Arsenal v Liverpool


GB at 2016-08-14 18:19:14

That’s it from me until next weekend, when I hope you will join me again.


GB at 2016-08-14 18:18:19

Here are the main points from the officials perspective in this game:

  • Michael Oliver has got off to a sound start with that performance to blow the cobwebs away at the start of the season.
  • Great display of reading the game and tempo management.
  • He established his authority in the game as soon as his presence was required in the closing stages of the first half and maintained a consistent level of control through to the end.
  • The referee’s fitness and positioning were a joy to watch.

Considering there were 6 yellow cards in this game, all credit goes to Michael Oliver tonight for not becoming the centre of attention. The first big call came with the penalty in the 27th minute, which to be fair would have been very difficult to miss by either of the officials monitoring the play at the Liverpool end. Authority was also shown with the first yellow card for Alberto Moreno (L 18) for his reaction to the Assistant Referee. From that point on, the line in the sand was drawn by the referee, and he immediately recognised all the pinch points in the game and responded accordingly in order to keep his control on the proceedings. Thankfully the players responded accordingly and did not transgress twice so we did not have any second yellow cards, as everyone would have been talking about the officials instead of a wonderful entertaining game once it got going.

Another aspect of the referees confidence and composure was demonstrated in the second period of the second half as he just stepped back slightly so the players could compete physically as the chance of an exciting finish materialised. Then as soon as the next reckless challenge came in, he was right there again to say enough is enough! I have seen many an Arsenal v Liverpool game (and run the line in a couple), when tempers have flared, so I congratulate Michael for pitching his level of involvement perfectly in this one.

He managed the game, but he did not strangle it, and the end resulted in a very enjoyable and exciting sceptical with no one talking about the officials.

Some words for the rest of the team, “well done to you all as well”, a very good all-round performance which I am sure then would have all settled for at the start!

GB at 2016-08-14 17:54:41

Don’t miss Monday’s edition of Ref Show in which our panel of experts will be running the rule over all the big decisions and discussion topics from Week 1. You can always catch up with all the previous editions here at any time videos

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-08-14 17:54:07

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage this weekend, and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Here is a taste of what we have lined up for you on RefCam next Week:

Chelsea v West Ham United 15th Aug, 8:00PM

Leicester City v Arsenal 20th Aug, 5:30PM

Sunderland v Middlesbrough 21st Aug, 1:30PM

Then it will be back to the MLS later the same day for DC United v NY Red Bulls 21st Aug, 8:00PM

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2016-08-14 17:53:01

Full Time

Arsenal 3 – 4 Liverpool


GB at 2016-08-14 17:49:42

concentration to the end required now from all the officials


GB at 2016-08-14 17:48:03

minimum of 5 added minutes – spot on for me


GB at 2016-08-14 17:47:21

The referee demonstrated how it is importance to get your presence felt in the corner then on the far side from the assistant when players start “messing about” with the ball to use up time in the closing stages.


GB at 2016-08-14 17:45:00

It seemed very evident to me how the referee had been able to just let the ropes out a little in the last 10 minutes and just let the players get on with their jobs with a little more physical contact to enhance the sceptical of the game. But then has wound it back in again with that yellow card.

Yellow Card Calum Chambers (A 21) reckless challenge


GB at 2016-08-14 17:39:56

good to see the referee steaming into the penalty area to signal that last corner – MO fitness has been superb in this game.


GB at 2016-08-14 17:38:53

there is that “new” advantage signal again – cant say I am a big fan yet though!


GB at 2016-08-14 17:37:23

Good flag by SB – got to gives those when you are so much closer than the referee. expectation is for assistant to get involved there


GB at 2016-08-14 17:35:58

Another good off-side call by ES – but he had the pitch marking to help him that time


GB at 2016-08-14 17:34:13

GOAL! Calum Chambers (A 21)

Arsenal 3 – 4 Liverpool

I will give Eddie Smart a pat on the back for that one as there was an Arsenal player ahead of the defensive line when the free kick came over but he did not get involved in the play! Great lining.


GB at 2016-08-14 17:28:24

Big call than right under Stuart Burt’s nose – he saw no offence though


GB at 2016-08-14 17:27:20

There is still a lot of work for the officials left in this game as the substitutes could change things around for both teams


GB at 2016-08-14 17:25:45

Every signal is smart and clear – no sloppy signals from this referee today, that’s what everyone should aim to achieve when they are refereeing. No point giving away silly marks to an observer by not getting the basics right.


GB at 2016-08-14 17:22:57

GOAL! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

Arsenal 2 – 4 Liverpool


GB at 2016-08-14 17:21:57

GOAL! Sadio Mané (L19)


GB at 2016-08-14 17:21:02

I hope you noticed that the Arsenal player still left the field of play to be treated in that incident when the last yellow card was shown. He does not HAVE to stay on if the treatment takes too long


GB at 2016-08-14 17:18:17

Yellow Card Ragnar Klvan (L 17)

And there is another one. I have to say the referee has been consistent.

I know the cautions are stacking up in what has not been a “dirty” game, but players will always respect a strong referee whom they know where they stand with more than a weak referee every time. It is up to them to make sure they do not get a second yellow not the referee!


GB at 2016-08-14 17:15:53

Yellow CardAlex Iwobi (A 17) unsporting behaviour

The next 10 minutes after that 3rd Liverpool goal will be really important for the officials as a teams “temperament” can change dramatically when the balance of play switches as much as this one has.



GB at 2016-08-14 17:13:38

GOAL! Philippe Coutinho (L 10)

Arsenal 1 – 3 Liverpool


GB at 2016-08-14 17:12:10

The referee was able to sell his “no foul” call in the centre then as he was so close to the play – excellent positioning

GB at 2016-08-14 17:11:10

What Stuart Burt’s head when he gives a throw-in next time. Excellent to see him concentrating on the referee or where the re-start will be and not just looking straight across the field of play


GB at 2016-08-14 17:07:20

GOAL! Adam Lallana (L 20)

Arsenal 1 – 2 Liverpool

Now we really have a game on


GB at 2016-08-14 17:05:54

Safe refereeing and same tolerance level shown with that first free kick in the second half


GB at 2016-08-14 17:05:03

Going back to the Referee’s “preferred” one armed signal for advantage in the first half as condoned in the recent law changes, from a coaches and observers perspective, referees are advised to decide which signal they wish to use and stick to the same one throughout the game


GB at 2016-08-14 17:02:36

second half under way


GB at 2016-08-14 16:59:16

After a very quiet opening 26 minutes, this game eventually came to life with a nailed on penalty to Arsenal, which they missed!

Michael Oliver showed all his experience and suddenly raised his profile in the game which did not really need much input until then. This is where the skilled official shows their worth as there were only 15 free kicks in the half and nearly 10 of them came in the last third of the half.

Any referee can look good when there is nothing going on but it is knowing how to reacted pro-actively when the temperature and tempo rises which sets the good referees from the average referees. Michael Oliver kept a consistent tolerance level, so there was no surprise for me when he gave the free kick which led to the Liverpool goal. It was clear at that point that he was picking off all the offences likely to affect his control if he let them go, so the act of holding the Liverpool player (even if only slightly), was always going to end in a free kick.

There has been just enough to keep both assistants involved in the game so far and so the level of teamwork has been sound.

The players would do well to reflect on how the referee raised his profile in the latter stages of the first half and be careful if they are already on a yellow card!


GB at 2016-08-14 16:48:20

Half Time


GB at 2016-08-14 16:47:39

GOAL!  Philippe Coutinho (L 10)

Arsenal 1 – 1 Liverpool


GB at 2016-08-14 16:45:48

minimum of 2 added minutes


GB at 2016-08-14 16:45:20

safe refereeing then as the foot was high on the Liverpool player


GB at 2016-08-14 16:43:48

That looked like a trip from behind for me – even if there was no intent, it is still a free kick


GB at 2016-08-14 16:42:22

Yellow Card Dejan Lovren (L 6) unsporting behaviour

The referee is all over this one


GB at 2016-08-14 16:41:24

The referee showing his “preferred” advantage signal using one arm


GB at 2016-08-14 16:40:18

great positioning again as Liverpool break quickly and there was MO right on the edge of the penalty area when the shot went in


GB at 2016-08-14 16:39:04

Yellow Card Francis Coquelin (A 34) reckless challenge

This is good refereeing as MO can feel the game going up a notch and is making sure it stays under his full control at all times. No need to take any chances. Fouls which players expect to result in yellow cards need to be identified and acted upon immediately to keep a firm grip on the proceedings.


GB at 2016-08-14 16:36:21

MO definitely stepped up a gear and is getting even closer to the play following that spurt of activity in the game.

GB at 2016-08-14 16:33:28

Good spot Paul!

@RefereeHalsey @youaretheref Chambers running to the ref there to complain about that challenge on Ramsey.Shouldn’t that be an auto yellow?


GB at 2016-08-14 16:32:42

As the temperature rises then so does the referees presence. Watch Michael Oliver’s body language as the tempo rises as well


GB at 2016-08-14 16:31:27

GOAL! Theo Walcott (A 14)

Arsenal 1 – 0 Liverpool

Now the game has come to life at last


GB at 2016-08-14 16:30:11

Yellow Card Alberto Moreno (L 18) I suspect for what he said to the assistant referee. Good to see the officials carrying out their new directives to be strict on the law in those circumstances


GB at 2016-08-14 16:28:48


Nailed on!


GB at 2016-08-14 16:28:16

Looked like Michael Oliver was practicing to be a “windmill” then – best not to point in two directions at once


GB at 2016-08-14 16:26:48

Careless challenge by Theo Walcott (A 14) and MO may have thought of a word after that one as there really was no need for that out there. In very quiet games like this you need to read the signs. And there we go …… another rash challenge goes in.

The top referees are the ones who can “smell it” coming and are proactive as the players start to get frustrated

GB at 2016-08-14 16:24:15

the re-start after an off-side this season should be where the offence took place – not from the “position” the play was in when he was off-side


GB at 2016-08-14 16:22:56

There we have the first case I have seen this season when technically the off-side offence took place when the player caught up with the ball near the touch-line, so technically the new law change would allow the free kick to be taken there. Should the assistant therefore keep moving and not drop anchor in line with where the off-side “position” was in the first instance?


GB at 2016-08-14 16:19:37

Interesting use of the crabbing technique then by Stuart Burt to follow ball back to the goalkeeper? Best practice is to sprint back in those situations. Crabbing must be used – but not ALL THE TIME


GB at 2016-08-14 16:17:35

No need for the referee to raise his profile at all in this game yet as it seems more like a friendly. I have a feeling this one may not kick off until the second half.


GB at 2016-08-14 16:16:11

Clear holding offence then leading to the first free kick in an attacking position


GB at 2016-08-14 16:15:03

First chance for MO to get involved for a while with that straight forward careless challenge


GB at 2016-08-14 16:11:24

There was a good example of good old eye contact between the referee and Eddie Smart as he just wanted to check that was a goal kick instead of a corner.


GB at 2016-08-14 16:10:06

10 minutes gone and a very steady start all round for both teams and the officials


GB at 2016-08-14 16:07:51

Good to see MO showing some positive clear signals early in the game for throw-ins. Great confident  first impressions are important at every level.


GB at 2016-08-14 16:06:22

MO is already showing a different level of fitness than some of his colleagues already this season. He really has a great acceleration off the mark.


GB at 2016-08-14 16:03:48

Ant referees using buzzers for the first time this season should not get out of the habit of always looking at the assistant, just in case the buzzer is not working!


GB at 2016-08-14 16:02:37

The referee was just a tad late picking that flag up for the first off-side, I wonder if the buzzer was pushed early enough by Eddie Smart?

GB at 2016-08-14 16:01:00

AR1: Stuart Burt (SB) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-08-14 16:00:34

And back we go!


GB at 2016-08-14 16:00:08

Arsenal won the toss so it will be Liverpool to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at

GB at 2016-08-14 15:56:25

What do you all think of the new Officials kit colours out there?


GB at 2016-08-14 15:55:42

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2016-08-14 15:53:25

Great to see the Twitter feed warming up already with thoughts about Andre Mariner in the earlier game.

And here is a good discussion point from Rob

Well @youaretheref what do you guys think? Should @FA take retrospective action for diving?

That would definitely float my boat Rob!


GB at 2016-08-14 15:47:06

Referee: Michael Oliver (MO)

AR1: Stuart Burt (SB)

AR2: Eddie Smart (ES)

4th Official: Craig Pawson (CP)

Michael Oliver

Every official will tell you that they want to be involved in the opening round of fixtures each season. This gives them an opportunity to hit the ground running and make a personal stake to establish themselves as high as possible in the merit list. Everyone is top of the list before a ball is kicked and the last thing you want is to get off to a poor start and find yourself playing “catch up” because of a lack of preparation for the big kick off.

Michael Oliver has definitely shown great promise over the past few seasons since he was promoted to the FIFA List at the beginning of 2012, but he really needs to aim for total consistency this term if he is to make the break out of the First Group and challenge for a position in the Elite Group of UEFA Referees. This is the perfect stage for him to shine today, and I am sure he will be up-for-it in every way.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-08-14 15:44:46



Petr Cech (A 33)

Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

Aaron Ramsey (A 8)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Rob Holding (A 16)

Alex Iwobi (A 17)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Calum Chambers (A 21)

Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

Francis Coquelin (A 34)

Mohamed Elneny (A 35)


Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Jack Wilshere (A 10)

David Ospina (A 13)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

Santiago Cazorla (A 19)

Granit Xhaka (A 29)

Chuba Akpom (A 32)




Simon Mignolet (L 22)

Nathaniel Clyne (L 2)

Georginio Wijnaldum (L 5)

Dejan Lovren (L 6)

Philippe Coutinho (L 10)

Roberto Firmino (L 11)

Jordan Henderson (L 14)

Ragnar Klvan (L 17)

Alberto Moreno (L 18)

Sadio Mané (L19)

Adam Lallana (L 20)


Alexander Manninger (L 13)

Marko Grujic (L 16)

Emre Can (L 23)

Divock Origi (L 27)

Joel Matip (L 32)

Kevin Stewart (L 35)

Trent Alexander-Arnold (L 66)


GB at 2016-08-14 15:41:56

This is always one of the biggest games of the season and coming on the opening weekend this year, it is a chance for both teams to put down a marker as to who is “up for it most” in what promises to be another monumental battle to reach the top and stay there!


GB at 2016-08-14 15:41:25

Welcome to this afternoon’s RefCam coverage of the premier League game between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at