Arsenal v Manchester United



GB at 2015-10-04 17:59:18

Well only 2 teams turned up for this fixture, one was in red and the other was in yellow and they both turned in excellent performances!


Anthony Taylor came into this game having started really well this season and certainly kept his average up with another faultless performance. Everything about the way he went about his business in this game reflected confidence, concentration and supreme fitness.


What stood out for me most was the way he read the game and knew just when to drift in and out of the game and always stepped up his control with the appropriate disciplinary sanctions precisely when they were required.


The referee led an excellent team by example and did the reputation of the top flight officials the world of good with that all-round performance.


Well done to all three officials – keep this standard up please!


GB at 2015-10-04 17:50:55

My final summary will follow in a few minutes.


I trust you have enjoyed today’s RefCam coverage so far today and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


Tune in again at 10pm tonight for the Major League Soccer fixture FC Dallas v Houston Dynamo


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:


GB at 2015-10-04 17:50:14

Full Time


Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester United



GB at 2015-10-04 17:48:05

minimum of 2 added minutes to be played


GB at 2015-10-04 17:47:37

AT making sure he had the last word with Fellaini then as it was only a matter of time before his actions resulted in a free kick


GB at 2015-10-04 17:45:56

I talked about “athletes who can referee” in my last blog and this is what we have seen in this game as Anthony Taylor powers through the centre of the field of play again


GB at 2015-10-04 17:43:33

the referee demonstrating his excellent sprinting style and ability there as play switched from one end to the other. Tremendous fitness at this stage of the game!


GB at 2015-10-04 17:41:58

great shot then  of the referee holding his arm straight up in the air to signal that the free kick for off-side was in-deirect – so often referees let themselves done by hold their arm out at an angle instead of straight up in the air


GB at 2015-10-04 17:38:25

poor practice then by John Brooks as he stepped back from the line as the players came towards him. As I have said numerous times before the assistant would do better to drop back towards the corner flag to keep out of the way so he can look back down the line and judge if the whole ball crosses the touch-line


GB at 2015-10-04 17:36:06

It would not surprise me at all if this game has one more reckless challenge left in it but I am also convinced that the referee will be up for it


GB at 2015-10-04 17:34:18

Anthony Taylor has not gone looking for trouble at all in this game but has always looked like he is ready to deal with whatever this game presents him with. He was very quickly in there at the slightest chance of the players adopting an aggressive attitude towards each other


GB at 2015-10-04 17:31:22

and AT shows his consistency again in his use of the advantage deep inside of the Arsenal half, then immedeately demonstrates the stepped approach as he clearly gives Fellaini his final warning about his conduct


GB at 2015-10-04 17:28:52

20 left and already the officials should be thinking about how they are going to close this game out in the manner they have performed so far


GB at 2015-10-04 17:27:13

It should be said that the attitude of the players in this game has been very good towards each other and the officials which always helps them to be able to just get on and do their respective jobs


GB at 2015-10-04 17:25:20

good example then when Walcott was well off-side as he walked out to the United penalty area but was not penalised for being in that position even under the revised interpretation this season as he did not prevent an opponent playing the ball


GB at 2015-10-04 17:21:39

The tempo continues to stay higher in the second half and AT is quite rightly picking off all the minor offences now in order to keep the game firmly under his control


GB at 2015-10-04 17:20:13

AT very close again to that shout for a hand ball by Fellaini and quick to show that the ball hit his chest


GB at 2015-10-04 17:18:20

He has remained calm and looks like he will not allow the players to undermine his concentration. He was very close in for that shout for a penalty – from the crowd only!


GB at 2015-10-04 17:16:48

Anthony Taylor has earned the respect of the players by not micromanaging this game but at the same time making it clear that he will protect them from any ill dicipline


GB at 2015-10-04 17:14:14

Yellow Card for Wayne Rooney (MU 10) as Anthony Taylor continues to send out all the messages that he is not going to allow this game to get away from him


In my pre-match I said he needed to shine in this game to raise his profile in UEFA in one of the biggest games of the season and so far that is precisely what he has done


GB at 2015-10-04 17:10:06

Tempo rising now and the referee goes up with it as Francis Coquelin (A 34) get a Yellow Card for his reckless challenge


GB at 2015-10-04 17:09:04

once again John Brooks showing that he is on top form today. That last movement which looked like the United player was off-side as he ran forwards demonstrated what I all ways coach to assistants – don’t raise your flag when you think someone is off-side, only raise when he is off-side


GB at 2015-10-04 17:05:54

I expect Marouane Fellaini (MU 27) has been sent on to “put himself about a bit” so the referee will be sure to keep him in his sights!


GB at 2015-10-04 17:03:55

AT starting the second half as he did the first one with a very confident blast of his whistle and a “safe” free kick in front of the technical areas


GB at 2015-10-04 17:02:37

United get the second half underway


GB at 2015-10-04 16:58:34

It may seem to the casual observer that this has been an easy game for the referee so far with such a one-sided encounter and only 10 free kicks given so far, but what Anthony Taylor has done is manage this game to perfection so far – which makes it “look easy”.


Everything about his body language from the moment he gave his first free kick in the first minute to the way he picked out the two reckless challenges which required yellow cards has displayed a referee who is all over this game. He has used his presence well along with his superb fitness to let this game flow as much as possible, whilst at the same time keeping a tight grip on the proceedings.


The team as a whole have kept their level of involvement at the optimum level and have hardly been noticed. John Brooks has made some excellent off-side calls whether he raised his flag or not (particularly to one where he kept his flag down for the second goal).


Lee Betts has made just one poor decision when he failed to flag Rooney off-side, but apart from that it has been a very good performance all round so far.


More of the same please gentlemen!


GB at 2015-10-04 16:49:08

My half time summary will be follow shortly


Our Web site continues to expand every week and the latest edition to the editorial team, Patrick Barclay, opened his account this week with his first compelling article which questions the interpretation by our top flight officials and the governing bodies of the illegal use of hands and arms in holding off players – Keep your hands off


Kim Milton Neilsen’s second article was also posted this week in which he comes out and states his considered opinion as to who should get the nod for the EUROs between Atkinson and Clattenburg – Euro 2016, domestic preparation and Italy’s green card


Keep a look out for this week’s Ref Show tomorrow which is sure to provide candid and forthright opinions on all the action this weekend including whether Robert Madley was really ready for his calling to the Bridge on Saturday? Fair play to the PGMOL for giving him a chance to shine on the big stage, but the evidence was there for all to see that he seemed to choke on thye big occasion. What does that say about succession planning for the future I wonder, when a referee gets his first big game in his 3rd year on the list and still pulls up short?


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GB at 2015-10-04 16:47:55

Half Time


Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester United


GB at 2015-10-04 16:46:41

minumium 2 minutes to be played of added time


GB at 2015-10-04 16:46:06

What I like about AT is that he is not afraid to drift into the penalty area if the play demands it. So many of the “less fit” referees in the Select Group are far to happy to stop short of the penalty area sometimes by a number of yards


GB at 2015-10-04 16:43:27

AT spots another late challenge and steps in with the correct decision. He really has not missed anything so far


GB at 2015-10-04 16:40:13

The referee did really well then as the challenges started to fly in , in the centre of the filed of play. He really is reading this game well as there was no need to stop the play as the challenges were all fair, even if they looked a bit “meaty”


GB at 2015-10-04 16:38:24

Lee Betts comes into the action now much to the relief of the Arsenal back 4 this time


GB at 2015-10-04 16:36:53

that looked like a close one but once again John Brooks was spot on with his off-side decision as Theo Walcott (A 14) broke forwards


GB at 2015-10-04 16:35:31

AT happy to play the advantage again inside of Arsenal’s half and again the ball ends up in the United penalty area


GB at 2015-10-04 16:34:15

that was reminiscent of the “old” Arsenal back 4 as they all raised their hands to claim the Rooney was off-side – and they were correct as well. Poor decision to keep his flag down then by Lee Betts on the far side


GB at 2015-10-04 16:32:44

1st free kick given against Arsenal in the 31st minute and still they all moan about it! – some things never change!


GB at 2015-10-04 16:31:05

that Yellow Card for Matteo Darmian (MU 36) demonstrates exactly what I said in my previous text. Anthony Taylor is all over this and has already shown that he is one step ahead of the players in all sorts of ways


GB at 2015-10-04 16:28:22

Anthony Taylor will be well aware that United may be feeling they have lost the battle already so he needs to ensure they do not go out to win the war!


GB at 2015-10-04 16:26:24

I keep going back to that 1st yellow card and must say that is where the top referees can show their class as they do not miss the opportunity to raise their profile when they need to in a game where there had been hardly anything for him to do


GB at 2015-10-04 16:24:27

Excellent example of a referee setting his stall out and reading the tempo of the game to perfection. That was always a yellow card for unsporting misbehaver regardless of the fact that it was only the second free kick in the game in the 22nd minute.


GB at 2015-10-04 16:22:45

its all about discipline now for United

2nd free kick in the game produces 1st Yellow Card for Ashley Young (MU 18)


GB at 2015-10-04 16:21:00

GOAL! brilliant goal from Alexis Sánchez (A 17)


Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester United


GB at 2015-10-04 16:19:13

It only takes one poor challenge to spark things off though so the referees cannot afford to relax even when the players are holding back from each other as they have done so far in this game


GB at 2015-10-04 16:17:49

I know there is a long way to go yet but it is so noticeable how less intense the challenges are in this game compared to the Merseyside Derby earlier


GB at 2015-10-04 16:16:46

Lee Betts gets his first routine off-side out of the way which he will be happy with


GB at 2015-10-04 16:15:10

15 minutes gone and we have had more goals than free kicks so far!


GB at 2015-10-04 16:14:15

This referee never stops running! He is so fit he is always on his toes and adjusting his position all the time to stay in touch with the play


GB at 2015-10-04 16:12:52

Anthony Tayloe should be feeling pretty pleased with himself with 10 minutes gone as he reflects on the advantage he played before the first goal


GB at 2015-10-04 16:11:14

as we know goals change games, so the officials need to keep their concentration as the away side regroup and come at the Arsenal


GB at 2015-10-04 16:09:01

Excellent “not off-side” decision by John Brooks in the build up to Arsenal’s second goal


GB at 2015-10-04 16:08:06

and now its 2!

GOAL! Mesut Özil (A 11)


Arsenal 2 – 0 Manchester United


GB at 2015-10-04 16:06:48

AT showing his confidence is sky high as he played and advantage there which eventually resulted in the first GOAL! for Alexis Sánchez (A 17)


Arsenal 1 – 0 Manchester United



GB at 2015-10-04 16:04:19

Excellent pro-active work then by the referee before the corner to sort out the holding – that’s all it needs to let the players know what is expected of them


GB at 2015-10-04 16:02:58

These type of games obviously need a strong referee, but also one who can read the game and not strangle it


GB at 2015-10-04 16:02:09

AT straight in with a very confident whistle for the first free kick of the game in the opening minute. He already looks like he mean business!


GB at 2015-10-04 16:00:46

AR1: Mike John Brooks (JB) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2015-10-04 16:00:10

 Manchester United won the toss so it will be Arsenal  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 2015-10-04 15:56:27

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


GB at 2015-10-04 15:55:42

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Anthony Taylor (AT)

AR1: John Brooks (JB)

AR2: Lee Betts (LB)

4th Official: Roger East (RE)


Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor gets his 6th game of this campaign and lands an appointment which is normally an indication of how well the season is going for the official handed the responsibility for managing one of the highlights of the season. At least there is no animosity between the two managers, so the cameras should stay focussed on the action “on the green bit” today, which everyone is hoping will live up to its billing.


Anthony has already started the season on a high note, and top appointments like this one are precisely where he needs to shine in order to raise his profile in UEFA, as he endeavours to break away from the First Group of 59 into the Elite Group of 29. Taylor earned his position on the FIFA List back on 2013. England currently only has Atkinson and Clattenburg in the Elite Group, along with Mariner, Oliver and Taylor in the First Group, and finally Pawson and Probert in the Second Group. Spain and Italy currently lead the way in UEFA with 10 FIFA Referees apiece, including 4 each in the Elite Group, which puts our current domestic Elite Group into the shade. Maybe someone out there would like to enlighten me as to when the English FA last had a full complement of 10 Referees on the FIFA List? (answers to @youaretheref or


Assistant Referee 1 today is John Brooks, who obtained his FIFA badge at the start of this year accompanied by Lee Betts who joined the Select Group of Assistant Referees back at the beginning of the 2012/13 season. The absence of Beck and Collin in the Premier League fixtures this weekend will surely have sent a clear message to the rest of the group that nothing less than the highest quality of decision making is expected from all the officials at this level.


Roger East completes the team for his second board holding duties of the weekend, after drawing the short straw yesterday and having to stand back and watch his colleague crash and burn at Stamford Bridge. RefCam – Chelsea v Southampton


4th Official duties can be the easiest job in the world as long as the referee is having a good game, but when things aren’t going to plan out in the middle, then the last place you want to be is between two angry managers. I can still vividly remember a particular 4th official appointment when I had to “referee” Ian Holloway and Dennis Wise, respective managers of Plymouth and Millwall at the time. By the time we all got back in the dressing room I felt mentally and physically drained and there was more sweat coming out of me than the referee!


GB at 2015-10-04 15:53:24



Petr Cech (A 33)

Per Mertesacker (A 4)

Gabriel Paulista (A 5)

Mesut Özil (A 11)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Aaron Ramsey (A 16)

Alexis Sánchez (A 17)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Santi Cazorla (A 19)

Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

Francis Coquelin (A 34)


Mathieu Debuchy (A 2)

Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Olivier Giroud (A 12)

David Ospina (A 13)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

Calum Chambers (A 21)

Joel Campbell (A 28)


Manchester United

Man Utd

David De Gea (MU 1)

Memphis Depay (MU 7)

Juan Mata (MU 8)

Anthony Martia (MU 9)

Wayne Rooney (MU 10)

Chris Smalling (MU 12)

Michael Carrick (MU 16)

Daley Blind (MU 17)

Ashley Young (MU 18)

Bastian Schweinsteiger (MU 31)

Matteo Darmian (MU 36)


Phil Jones (MU 4)

James Wilson (MU 19)

Sergio Romero (MU 20)

Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

Marouane Fellaini (MU 27)

Morgan Schneiderlin (MU 28)

Paddy McNair (MU 33)


GB at 2015-10-04 15:43:06

I have fond memories of this fixture back in 2001 at Highbury and also the first time the teams met at the Emirates in 2006. One thing which particularly sticks in my mind was the opening sentence of Peter Jones’s pre-match instructions back at the hotel before we left for the game, as he addressed his team he said “Well boys, if I have to motivate you for this game, then you shouldn’t be here!” I am sure those sentiments are as true today.


GB at 2015-10-04 15:41:43

Something obviously has to give today as 2nd meets 7th and particularly as Arsenal have won just one of their last 13 Premier League fixtures against Manchester United (D4 L8).  This is the second real test of the season as to who has what it takes to make their mark at the top following the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal a few weeks ago. That game made the headlines for all the wrong reasons which detracted from the quality of play and maybe even the result!


Manchester United stood back and watched all the fallout from a distance, whilst they continued to stack up their results this season and are now looking for a fifth consecutive win in all competitions. Since their defeat to PSV in the Champions League, Louis van Gaal’s side have beaten Southampton, Ipswich, Sunderland and Wolfsburg – scoring 11 goals in the process.


Arsenal, meanwhile, have been rather more inconsistent and suffered their second Champions League defeat in as many games on Tuesday as Olympiakos secured a shock 3-2 win at the Emirates. However, in their previous Premier League match, the Gunners swept Leicester aside at the King Power Stadium, Alexis Sanchez scoring a hat-trick in a 5-2 triumph.


United took the honours at the Emirates last season 1 – 2 in a game which had one major talking point when some commentators thought Jack Wilshere was lucky to stay on the field of play after appearing to head-butt Marouane Fellaini just yards in front of referee Mike Dean. Let’s hope the officials do not make the headlines in this game today.


Manchester United are unbeaten in four away games against Arsenal and could set a new record today if they manage to go five without a loss away to the Gunners for the first times in the Premier League era.


GB at 2015-10-04 15:41:06

Welcome to this afternoon’s RefCam coverage today of the mouth-watering Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United.


Thanks to Rob Harris for keeping the seat warm at lunch time as he oversaw a generally satisfactory performance by Martin Atkinson in the Merseyside Derby, with just one isolated incident where our expert thought the referee lowered his standards by not issuing a second yellow card to Lucus following a deliberate trip on McCarthy. It was also noted that the official seemed to lose his concentration a little right at the end. This was a trait which I mentioned in my last blog that we saw a lot from referees in the Premier League last season and which tripped up many an official at the last hurdle. So far this season we have seen much less of that happening and Atkinson was fortunate that a quickly taken free-kick which he allowed to be taken from the wrong position came to nothing, otherwise it could have undone all the good work he had put in before.


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