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Former Arsenal star and BBC commentator slammed by ex-Premier League referee for ‘bonkers’ comment during England game

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JEFF WINTER has slammed Lee Dixon for his comments during England’s win over Holland.

The former England international criticised the linesman in the 23rd minute of the Euro 2024 semi-final as there were two balls on the pitch.

Two balls were on the pitch during England's win over Holland

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Two balls were on the pitch during England’s win over HollandCredit: bbc
This made the referee stop the game with England on the attack

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This made the referee stop the game with England on the attackCredit: bbc
Lee Dixon wanted the linesman to get the ball in order for play to continue

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Lee Dixon wanted the linesman to get the ball in order for play to continueCredit: Getty
Former Premier League ref Jeff Winter hit out at Dixon's comments

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Former Premier League ref Jeff Winter hit out at Dixon’s commentsCredit: Getty

With the score at 1-1, the Three Lions were on the attack, but referee Felix Zwayer was forced to halt the game because of the second ball.

The ball was picked up by the referee and

Dixon, 60, was not impressed as he said on the ITV commentary: “Can’t the linesman just run on the pitch and get rid of that extra ball.

“I just don’t get it.”

Former Premier League referee Winter, 69, was not impressed with the comments as he hit out at the ex-Arsenal star.

He wrote on X: “Oh Lee Dixon! Why can’t the Assistant run on and kick the ball off?

“Perhaps cos the other ball is in play next to him and he’s got other responsibilities!

“Played the game but doesn’t understand it!”

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Winter refereed in the Premier League between 1995 and 2004.

His opinion gathered a lot of support on social media.

Ian Wright and Gary Neville go wild after Watkins’ England winner… but eagle-eyed fans spot Roy Keane’s reaction to goal

England’s controversial penalty

By Mark Halsey

HARRY KANE was gifted a penalty by controversial referee Felix Zwayer.

If England had been on the receiving end of that decision, we would have been absolutely fuming.

The German official, previously banned for six months for his part in a match-fixing scandal, should not have been sent to the pitchside monitor by VAR Bastian Dankert.

Both Denzel Dumfries and Kane had their feet in the air as England’s captain got his shot away.

It was just a clash of legs and certainly NOT a ‘clear and obvious error’.
Once Zwayer went over to the monitor, we knew what was going to happen.

He is an excellent referee but we have seen that none of the officials seem mentally tough enough to stick with their original call.

I know some people will argue Dumfries was late to the tackle and it would have been a free-kick elsewhere on the pitch.

But it is a contact sport and it’s natural that there will be a coming together in instances like that.

Aside from the penalty award, Zwayer had a good game.

There were fears decisions would go against England because of Jude Bellingham’s previous comments about Zwayer.

Bellingham was fined £34,000 in 2021 for blaming Zwayer and his match-fixing past for Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.

But Zwayer was right to caution Bellingham for his reckless challenge on Stefan de Vrij in the second half.

One person commented: “Said the exact same.”

A second agreed: “My thoughts exactly!”

However there were many fans that agreed with Dixon as they claimed it would have been “comment sense”.

One argued: “OMG – I just mentioned the linesman entering the pitch and removing the ball. Dixon repeated my suggestion.”

Another wrote: “It would have been comment sense to have removed it though.”

The Fifa rules stipulate that if there are two balls on the pitch, then the referee must stop play and restart with a drop ball if it interferes with play.

There was some more referee controversy earlier in the game as Harry Kane was awarded a penalty after being caught by Denzel Dumfries.

The likes of Gary Neville and ex-ref Mark Halsey believed that it should not have been a spot-kick.

Hollan captain Virgil van Dijk also hit out at the official after the game as he claimed it was “difficult to accept”.

England went on to find a winning goal and book their spot in the final on Sunday.

Ollie Watkins was the hero as he netted in the 90th minute to send the country into raptures.

The Three Lions will face Spain in the crucial clash at the Olimpiastadion in Berlin.

A supercomputer has rated the Spanish as the favourites, with a 54.3 per cent chance of winning over England.

England vs Spain record

England have played Spain 27 times in total – here is a look at every result…

  • May 1929, Spain 4-3 England – International Friendly (L)
  • December 1931, England 7-1 Spain – International Friendly (W)
  • July 1950, Spain 1-0 England – World Cup (L)
  • May 1955, Spain 1-1 England – International Friendly (D)
  • November 1955, England 4-1 Spain – International Friendly (W)
  • May 1960, Spain 3-0 England – International Friendly (L)
  • October 1960, England 4-2 Spain – International Friendly (W)
  • December 1965, Spain 0-2 England – International Friendly (W)
  • May 1967, England 2-0 Spain – International Friendly (W)
  • April 1968, England 1-0 Spain – European Championship (W)
  • May 1968, Spain 1-2 England – European Championship (W)
  • March 1980, Spain 0-2 England – International Friendly (W)
  • June 1980, England 2-1 Spain – European Championship (W)
  • March 1981, England 1-2 Spain – International Friendly (L)
  • July 1982, Spain 0-0 England – World Cup (D)
  • February 1987, Spain 2-4 England – International Friendly (W)
  • September 1992, Spain 1-0 England – International Friendly (L)
  • June 1996, England 0(4)-(2)0 Spain – European Championship (W)
  • February 2001, England 3-0 Spain – International Friendly (W)
  • November 2004, Spain 1-0 England – International Friendly (L)
  • February 2007, England 0-1 Spain – International Friendly (L)
  • February 2009, Spain 2-0 England – International Friendly (L)
  • November 2011, England 1-0 Spain – International Friendly (W)
  • November 2015, Spain 2-0 England – International Friendly (L)
  • November 2016, England 2-2 Spain – International Friendly (D)
  • September 2018, England 1-2 Spain – Nations League (L)
  • October 2018, Spain 2-3 England – Nations League (W)

Overall, England have won 14, drawn three and lost 10 matches against Spain.

England ratings vs Holland

ENGLAND stormed into the final against Spain thanks to Ollie Watkins’ last-minute strike in the 2-1 win over Holland.

It was a brilliant team performance, but how did each player rate?

SunSport’s Tom Barclay ran the rule over Southgate’s boys, and here’s how he rated them.

Jordan Pickford: 7

Bigger goalkeepers may have got a stronger hand to Xavi Simons’ early stunner – though that was being hypercritical. Solid stop to deny Virgil van Dijk after the hour.

Kyle Walker: 7

Looked re-energised after some lumbering displays and bombed on at times in the first half, despite his role on the right of a back three. Last-ditch tackle on Cody Gakpo was spot on.

John Stones: 7

Strong in possession. He looks to have benefited from regular game-time after rarely featuring for Manchester City in the last few months.

Marc Guehi: 6

Came back into the side after suspension ruled him out of the Switzerland game. Had an unenviable task of making the big man Wout Weghorst after the break.

Bukayo Saka: 7

Razor-sharp in the first half, winning tackles, making runs and dribbling the ball proficiently. Less of an impact after the break, had a goal ruled out for offside and was booked.

Declan Rice: 6

Lost possession for Simons’ thunderous opener but grew into the game, mopping up where necessary. Poor pass when Kane was open midway through the second half.

Kobbie Mainoo: 8

Was England’s youngest-ever player to play in a major-tournament semi-final, aged 19years 82 days, and had a stormer in the first half. Great bursts forward, vital tackles, and his interplay with Foden was a joy.

Kieran Trippier: 6

We all know by now that he is playing out of position, so again he was limited going forward and reliable defensively. Subbed at half-time for the more natural Shaw.

Phil Foden: 7

The first 45 minutes was by far and away his best half of the tournament. Thought he’d scored when his shot was cleared off the line by Denzel Dumfries, and cracked the post with a cracker. But was then surprisingly subbed.

Jude Bellingham: 5

Back at the ground where he made his name but struggled to make much of an impact on his old stomping ground. Fortunate it was not he that was subbed.

Harry Kane: 6

Won and dispatched the penalty to go joint top-scorer in the tournament with three goals. Had looked more mobile initially but still tired badly after the break and was taken off.

SUBS

Luke Shaw (for Kieran Trippier, half-time): 6

Looked assured for a man who has been out for so long.

Ollie Watkins (for Harry Kane, 81): 9 and STAR MAN 

Surprisingly given the nod over Ivan Toney as striker sub as Southgate looked for more pace in behind. Brilliant finish into the corner to win the game – you could not ask more from him.

Cole Palmer (for Phil Foden, 81): 7

Had his big chance in the final minutes but shanked it horribly wide – but then fed Watkins for his wonderful winner.

Gareth Southgate: 8

His switch to a back three against Switzerland helped dig out the win there, and here it had his team finally playing some great football in the first half. The team went into their shells again as the game wore on and you feared the worst – but you have to say his decision to bring on Ollie Watkins was a masterstroke. 



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Former Arsenal star and BBC commentator slammed by ex-Premier League referee for ‘bonkers’ comment during England game

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