Arsenal v GNK Dinamo Zagreb: UEFA Champions League; Group F


GT at 2015-11-24 22:37:07

Whilst that concludes tonight’s game, stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have more top quality Champions League action coming up for you tomorrow with Manchester United taking on PSV Eindhoven.

Then on Saturday it is back to the Premier League as the leading two sides face-off at The King Power Stadium as Leicester City host Manchester United.

Sunday brings two more top-flight games in Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea and Norwich City v Arsenal with the MLS clash between NY Red Bulls and Columbus Crew rounding off another great week of Refcam coverage.

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 how Mossley FC changed their approach towards referees, interviews with chef Simon Rimmer and former referee Clive Thomas and, of course, the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’, and it is clear why YATR followers know this is THE place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.

Keep it here on

GT at 2015-11-24 22:35:39

As for our referees, it was yet another superb performance from the Hungarian officials.

Each and every time I see Viktor Kassai, György Ring and Vencel Tóth in action they never fail to impress.

The team was outstanding last time in Manchester, and they followed that up with another top performance at Arsenal tonight.

Some people may wish to be over-critical and pick over the non-award of a late penalty to Arsenal, but take that decision in context with the entire game. Kassai was superb again in a crucial game which both sides needed to win.

He went about his business in a calm, dignified and confident maner, and was very well supported by his assistants and additional assistants.

As we say in these parts…”You were ace”!!


GT at 2015-11-24 22:34:11

It’s all to play for in a fortnight when the Gunners travel to Greece for a showdown with Olimpiacos, whereas Zagreb are certainly out of the Champions League after the conclusion of the group phase games.

GT at 2015-11-24 22:32:47

And that’s game over as Arsenal give them selves a chance of qualification through to the knockout phase

Full Time

GT at 2015-11-24 22:30:54

Two additional minutes to go on…

GT at 2015-11-24 22:28:05

Free kick to Arsenal in a dangerous position…but it comes to nothing for the Gunners

GT at 2015-11-24 22:25:48

Just five of the regular 90 minutes to go.

I cannot see much added time coming either…

83 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:24:36

…and here is Zagreb’s final throw of the dice as the highly rated ?ori? replaces Machado

82 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:23:27

Arsenal make their final two changes with Bellerin and Cazorla making way for Debuchy and Chambers

81 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:22:26

György Ring makes another good offside call to deny Zagreb a goal….definitely offside in the build up.

Good lining.

GT at 2015-11-24 22:21:40

Perhaps Viktor felt the Arsenal man left his foot in for the Zagreb ‘keeper to make contact with it.

But certainly the goalkeeper made no contact whatsoever with the ball.

Fortunately for the referee little will be made of it as the game is over as a competition

78 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:19:02

Viktor Kassai waves away Arsenal claims for a penalty.

He was in a perfect position, but wasn’t convinced.

It looked very ‘giveable’ to me

GT at 2015-11-24 22:17:27

Offside given by György Ring…good decision

75 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:16:14


Viktor attempts to skip over the ball, but it catches his heels, and draws ironic cheers from the home crowd…good touch, referee!

GT at 2015-11-24 22:15:00

As we move towards the final 15 minutes of this game, Viktor and his team will be making sure they do not allow their exceptionally high standards fall.

It has been a superb performance from the officials, and they will be keen to see it safely to a conclusion now.

70 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:12:36

Zagreb make their second change, sending on a striker in the form of HenríquezAntoli? makes way for him.

69 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:09:53

Game over as Sanchez scores again for Arsenal


67 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:07:48

Arsenal introduce Ramsey for Giroud


65 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 22:06:15

Yellow Cardfor Monreal following a silly challenge on Soudani. Totally unnecessary, and Viktor shows everyone that whilst he is willing to let the players play, he will stand for no nonsense.

Well done referee

GT at 2015-11-24 22:01:11

Two thirds of the game has passed, and it is yet another top drawer performance from our Hungarian officials.

GT at 2015-11-24 22:00:24

Cazorla has feet whipped away by the substitute Soudani, which both referee and assistant see and give.

More evidence of good team work from the officials.

57 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 21:58:32

First change of the evening as Zagreb replace Fernandes with Soudani

GT at 2015-11-24 21:57:30

Excellent lining from Vencel Tóth as he catches Giroud and Sanchez both being rather lazy in not getting back on side

GT at 2015-11-24 21:54:56

Despite a relatively quiet evening,György Ring shows he has not gone to sleep, correctly indicating ball out of play for a throw in despite it being 30 metres away from him

GT at 2015-11-24 21:51:37

Viktor was right on the spot to correctly judge ‘no foul’ as Sanchez twisted and turned his way into trouble, eventually losing the ball and falling to ground

GT at 2015-11-24 21:47:45

It’s business as we were…

Arsenal doing the attacking, with Viktor continuing to impress in the middle

GT at 2015-11-24 21:45:28

Viktor Kassai blows his whistle, Arsenal take the kick-off, and we are under way again for this second half…

GT at 2015-11-24 21:34:58

Whilst Viktor Kassai will be the first to accept he will face more challenging games, do not underestimate his (and his team’s) contribution to that opening 45 minutes.

Refereeing is not just about the fouls, yellow and red cards.

Particularly at the top level it is also about managing the event, and Viktor has done that superbly well in that first half.

He quickly tuned into the two sides’ styles of play, and has been content to step back and let the players play.

Never fussy, but also never sacrificing control, he has shown all of his qualities as one of the very best referees in world football.

More of the same in the second half please Viktor…

GT at 2015-11-24 21:30:36

…and there goes the whistle

Half Time

GT at 2015-11-24 21:30:03

Foul for Arsenal as we approach the end of the first 45 minutes

43 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 21:28:40

…and more good advantage as Arsenal press forward.

Which almost ends in another goal for the home side.

Top refereeing.

GT at 2015-11-24 21:26:39

Good intervention by Viktor as he delays the taking of a corner kick to warn the players about pushing and holding in the penalty area.

Prevention is always better than cure!

GT at 2015-11-24 21:23:56

More good teamwork as KassaI and his far side assistant Vencel Tóth work in total harmony to award a throw in to Arsenal

GT at 2015-11-24 21:20:03

It’s all Arsenal now as their one-touch football opens up the Zagreb defence again.

Viktor is judging this one perfectly…allowing the players to take centre stage, and staying out of the way, only dropping in when required to let the players know he is still around and making sure of fair play.

33 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 21:18:14

GOAL! Alexis Sanchez

GT at 2015-11-24 21:16:23

Flamini and Machado come together again, but it warrants nothing more than the foul to Zagreb which Viktor correctly awards

GT at 2015-11-24 21:14:53

Game on now as Dinamo will have to open up and attack if they want to stay in this competition

29 minutes

GT at 2015-11-24 21:14:04

GOAL! Ozil

GT at 2015-11-24 21:13:00

Flamini returns the favour for Macahado, and barges him to the ground!

GT at 2015-11-24 21:12:24

Kassai asserts his authority with a strong whistle tone after Zagreb commit another foul challenge.

GT at 2015-11-24 21:10:43

25 minutes have passed and Viktor awards just the second foul of the game.

This one goes to the home side following a small foul.

GT at 2015-11-24 21:08:10

A quarter of the game has passed and it is so far, so good from our Hungarian team of officials.


GT at 2015-11-24 21:07:13

Good refereeing, Viktor.

He looked for an Arsenal advantage following a high-foot challenge by Zagreb.

No advantage came, so he brought back play and awarded the free kick.

Top officiating…

GT at 2015-11-24 21:00:39

Campbell makes a fair, sliding challenge which is well read by Viktor…keep playing

GT at 2015-11-24 20:59:21

Viktor has read the change in play in the last 10 minutes, as Arsenal have come out their blocks and attacked the Zagreb goal.

He has changed his positioning accordingly, and remained in touch with play without being intrusive.

Great refereeing technique

GT at 2015-11-24 20:57:41

More advantage from the Hungarian referee, displaying his level of confidence tonight.

The easiest thing to do is blow your whistle and stop/start play. The confident referees are those who look for and apply advantage

GT at 2015-11-24 20:54:47

Good to see referee and assistant (György Ring) in complete harmony as the wave away appeals for a foul by Olivier Giroud, who goes down far too easily from the slightest of contacts


GT at 2015-11-24 20:53:16

YATR Refcam followers will be well used to seeing this ease of movement from the outstanding Kassai.

But if anyone is new to our coverage just watch how he appears to drift effortlessly into the optimum viewing positions.

Being in the right place at the right time makes the job of selling decisions so much easier to players and coaches.

GT at 2015-11-24 20:49:24

Good early advantage from Viktor as the Dinamo midfielder makes a rash challenge on Ozil, but the Arsenal man keeps his feet and plays on.

Good work referee

GT at 2015-11-24 20:47:09

It’s a lively opening from Zagreb who are trying to surprise Arsenal with an early goal

GT at 2015-11-24 20:45:25

Dinamo Zagreb take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2015-11-24 20:41:05

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

GT at 2015-11-24 20:23:59

As for tonight’s refereeing team, it’s a swift return to England for the Hungarian team led by Viktor Kassai.

YATR Refcam followers will remember we covered Viktor’s game at old Trafford in September when Manchester United played Vfl Wolfsburg.

I was fortunate to be offering comments on that game and had the pleasure of witnessing Viktor and his assistants turn in performances I described as “faultless”…”absolutely outstanding, just what this competition demands and deserves”.

The full line up of officials is exactly that of a couple of months ago with Kassai in the middle, György Ring and Vencel Tóth on the lines and Peter Berettyán acting as fourth official. The additional assistants are Tamás Bognar and Ádám Farkas.

Viktor Kassai, one of UEFA’s 19 Elite category referees, has established himself as a top performer. Having already led a team in the final of the UEFA Champions League (2011: Barcelona v Manchester United) he is surely destined to take control of one of the two major tournament finals sometime soon, maybe even emulating his countryman Sándor Puhl in refereeing the World Cup final.

Expectations are high for this one, and everyone at YATR offers Viktor and his team our very best wishes and hope that, once again, he brings the game to a successful conclusion.

GT at 2015-11-24 20:17:29

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

And what a game we have for you…

This is the UEFA Champions League Group F clash between Arsenal and GNK Dinamo Zagreb, being played at The Emirates Stadium, London.

With only three points from a possible twelve, if either of these sides is to have any hope of progressing to the knockout phases of this competition they simply must win tonight.

With Group F currently looking like this… 

FC Bayern München                       9 points

Olympiacos FC                                9 points

GNK Dinamo Zagreb                       3 points

Arsenal FC                                       3 points

…a defeat for either side will see them exit the Champions League.

Were Arsenal to suffer that ignominy it would be the first time since the 1999/2000 season they had not made it through the group phase.

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, holds no such negativity and is keen to stress, “We have not been inconsistent. It’s just that in the last two games we have dropped points. Before that we won five games on the trot. You can go through a spell like that in the season – it’s always how you respond that makes your season”.

His adversary tonight, the Dinamo coach, Zoran Mami?, has a trick or two up his sleeve though and hopes his team can use this game to revitalise their faltering campaign adding, “Our plan is to go fully on the counterattack, including the keeper. Look, we will try our best. Arsenal have great control of the play so we just have to be compact and solid in defence and try not to lose possession too cheaply. Moreover, we should try to make them nervous”.

This will be an intriguing affair, 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