Arsenal v Manchester United


Good night

GB at 2017-12-02 21:11:50

Thanks for all the Tweets during this game – please keep them coming

Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-12-02 21:08:49


The main points in this game from the officials perspective were:

  • A performance which was heading for a 10/10 was marred right near the end by a missed penalty decision
  • Take the above point out of the equation and the only thing to talk about would be the football on show and not the officials
  • Teamwork was of a very high standard (apart from the missed penalty), particularly with the Paul Pogba (MU 6) send off.

I was so pleased for Andre Marriner who is one of the nicest blokes you could meet on the Premier League Referees list and often under-rated when games like this come along for the majority of this game. The longer the game went on the more confident I was that he was going to get across the line with this one with flying colours, particularly after the BIG decision to send off Paul Pogba (MU 6) for Serious Foul Play after thechallenge which clearly endangered the safety of his opponent. The camera shots showed that the Man Utd player was not focused on the ball as he steamed in, but was always going to catch the player. Andre Marriner did not have the optimum view of this offence, but I think he got some supper support from either AR1 Simon Beck of the 4th Official Michael Oliver, as he gave himself some thinking time before going for his red card. Not all referees have the benefit of communication kits, but when something like this happens at speed, this was a great example of the importance of not going yellow too quickly, but taking the time to check with your colleagues, even if that means going to the touchline. At the end of the day for this one, it did not matter who make that call – the red card was correct!

After that big call the next one to come along was the yellow card for the reckless challenge by Laurent Koscielny (A 6) just inside of the Arsenal half which was also spot on for me. It makes no matter if he was the “last defender”, the referee has to decide if the player had denied an Obvious goal-scoring opportunity for it to result in a red card – that could never tick that box for me. The laws of the game were updated this year to clarify that it is only the “overall movement” of the player towards the goal which has to be considered when making the DOGSO call,  –

“denying a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent whose overall movement is towards the offender’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick”

“Use of ‘overall movement’ clarifies that if, in the final stage, the attacker moves diagonally to go past a goalkeeper/defender an obvious goal-scoring opportunity can still exist.

But in this incident the movement of the player is not the critical point, the fact that another defender had a clear opportunity to stop the attacking move, because the challenge was so far out, is the important thing when deciding that this was not a red card offence.

Everything was going so well, then unfortunately I Andre Marriner blotted his copy book by not awarding a penalty when Danny Welbeck (A 23) was brought down inside the Manchester United penalty Area. I am struggling to comprehend how the officials, who had worked so well together up until that point, missed that call between them. AR1 Simon Beck had proved he was all over his offside calls earlier in the half, so he will be disappointed when he sees that one back and knows he failed to bail the referee out. May be it was because the Arsenal player did not make a meal of the challenge which brought him down? Who knows (?) the fact remains that was the only mistake of any note between all the officials for the whole game – it happened though!

So there you have it – very, very close gentlemen, but not quite a cigar for that one, because of a split second’s lack of concentration right near the end – which I am afraid this referee has been guilty of before!

At last we had a big game which stood up to its billing, and apart from one incident, we had a top class refereeing performance which added to the entertainment value.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2017-12-02 20:31:24


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend. Tomorrow we have two more games for you to follow from the referees perspective:

03.12.17 Bournemouth v Southampton KO 13.30 pm

03.12.17 Man City v WH United KO 16.00 pm

Then on Tuesday we dip into the UCL again for

05.12.17 Celtic v Anderlecht KO 19.45 pm

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

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


GB at 2017-12-02 20:30:27

Full Time

Arsenal 1 v 3 Manchester United

What a game that was!


GB at 2017-12-02 20:25:30

Minimum of 5 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-12-02 20:24:47

Yellow Card for Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

Yellow CardAnder Herrera (MU 21)

Both for adopting aggressive attitudes towards each other


GB at 2017-12-02 20:22:32


OH Dear ! Andre Marriner slipped back into mode for me again then I am afraid as that was a clear penalty decision  missed as Danny Welbeck (A 23) was tripped inside the penalty area. Has he switched off I wonder? I was always told on the way up that the top referees do not make mistakes. Marriner had been faultless in this game until that point, but I have to say that one got away!


GB at 2017-12-02 20:19:26


Nailed on yellow card Yellow Card for Laurent Koscielny (A 6) for that reckless challenge. Even though it was a long way out that has nothing to do with it not being a DOGSO – all that matters was it an OBVIOUS goal-scoring opportunity NO -move on!


GB at 2017-12-02 20:15:59

Consistency with “ball to hand” decisions has been another positive factor in the referee’s performance tonight.


GB at 2017-12-02 20:11:21

10 minutes to go and time to keep up the standard from all the officials


GB at 2017-12-02 20:07:04


Andre Marriner IS ON FIRE tonight with that excellent Red Card decision against Paul Pogba (MU 6) for that act of Serious Foul Play. That was the icing on the cake in this performance by the referee so far! From the replay you can see the Man Utd player’s eyes are on the Arsenal player and not the ball so he knew exactly what he was doing!


GB at 2017-12-02 20:03:41

Héctor Bellerín (A 24) can have not complaints about that Yellow Card for that reckless challenge


GB at 2017-12-02 20:01:31

That coming together had little in in for me as the Arsenal player seemed to run into the arm of the united player – that was one where a “safe” free kick would not have been questioned, but Marriner has consistently tried to keep this game moving and was close enough to sell his “non” decision again there.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:58:42

The high level of teamwork between AR2 Ledger and the Referee is demonstrated again as they signal in unison for that careless challenge.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:57:04

Marriner even manages to put in a “nutmeg”


GB at 2017-12-02 19:54:47

There was a great camera shot of the goal from behind the goal then which showed Referee Marriner steaming through the middle of the field of play to keep up with the break – his stamina has really stood the test of this game’s pace.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:52:41

GOAL! Jesse Lingard (MU 14)

Arsenal 1 v 3 Manchester United


GB at 2017-12-02 19:51:20


Spot on again by Referee Andre Marriner as Marcos Rojo (MU 5) takes the first yellow card Yellow Card “for the team”, following that “little push”. That was precisely the type of offence I said Marriner had to be alert to in this second half so the game does not degenerate into persistent infringements.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:48:16

What TOP Quality decisions from AR1 Simon Beck again as Ashley Young (MU 18) keeps all the Arsenal players who got involved in the active onside, whilst the one player who was in an offside position but did not get involve was not penalised. All the officials have hit the ground running in the second half and continued to get all the key match decision correct!


GB at 2017-12-02 19:43:48

Goal mouth clearances at both ends inside the same minute! And still no controversy towards the officials. I really hope this game is not decided on a controversial decision!


GB at 2017-12-02 19:41:04


Big Big decisions for AR1 Simon Beck then and he was spot on! Not offside when ball played forward then goalscorer GOAL! Alexandre Lacazette (A 9) was “behind the ball” when it was played back to him by Ramsey  so there was not question of offside!

Arsenal 1 v 2 Man Utd



GB at 2017-12-02 19:34:38

Second half underway – hold on top your hats

Half-Time Summary

GB at 2017-12-02 19:29:36


What a first half that was!

Full of action which shows off the EPL for all the right reasons, and so important that the officials had very little involvement at all.

With the end-to-end nature of this game in the first quarter, followed by the relentless battering of the United goal in the second quarter it was refreshing not to see the players showing dissent towards the referee’s decisions. Marriner has been true to form and just got on with the job quietly and effectively so far.

There is still a long way to go though, and if there was one chink in this referee’s armour, it would be that he has had history for self-destructing just before he gets over the line! So if there was ever a game where Marriner needs to keep his concentration levels up it is this one.

The teamwork has been faultless so far and the officials will be taking stock of that first half action and planning their strategy for the second period now which could be totally different if the Away side come out content to spoil Arsenals momentum – if that does happen, it will be important for the referee to spot it early and be strong to keep control of this one.

GB at 2017-12-02 19:20:42


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GB at 2017-12-02 19:19:45

Half Time


And relax ………


GB at 2017-12-02 19:18:37

First real opportunity for Marriner to “manage” the first possible yellow card. He kept his tinder dry and will need to remember that in the second half!

Then the goalmouth action returns with the referee right inside the penalty area to monitor it. I must say I do not like referees bending down to get a better look though – better to stand tall or re-position yourself.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:14:52

Always nice to get an easy free kick right in front of the technical areas!

Then we have another goalmouth incident – Marriner right there starring it all down as he has done all game so far.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:12:38

Even though this games looks comfortable for the officials at the moment, it will only take one challenge like that last one by Granit Xhaka (A 29) to be miss-times and this game could ignite at any time. Thats why it is so important for the referee to remain alert and look so calm and in control.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:09:58

Great teamwork displayed then as AR2 Scott Ledger is big a brave and comes in early with his signal that the Arsenal player had illegally pushed his opponent off the ball in the Man Utd penalty area. Flag was going up as whistle was blowing – much better than “bolting one on” after the whistle has gone!

GB at 2017-12-02 19:07:26

I wonder if this appointment could start a trend for the PGMOL to give the same referee’s the same games every season? What do you think? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2017-12-02 19:03:27

Oh my Goodness! what a catalogue of misses from Arsenal. This game is really living up to its billing now!


GB at 2017-12-02 19:01:57

30 minutes gone and just 3 free kicks awarded along with a number of advantages which have hardly been noticed.


GB at 2017-12-02 19:00:09


Another great “wait and see” by AR2 Ledger just before that routine careless challenge picked off by the referee calming again.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:58:27

The tempo may not be 100%, but the end to end nature of the game will test Marriner’s stamina by the end of this one


GB at 2017-12-02 18:57:22

What looked like a push in the back to me by an Arsenal player right in front of AR1 Simon Beck slips into the ether as the players just want to get on with it.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:55:32

So far everything seems to be going according to plan as the referee is able to keep the game going as much as possible. This fixture has a tendency for “kicking off” in the second half though.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:53:02

Scott Ledger AR2 right on the button again as the Arsenal player was returning from an offside position when he deflected the ball towards the goal then.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:51:03


Once again great positioning enables the referee to totally blank out the appeals for hand ball as the United player brings the ball down with his chest.

Then its straight up the other end! Marriners fitness is standing up well so far. He is not the fastest on the list, but he does well by reading the game and keeps running after he gives his decison.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:48:21

Marriner could be seen talking to the Man Utd players as they set up for that last corner. As I said earlier, his style is to do this quietly but he still gets his message across


GB at 2017-12-02 18:46:52

Delayed flag by Scott Ledger as he waited to make sure the Arsenal player was going to touch the ball and therefore become involved in the active play. May have looked like an easy one, but still need to be delivered properly and not too quickly.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:44:56

Good advantage through the centre played by Andre – I hope his confidence remains this high throughout this game.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:43:34


All the officials will be very pleased that neither of those first two goals have even a whiff of controversy about them! So important in a game like this!


GB at 2017-12-02 18:42:05

GOAL! Jesse Lingard (MU 14)

Arsenal 0 v 2 Man Utd

Now that REALLY puts the pressure on the home team.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:38:54

That shows the value of great positioning by the referee to help sell such an important decision on the edge of the penalty area.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:37:13

Andre Marriner is not the type of referee who likes to get into the player’s faces. He is much happier standing back and calmly managing his games with nothing fussy or flashy about him.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:35:17

GOAL! Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

Arsenal 0 v 1 Man Utd

Just what a game like this needed to make it interesting!


GB at 2017-12-02 18:34:00

First foul which Andre characteristically blows for very calmly as he sets his tolerance level for careless challenges like that

kick off

GB at 2017-12-02 18:31:31

Manchester United won the toss so it will be Arsenal to kick off after a change of ends – don’t see that very often these days

Good luck to all! 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 2017-12-02 18:29:14

;Please keep the Tweets coming

Start with what is a handball. Martin Atkinson can learn and soak in that fourth official what in the **** was he doing

I am looking forward to seeing that one tonight!

GB at 2017-12-02 18:27:13

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

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GB at 2017-12-02 18:26:16

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GB at 2017-12-02 18:22:16


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GB at 2017-12-02 18:21:18


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GB at 2017-12-02 18:18:46


Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Andre Marriner

AR1: Simon Beck (Technical Area)

AR2: Scott Ledger

4th Official: Anthony Taylor

Andre Marriner

It looks very much like the PGMOL have gone for “familiarity “does not” breed contempt” with this appointment, as Andre Mariner was in charge of both fixtures involving these two teams last season. I can’t remember any referee getting three on the bounce like this before! In fact, when the game was played this way round in May, the Assistant Referees were the same as well.

Not that that will worry Andre unduly, particularly as neither game caused him any problems what so ever. Just one caution last time out, and 6 in the first fixture (3 of which came in a flurry at the end).

Marriner is normally one of the 6 or 7 safe pairs of hands into which to place a game like this and he deserves this plum appointment based on his overall performances so far this season.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-12-02 18:09:46


33     Petr Cech (A 33)

6       Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

7       Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

8       Aaron Ramsey (A 8)

9       Alexandre Lacazette (A 9)

11     Mesut Özil (A 11)

18     Nacho Monreal (A 18)

20     Shkodran Mustafi (A 20)

24     Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

29     Granit Xhaka (A 29)

31     Sead Kolasinac (A 31)


4       Per Mertesacker (A 4)

10     Jack Wilshere (A 10)

12     Olivier Giroud (A 12)

13     David Ospina (A 13)

14     Theo Walcott (A 14)

17     Alex Iwobi (A 17)

23     Danny Welbeck (A 23)

34     Francis Coquelin (A 34)

Manchester United

1       David De Gea (MU 1)

2       Victor Lindelöf (MU 2)

5       Marcos Rojo (MU 5)

6       Paul Pogba (MU 6)

9       Romelu Lukaku (MU 9)

11     Anthony Martial (MU 11)

12     Chris Smalling (MU 12)

14     Jesse Lingard MU 14)

18     Ashley Young (MU 18)

25     Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

31     Nemanja Matic (MU 31)


8       Juan Mata (MU 8)

17     Daley Blind (MU 17)

19     Marcus Rashford (MU 19)

20     Sergio Romero (MU 20)

21     Ander Herrera (MU 21)

36     Matteo Darmian (MU 36)

39     Scott McTominay (MU 39)

GB at 2017-12-02 18:08:43

Some of the classic head-to-heads at the top of the table have failed to provide the high intensity “battles” of the past, so let’s hope this one stands up to its billing today!


GB at 2017-12-02 18:07:45


Another meeting between two from the “top” 6 and an another opportunity for Jose to prove that his team can turn it on against the top sides, despite their less than convincing run outs with some of the less fancied teams this season.

Arsenal’s manager has also got a point to prove of course, as his team seems to need to be super-human every week to please the Arsenal faithful.


GB at 2017-12-02 18:03:53


Welcome to this afternoon’s RefCam coverage of the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

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

Any thoughts on the big calls in the EPL so far today?