The stand out point of the first half has been some truly incompetent officiating from the useless Mike Dean. He started off by not booking a very poor late lunge on Wilshere by Coloccini, a booking at the very least. Clichy then got a deserved booking, but it was nowhere near as bad as the Italian's foul. Wilshere was pulled up for a 'foul' when he clearly won the ball, the only contact came when the Newcastle player who had lost the ball ran over Wilshere, an absolutely awful decision from the hapless Dean.
A series of soft free kicks for Newcastle followed before halt time. Enrique won one for a theatrical fall after minimal Sagna contact, Dean then gave a free kick when Song was a metre away from making any contact, Kevin Nolan appeared surprised that Dean had blown up. The free kick that led to the Newcastle goal was another Dean error, Sagna stayed on his feet and was shoulder to shoulder with the Newcastle player, no tackle was made, the Newcastle player had lost the ball, decided to go down and Dean obliged.
Mike Dean is a useless referee. The sad thing is that I think the general standard of refereeing in the Premiership is pretty woeful, very few referees have any understanding of the game or common sense, things have certainly deteriorated in the last five or ten years. It is a disgrace that the world's most lucrative league is officiated by this bunch of cretinous incompetents.