AFC Bournemouth Vs Manchester City


DM at 2017-02-13 22:59:27


This was not always the fast free-flowing game that was anticipated at the start.  There were a number of ‘off the ball’ incidents for the referee to deal with and he had to grind out a performance in what was a difficult game to shine in.

The key-match incident in the 30th minute of the game was correctly judged when a Bournemouth goal was disallowed following a shirt pull by King on Stones.  It is not clear which official provided the information that led to the decision being made but both the referee and active assistant had their focus on the ball.  However the decision was reached, it was the correct one and the officials should be commended for getting this right.

Neil Swarbrick is a referee who manages players very well and he is not afraid to do his job either.  A total of 5 cautions were issued and in my opinion Fernandinho was lucky to escape without one as well when he stopped a promising attack for Bournemouth.  However, with a couple of exceptions, the referee effectively recognised challenges and judged his level of involvement well.  The best referees give themselves thinking time and Neil did this tonight.  The short delay before stopping the game indicates a thought process but it has to be balanced against the perception of hesitancy and ‘playing to the shout’.  I thought Neil got the balance about right today.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:54:06

Full Time



DM at 2017-02-13 22:50:53

3 minutes added time


DM at 2017-02-13 22:49:42

Very good offside decision by Scott Ledger as Silva is correctly penalised for gaining an advantage by being in an offside position as the ball comes back to him off the woodwork.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:44:32

As Manchester City complete a number of short passes between eachother the referee displays impressive alertness and movement.  He stays on his toes and does not get ahead of play, constantly coming backwards to keep play in front of him, especially in the midfield area.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:38:54

Bournemouth are not happy there as Smith is penalised for a charge on Sane.  Prior to the foul, De Bruyne committed a similar challenge on a Bournemouth player and it looked a foul.  I was surprised it was not given but again AR Wilkes did not get involved.  This Assistant needs to support the referee more in his area of credibility.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:36:18

Bournemouth sub 33 off, 7 on


DM at 2017-02-13 22:34:15

Again Neil Swarbrick picks up a foul as the ball is played off the ball.  Surprised Scott Ledger did not flag there as the incident was right under his nose.

DM at 2017-02-13 22:32:26

Going back to the caution for Arter, I mentioned before how he could be a handful and Neil has managed him well but the yellow card was a very good decision and one that could not be managed.  The referee is very focused and is picking these things up well.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:30:38

Sub Man City 42 off, 30 on


DM at 2017-02-13 22:30:00

GOAL! Man City 10 (dubious goals panel to review!)



DM at 2017-02-13 22:28:53

Yellow CardBournemouth 8 for unsporting behaviour

DM at 2017-02-13 22:27:19

Neil Swarbrick is refereeing with confidence, he is calm, composed, gives himself thinking time, whilst at the same time being decisive.  He has had plenty to do so far and is doing a good job.

DM at 2017-02-13 22:25:49

#BOUMCI A learning point for all referees there is Neil Swarbrick ensured that the injured player was attended to before issuing disciplinary action.  The priority for the referee has to always be the safety and welfare of the players.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:24:27

Yellow CardMan City 19 for unsporting behaviour


DM at 2017-02-13 22:18:39

Yellow CardMan City 7 for a shirt pull from which the referee played an advantage and then came back and cautioned Sterling



DM at 2017-02-13 22:17:52

Although it is not normally advisable to play advantage in the defensive third, the skill level of the players in this match is very high and the referee is confident in his control.  Bournemouth had plenty of space in front of them there as the defender was fouled by the Manchester City player and the play moved from defence to attack.  Sterling was then cautioned for the shirt pull.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:15:14

#BOUMCI A feature of Neil Swarbrick’s performance is how he gives himself thinking time before stopping play.  There is a fine balance with this so that the perception is you are not ‘playing to the shout’ but I think Neil has got it about right and this explains the short delay before he gave the foul against Aguero there.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:10:52

#BOUMCI Fernandinho is lucky to escape without a yellow card for that challenge. The Bournemouth player went past Fernandinho who flicked out his leg deliberately to commit a foul challenge and stop a promising attack.  In my opinion and in line with Neil’s previous decisions that was a caution for unsporting behaviour.


DM at 2017-02-13 22:08:09

Despite the appeals from the crowd for Toure to be cautioned that was certainly not a reckless challenge and Neil Swarbrick was right not to issue a second caution.

DM at 2017-02-13 22:05:46

Neil Swarbrick gets the second half underway

DM at 2017-02-13 21:58:30

Don’t forget to tune in to the ref show where Alan Biggs is joined by Glenn Turner and David Hirst to review the weekend’s action

DM at 2017-02-13 21:52:04

Half-time summary

Neil Swarbrick set his stall out early on with the caution of Yaya Toure in the 10th minute for unsporting behaviour.  I did feel this was a challenge that was manageable but it was on the border-line of a careless/reckless challenge.  What was pleasing is that Neil remained consistent in his interpretation by cautioning Fraser for a challenge later on in the half.  Neil moves around the field welll and with the exception of a shirt pull on G Jesus he has not missed much.  The main talking point came in the 30th minute when Bournemouth had a goal disallowed for a shirt pull by King on Stones.  There is no doubt that the decision was correct but it was not the referee or active assistant Scott Ledger who gave it.  Communication came from one of the other officials and in the end the outcome was correct.  An important learning point is for both officials not to be concentrating on the same area.  Maintaining a full view and keeping your head up allows the referee to more easily pick up off the ball offences such as this.

Overall, Mr Swarbrick has had a sound first-half and he will be aware that he and his team will need to remain focused in the second half.

DM at 2017-02-13 21:51:30

Half Time



DM at 2017-02-13 21:49:47

Neil Swarbrick correctly waves play on following a challenge by Arter and the penalty appeal by Manchester City.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:49:04

Neil Swarbrick manages Harry Arter very well again by speaking and explaining his decision.  Although Law does not require a referee to do this, management of the game does.  Arter is a handful and can explode at any time.  Neil Swarbrick is working hard to ensure this does not happen.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:47:45

Bouremouth Sub 32 off, 9 on


DM at 2017-02-13 21:46:02

5 minutes added time

DM at 2017-02-13 21:41:08

#BOUMCI A learning point from the Bournemouth incident is that both the referee and the active Assistant were focused on the player who had the ball. Maintaining peripheral vision is important and keeping your head up so the full picture is visible is paramount.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:38:29

Poor decision by AR Wilkes there as Aguero was clearly offside and the Assistant did not indicate the offence.  Fortunately, nothing came of it.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:34:30

#BOUMCI Although Neil Swarbrick has got that decision correct, he was not looking at the incident. Scott Ledger has his flag down and has indicated play on.  One of the other officials must have communicated with Neil on the headsets as he did not blow his whistle until the ball went in the net.  Whatever the process, the decision is correct and the teamwork must be commended.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:31:43

#BOUMCI Outstanding decision by Neil Swarbrick to disallow the Bournemouth goal for a shirt pull by King on Stones


DM at 2017-02-13 21:29:13

GOAL! Man City 7


DM at 2017-02-13 21:27:23

Yellow CardBournemouth 24 Fraser

Neil Swarbrick cautions Fraser for a reckless challenge.  Assistant Matthew Wilkes had a clear view of that challenge and did not raise his flag.  It is paramount that the officials are on the same page when it comes to foul challenges and a flag there would have reinforced the referee’s decision, it was certainly in the Assistants area of credibility.



DM at 2017-02-13 21:25:22

I mentioned Harry Arter before and he is busy having his say to the Assistant Referee Matthew Wilkes.  Neil Swarbrick will be aware of this and will try to calm him down off the ball.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:22:27

Bournemouth sub 2 off, 26 on


DM at 2017-02-13 21:21:00

Handball has been a talking point this weekend and Bournemouth claimed a penalty there for handball against Toure but the ball hit his chest.

DM at 2017-02-13 21:18:48

#BOUMCI Match preparation is key for a referee.  Aguero has a point to prove so his entrance in to the game may change things and the referee needs to be aware of this


DM at 2017-02-13 21:16:19

Man City Sub 33 off, 10 on


DM at 2017-02-13 21:15:40

Cook certainly made contact with G Jesus by having a little pull on to his shirt but referee Neil Swarbrick waves play on and decides the contact was not sufficient to award a foul.

DM at 2017-02-13 21:14:02

Recognising challenges is something that is paramount when it comes to controlling a match.  I am not saying Neil Swarbrick is wrong, he has interpreted that the challenge was a reckless one.  I think that the distance was close enough for the interpretation to be careless and therefore manageable.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:12:32

Yellow CardYaya Toure is cautioned for unsporting behaviour as he commits a reckless challenge.  The challenge was late but in my opinion was made from close distance and I think the referee could have managed that by talking to the player.



DM at 2017-02-13 21:09:41

Arter is a very vocal player and one who can make the referee’s evening hard work if he is not managed.  Neil Swarbrick correctly awards a foul against him and then moments after as the ball goes out of play he moves towards Arter to talk to him.  Neil is working hard to build a rapport with the player, this is good refereeing.


DM at 2017-02-13 21:06:31

First decision of the game and Neil Swarbrick and Scott Ledger work together to correctly award a throw-in to Bournemouth.  Although it is a little decision, it is one that is near to the technical areas and as the first call of the match it was important that the officials got this one right.

DM at 2017-02-13 21:00:13

Neil Swarbrick gets the match underway

DM at 2017-02-13 20:58:17

Scott Ledger will be the Assistant on the technical area side and Matthew Wilkes will patrol the opposite touchline.

DM at 2017-02-13 20:54:58

Neil Swarbrick is a referee who likes to let the game flow and he is an excellent manager of players.  For any referee aspiring to make it to the top or for any grassroots referee who wants to improve their game, it is important to go in to a match with a game plan.  Both teams tonight like to play passing football but if Bournemouth get on top, the crowd are likely to become very loud and get behind them.  Neil will have to find the balance between letting the game flow and not allowing the tempo to rise to the point where players lose their discipline.  Getting the simple decisions (throw-ins etc.) right from the start and picking up the little fouls early on will be important to gain the control tonight.

DM at 2017-02-13 20:48:41

Assistant Scott Ledger is without doubt one of the best Assistants on the Premier League and he has a reputation for getting involved when necessary.  Matt Wilkes is in his 5th season as an Assistant Referee and it will be interesting tonight to see how he has progressed.  Fourth official is Andre Marriner, who last week was deservedly appointed as referee to the EFL Cup Final.  Neil Swarbrick will be pleased to have such an experienced official managing the technical areas for him.

DM at 2017-02-13 20:45:05

Tonight’s referee Neil Swarbrick has had a very good season to date and is in good form coming in to this match.  Neil has refereed 23 matches to date this season, issuing 86 yellow cards and sending off two players in total.  Interestingly, Neil has not dismissed a player in a Premier League match this season so far and in his 14 EPL matches he has issued 57 yellow cards.

DM at 2017-02-13 20:41:16

The match officials tonight are:

Referee – Neil Swarbrick

Assistants – Scott Ledger and Matthew Wilkes

Fourth Official – Andre Marriner

DM at 2017-02-13 20:37:27

Good evening and welcome to ref cam for the English Premier League encounter between AFC Bournemouth and Manchester City.