Let's say it was for arguments sake, is Michael Oliver in a position to give it? As Pardew claims, it's unfair on a team when referees act on gut-feeling because they couldn't have possibly seen the incident.
You mean lambast one of the most sought-after referees left in the prem? It's quite simple. He is a career referee who knows that the best way to get to the top is not to rock the boat. And that means not giving decisions against the top four in favor of teams like mine - you do it the other way around. Any doubt, any indecision, any 50/50 or even 60/40 calls…? You call it for them. Simple.
It keeps Barclays and all the other sponsors happy, the FA with their 'Premiership Brand' happy, the top 4 biased sports press happy, and it stops influential people from complaining about them, ensuring that their career path remains clear from obstruction.
He's going to want to be off flying business class around the world for Champions League matches, and European Championships and World Cups - he doesn't want his integrity to get in the way of all of that, so he makes the easiest call - in favour of Manchester United, not Palace.
He went with gut-feeling or as I call it "guessed it" having not even been able to see the incident, even if it was a handball as you vehemently claim. 110% it would have not been given the other way round. As Punch's more obvious pen shout later proved.