Arsenal v Barcelona: UEFA Champions League; Round of 16


GT at 2016-02-23 22:40:43

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have more top quality action coming up for you

This Sunday we bring you two massive games:

Manchester United v Arsenal in The Premier League followed by the first silverware of the season as Merseyside giants Liverpool take on their Mancunian rivals Manchester City in the Final of The Capital One Cup at Wembley.

As if that isn’t enough, there is, of course, loads of other great content on our website including the really popular ‘Ref Show’ where experts from within the game review the weekend’s action.

Add to that some fascinating features including an interview with BBC TV’s Match of the Day presenter Mark Chapman and discussion with the President of Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA on the abuse of match officials at grassroots football.

There is, of course, also the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’, where the former chief of referees for the Select Group offers candid opinion on how standards could be improved.

All of this shows why it is clear that YATR followers know this is THE place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.

Keep it here on

GT at 2016-02-23 22:39:15

As for our referees… Çakýr was superb.

Never overly fussy, indeed he could have shown more than the two cautions he did (one for each side) but that did not undermine his authority.

Then….just like most games, there was a big decision to make, and he called it spot-on.

The Barcelona penalty was clear as Messi was fouled by Flamini in the Arsenal man’s first contribution to the game.

Çakýr’s assistants had a quiet night as neither side played the offside trap, but they both operated efficiently and supported their team leader well.

All-in-all, a very good display of officiating, and a thoroughly professional job was done.

Safe journey home, gents….it has been a pleasure to see you in action.


GT at 2016-02-23 22:37:21

An entertaining night of football from these two giant clubs.

But it is Barcelona who leave much the happier of the two as they take the tie by two goals…and they are away goals, too.

Arsenal spent most of the game defending in numbers and parking the bus but still couldn’t stop Messi from finding his way through twice…once from open play and then from the penalty mark.

The Gunners would have felt they were still in this tie at 0-1, but that second goal should have killed off their challenge for Champions League glory.

Make no mistake though….Barcelona are simply world class.


GT at 2016-02-23 22:36:47

…that’s the end of the first half of this two-legged tie

GT at 2016-02-23 22:35:56

Full Time

GT at 2016-02-23 22:35:45

If Naymar’s headed effort had not been saved by Cech that would have been disastrous

GT at 2016-02-23 22:32:14

That’s the end of normal time…we shall have 3 additional minutes to play

85 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:27:33

Yellow Cardfor Piquet, who will now miss the second leg of this tie following that foul on Welbeck

83 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:26:25

GOAL! Messi from the penalty mark

GT at 2016-02-23 22:25:56

…and our referee is spot on as Messi was brought down by the newly introduced Flamini

GT at 2016-02-23 22:24:45


To Barcelona

82 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:23:46

Arsenal make their final substitution as Coquelin leaves the action for Flamini

78 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:20:36

Suarez thumps his effort against the post…that would have been the tie over if he had hit the net

GT at 2016-02-23 22:18:22

Arsenal are in a quandary now…do they settle for a one goal deficit or do they try to take a level scoreline to the Neu Camp?

GT at 2016-02-23 22:16:15

To put some meat on the bones of that Barca break…it took 16 seconds for them to get from one end of the field of play to the other and Messi to score….PHEW!!

72 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:15:08

Olivier Giroud has played his final part in this one as he makes way for Danny Welbeck

72 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:14:38

…and there is the breakthrough we felt was coming.

Barca break at lightning speed and it’s that man Messi who slams home the crucial opening goal for the visitors

GT at 2016-02-23 22:13:21


70 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:11:42

Alba is extremely lucky not to see a yellow card…his foul stops a promising Arsenal attack

GT at 2016-02-23 22:10:13

Superb refereeing by Çakýr as he puts in the hard yards to stay up with a quick Barca break…and sees a pull by Messi.

Free kick to Arsenal

GT at 2016-02-23 22:08:25

A goal is getting closer and closer as first, Messi, then Suarez go close for the visitors

65 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:07:05

Piquet fouls his former team mate, Sanchez.

Well spotted by our referee. Free kick to Arsenal

GT at 2016-02-23 22:04:00

Barca pile on the pressure with consecutive corner kicks…

GT at 2016-02-23 22:02:52

That’s an hour gone, and no goals yet…

But I get the feeling the stalemate will be broken in the final 30 minutes.

59 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 22:01:58

It certainly is warming up now…Alves takes great exception to a challenge from Coquelin, claiming studs-up by the Arsenal man.

Once again referee Çakýr shows a great deal of common sense and is not drawn in by the Barca man’s play acting

GT at 2016-02-23 21:59:44

Referee Çakýr is the calmest man on the field of play as Giroud and show some childish petulance.

Sensibly handled, referee with a stern talking to.

55 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:58:03

The game is opening up at last.

Barca have a good opportunity but the final pass to Messi fails to find the talisman

GT at 2016-02-23 21:56:17

Good sprinting and recovery work by referee Çakýr as Barca break quickly

GT at 2016-02-23 21:55:15

Alves brings down Alexis Sanchez, who makes a meal of the slight hand on him.

Foul to Arsenal.

GT at 2016-02-23 21:53:49

Giroud is unhappy at being robbed of the ball by Neymar, but the referee is correct again – no foul

50 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:51:49

Oxlade-Chamberlain is struggling to run and will be replaced by Theo Walcott for Arsenal

GT at 2016-02-23 21:50:53

The second half continues as the first 45 went with Barca doing the pressing, but without any success so far.

Referee Çakýr is happy to take a back seat and let the players get on with it

GT at 2016-02-23 21:47:10

It’s time go again, with Barcelona getting play going for the second half…

Will the deadlock be broken?

Let us know what you think and give us your views on the referees by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

GT at 2016-02-23 21:33:01

As we take a breather for half-time we can look back on a very sensible and unfussy opening period from referee and his team.

He has shown excellent awareness and positioning in recognising Barca’s dominance in possession – they have had three quarters of the that particular statistic.

The one caution (Monreal; Arsenal on 5 minutes) was thoroughly warranted, and referee Çakýr has not been drawn into any cheap cautions despite a number of appeals from both sets of players.

Good work, referee.

More of the same in the second half, please.

GT at 2016-02-23 21:32:06

…and right on the whistle Suarez should have scored his 42nd goal of the season, but he missed a fairly easy header

Half Time

GT at 2016-02-23 21:30:51

One minute of added time to go on

GT at 2016-02-23 21:25:57

Just five minutes of the first 45 to go…where have 40 minutes passed by?

39 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:25:23

Suarez goes to ground following a challenge but Çakýr is not interested in the forward’s claims for a free kick.

Good work, referee.

37 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:22:25

Mascherano and Oxlade-Chamberlain collide, completely by accident, and both players are on the ground in obvious pain

GT at 2016-02-23 21:21:08

Messi goes for a low effort but all he does is play it into the Arsenal defensive wall

GT at 2016-02-23 21:20:19

Free kick to Barca in a very dangerous position…

34 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:19:47

Poor work from the assistant behind the Arsenal goal though…even though it was right under his nose he fails to award a corner to Barcelona…and Luis Suarez is rightly puzzled by that poor piece of officiating

GT at 2016-02-23 21:17:45

Good work from assistant referee Duran as he correctly signals for a throw in to Barca…the ball did just go out of play

GT at 2016-02-23 21:15:57

It is livening up now, but the referee is correct again as he looked for an advantage to Barca as Messi was having his shirt sleeve pulled.

No advantage came, so he brought back play for a free kick to the visitors.

Well done, referee.

GT at 2016-02-23 21:13:50

Çakýr doesn’t like the challenge by Sanchez on Alves…and the Arsenal man would be well advised not to throw his arms around in dissent.

This is not a referee to have his authority challenged.

GT at 2016-02-23 21:12:07

The home crowd squeal for penalty as they feel Pique was shirt-pulling, but referee Çakýr is having none of it. Correct decision again.

25 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:10:45

Another excellent advantage played as Coquelin hits Neymar with a late challenge.

Surprised that Çakýr didn’t go back and deal with the Arsenal man once play had broken down.

22 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:07:43

How did Arsenal fail to score there?

Oxlade-Chamberlain misses a sitter for Arsenal when it looked easier to score

20 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:05:18

Neymar appeals for a foul on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, but referee Çakýr calls it correctly again. No foul.

17 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 21:02:16

Excellent foul recognition as Giroud floors his marker as the two challemge for a header.

Free kick to Barcelona.

GT at 2016-02-23 21:00:58

For all young and aspiring referees…watch Çakýr’s positioning.

Never under the feet of players, but close enough to stay in touch with active play, and very mindful of Barca’s ability to break at great speed

12 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 20:58:04

Good refereeing as Sanchez was caught late.

Çakýr looked for advantage to Arsenal but nothing was on, so he brought back play for a free kick to the Gunners

GT at 2016-02-23 20:55:24


Barcelona are content in stroking passes around their own defence but neither Arsenal nor referee Çakýr are fooled into dropping too deep as the Catalans can break at lightning pace

5 minutes

GT at 2016-02-23 20:52:16

Monreal needs to be very careful now as he finds himself in the referee’s notebook after only five minutes, following a silly challenge in a non-threatening area

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-02-23 20:48:11

Referee Çakýr is setting his standards high early as he, correctly, makes Arsenal take their throw in from the place the ball exited the field of play.

Well done referee…it’s always easier to start off by ‘bossing’ the game tightly then gradually let out the ‘rope’ if the players respond well.

Much more difficult to try to reign in a game you have let go too far

GT at 2016-02-23 20:45:27

And here we go as Arsenal take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2016-02-23 20:38:29

It’s almost time for kick-off at The Emirates…

Hold on tight, this should be one fantastic game…refereed at the highest level.

GT at 2016-02-23 20:35:41

Here are the starting line-ups:


33 Cech

24 Bellerín

4 Mertesacker

6 Koscielny

18 Monreal

16 Ramsey

34 Coquelin

15 Oxlade-Chamberlain

11 Özil

17 Sánchez

12 Giroud


1 ter Stegen

6 Dani Alves

3 Piqué

14 Mascherano

18 Alba

4 Rakitic

5 Busquets

8 Iniesta

10 Messi

9 Suárez

11 Neymar

GT at 2016-02-23 20:24:25

As for tonight’s refereeing team…

Big games call for big names, and this referee is one is currently one of the very best in the business.

39 year-old Cüneyt Çakýr of Turkey leads his team of countrymen into this one.

The highly respected Istanbul-based insurance agent refereed last year’s final of this competition (Juventus v Barcelona) and used the occasion to cement his position at the top table of international officials.

Çakýr will be ably assisted by Bahattin Duran and Tarik Ongun on the lines, with Hüseyin Göçek and Barýþ Þimþek operating as Additional assistant referees.

Fourth official is Çem Satman.

Expectations are high for this clash, and everyone at YATR offers Cüneyt and his team our very best wishes.

GT at 2016-02-23 20:17:28

Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s live Refcam commentary.

And what a game we have for you…

This is the UEFA Champions League last 16 clash between Arsenal and Barcelona, being played at The Emirates Stadium, London.

I could almost end it there, because this fixture speaks for itself.

This is Arsenal (joint 2nd in the Premier League) v Barcelona (top of La Liga and widely rated the best club side in the world).

And what an array of talent we have on show…

Petr ?ech, Mesut Özil, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez for the hosts, and lining up against them are so many world-class stars it is almost impossible to name just a few; Dani Alves, Luis Suárez, Neymar and, of course,      Lionel Messi.

The Gunners will be hoping for better fortune this time, having lost their previous two double-legged clashes with the Catalan Giants despite winning the first leg at home by 2-1 in 2011.

Yet history goes out of the window for this tie.

These are two truly world class squads who are each capable of producing something very special.

So don’t go anywhere.

Sit back and enjoy our Refcam coverage whilst joining in by letting us know how you think the game will go and comment on the performances of our referee and his assistants.

You can contact us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at