the victim of disgraceful abuse on social networking site Twitter.

3. Premier League – Wigan Athletic vs. Newcastle United, 17 March 2013     

Whilst Wigan’s 2-1 win at the DW stadium then greatly increased the club’s chance of survival, the game was embroiled in controversy as Halsey failed to send-off Wigan youngster Callum McManaman for his dreadful challenge on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara. 

The official also failed to spot a handball prior to Wigan’s winning goal, whilst his assistant apparently saw the McManaman challenge and decided not to flag, meaning the FA were unable to enforce any retrospective punishment. 

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