Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey gives verdict on controversial Gabriel call at Old Trafford

Arsenal defender Gabriel should have been sent off against Manchester United on Sunday.

That may sound bitter because we lost the game, but given how we performed against the Gunners I’m not sure them being down to 10 men would have made much a difference.

United simply weren’t at the races and Arsenal made it very clear on the day that they wanted it more. We spoke more in-depth about the game on this week’s Strettycast (Episode 78) so give that a listen and feel free to give us feedback.

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has admitted the decision regarding Gabriel was a ‘subjective’ one.

The controversial moment came in the 73rd minute as Gabriel fouled Mason Greenwood.

Gabriel was already on a yellow card at the time for obstructing Marcus Rashford on a potential break.

Greenwood was hacked to the floor after beating Gabriel with some skill.

Halsey thinks referee Mike Dean handled the situation ‘very well’.


Speaking to Caught Offside, Halsey said: “I think the second one, not that we want to see cheap yellow cards in the Premier League, it is subjective, it’s one of those that on another day, another referee would’ve issued a second yellow card.

“I wouldn’t criticise Mike Dean, who comes in for a lot of criticism for handing out yellow and red cards quite frequently, but on this occasion I think it’s subjective.

“I thought Mike took the managed approached to it, warned Gabriel that one more and he’d be on his way.”

“When you referee top games in the Premier League, it’s about managing the game, the occasion and the players and I thought he handled that situation very well.”

Follow Halsey on Twitter – @RefereeHalsey

Read more: Man United fans talk up underutilised midfielder after Arsenal defeat

More Stories Arsenal Gabriel Manchester United Mark Halsey Mason Greenwood


  1. Greenwood went down as if hit by a sniper rather than a coming together of two players which probably also influenced the referee – if he hadn’t been in the penalty box he probably would not have gone over at all.
    Play acting is never a good look and quite rightly didn’t get the outcome Greenwood was aiming at.

  2. Clearly its easy to notice you dont understand football greenwoods foul was an actual guaranteed foul gabriel was to late with the tackle and as cheaply as committed he claimed no foul the ref on the other hand has alot to think about because not calling that shows how unfair refs can be and how they contributed to themselves being hated

  3. The referees and linesman must really look at falls in the box as it really becomes a joke at times to see wat the refs. call is, not to say the so called VAR. Please try and right this
    as its costing clubs. The Marshall incident, what a joke gets send off, but the culprit stay on.

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