Arsenal v Sunderland


good night

GB at 2015-05-20 21:54:17

Thanks for you company and good night – see you again on Sunday I hope!

full time summary

GB at 2015-05-20 21:53:18

There were a lot of nerves and emotions out there tonight but the officials did just what they needed to do and rose about the occasion and just managed the event!


Anthony Taylor did very well indeed to let the game flow and did not over engineer anything tonight. There were no key match incidents for him to judge tonight and he did not create any. In fact all the officials can feel fully satisfied with there contribution to that game which did not turn out to be boring by any stretch of the imagination.


Anthony’s fitness stood him in good stead tonight and he also generally adjusted his position well around the edges of each penalty area as both teams created chances at each end. Just once or twice I felt he could have pressed into the penalty area a bit deeper, but he was obviously well placed as I don’t believe he actually missed anything.


Relatively quiet game for the assistants, just needed to do what they are paid for and did not become centre of attention for the wrong reasons. Some nice technique displayed at times and even when decisions were contested occasionally, particularly at Marc Perry’s end, he was at least in a credible position to sell his opinion as to who touched the ball last before it left the field of play.


Now a first for me this season – a comment on the 4th Official. Someone needs to take the blame for letting not just Lee Cattermole, but actually a number of Manchester City players wear black tape on their socks when it should have been sky blue – so it may as well be the 4th Official. Seriously though, I must hark back to the point I have made a few times and make a plea for officials on the Premier League to make sure this aspect of law 4 (even if it is silly) is adhered to for the benefit of referees at all levels who look up to you.


So finally, if a bit of coloured tape is the only thing I can find to moan about, then It must be said that the referee must have had a great game!

full time

GB at 2015-05-20 21:36:10

My final summary will follow in a few minutes.


There only be one full Premier League fixture list to come, but as well as one more game from Wk38 on Sunday, RefCam still has a wealth of commentaries from the referee’s perspective to come as you will be able to tune in for:


Play off final League 2 – Southend United v Wycombe Wanderers – 23th May KO 17.30 pm

Premier League last day – Hull City v Manchester United – 24th May KO 3.00 pm

Play off final League 1 – Preston North End and Swindon Town – 24th May KO 17.30 pm

MLS – NY Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union – 24th May KO 10.00 pm

Play off final Championship – Middlesbrough v Norwich – 25th May KO 15.00 pm

Europa Cup Final – FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v FC Sevilla – 27th May

FA Challenge Cup Final – Arsenal v Aston Villa – 30th May KO 17.30 pm

MLS – Seattle Sounders FC v New York Red Bulls 31st May KO.00 10 pm

Champions League Final – Barcelona v Juventus – 6th June


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


GB at 2015-05-20 21:35:44

Full Time


Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland


GB at 2015-05-20 21:34:48

these last few minutes are full of incidents


GB at 2015-05-20 21:34:06

good decision AT – well placed to see the Arsenal player commit the offence on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area


GB at 2015-05-20 21:32:50

no dodgy penalties required in the minimum of 3 added minutes – which seems fair


GB at 2015-05-20 21:31:34

the last thing we need now is for a poor decision by the officials as it could make the difference for Sunderland to stay in the Premier League


GB at 2015-05-20 21:29:50

you have to give Sunderland credit – they have defended so well


GB at 2015-05-20 21:29:01

There seemed to be a “little” tug back in the Sunderland penalty area then followed by a good none flag by SL then a routine off side decision


GB at 2015-05-20 21:26:28

good advantage there nearly led to a goal – good concentration and skill from the referee right to the end


GB at 2015-05-20 21:25:20

great to see the players smiling and enjoying the game


GB at 2015-05-20 21:23:36

MP having a lot better game tonight – nothing fancy about him but getting to the line sharply and looking far more confident that he has done this season. Not had a big call to make yet tonight though


GB at 2015-05-20 21:21:51

great technique by SL there – not seen him much but good throw-in signal sharp and confident with legs together!


GB at 2015-05-20 21:20:17

The watch will obviously be stopped by the referee now. He is the sole timekeeper not the 4th official as some pundits think


GB at 2015-05-20 21:18:04

Before it starts, I think Sunderland deserve credit for not wasting time in the second half much yet


GB at 2015-05-20 21:16:44

That’s better AT, breathing down their necks in the penalty area need to be so close for all the big calls as the clock ticks down


GB at 2015-05-20 21:15:43

well done AT if the referee is not ready then the kick must be re-taken


GB at 2015-05-20 21:14:54

frustrations showing there from Sunderland player but AT right there


GB at 2015-05-20 21:13:57

another holding offences slips by – all very well to loosen the grip on the game a little but players will get frustrated when clear breaches of the law are not punished


GB at 2015-05-20 21:12:36

MP sold his goalkick decision with a quick flag from a credible position – not more you can ask


GB at 2015-05-20 21:11:41

that was a very tight call indeed for SL – would have been dissected a bit more if it had gone in


GB at 2015-05-20 21:10:32

all credit to Sunderland, they obviously do not want to lose but they are not defending at any cost and are playing very fair


GB at 2015-05-20 21:08:39

I would have like to have seen AT pressing into the penalty area then and nor appearing to step back away further


GB at 2015-05-20 21:07:12

yes I know – Lee Cattermole (SUN 6) has got black tape on both socks now – I am trying not to look and will try not to mention it again (until the end)


GB at 2015-05-20 21:05:12

looks like that bigger bus has arrived for Sunderland but will it be big enough?


GB at 2015-05-20 21:03:39

30 minutes to go and it is all down to fitness – concentration – and positioning for the referee. we do not want this game decided on a mistake from the officials


GB at 2015-05-20 21:02:20

AT allowing a little more physical contact from the players which is good for the game which has suddenly come alive


GB at 2015-05-20 21:00:11

great save there by Costel Pantilimon (SUN 1) and this is more like it for entertainment value


GB at 2015-05-20 20:58:40

the current foul count after 55 minutes is just 5 for each team which shows that it has been a quiet day at the office so far for the referee


GB at 2015-05-20 20:56:10

good alertness and change of direction demonstrated by MC there – shows he is concentrating


GB at 2015-05-20 20:54:26

I did expect the tempo to rise at the start of the second half but I also expect things to calm down the closer we get to 90 if the score stays at 0 – 0


GB at 2015-05-20 20:53:16

AT showing the good adjustment of position on the assistants side as Sunderland attack the Arsenal penalty area


GB at 2015-05-20 20:52:00

AT had a great view of the hand ball shout


GB at 2015-05-20 20:51:03

That looked like hand ball to me


GB at 2015-05-20 20:49:01

if this was a cricket match they would be walking off now and shaking hands for the draw – but as far as the officials are concerned there is a job to do right until the end


GB at 2015-05-20 20:47:20

second half is underway with a couple of substitutions

twitter message

GB at 2015-05-20 20:46:10


makes a point on Twitter about time wasting

” Sunderland wasted about 10 mins taking throw ins and corners yet the ref plays 2 mins of injury time what a joke!!! ”

I did mention in my blog that they started early and the referee will need to be alert to this in the second half – not sure it was quite 10 minutes yet though


anyone else agree with Neil?

half time

GB at 2015-05-20 20:43:05

In this week’s edition of The Ref Show the panel discuss the merits of the extra EUROPA Cup place for EPL teams to strive for, due to the Fair Play Table, and the perceived benefits this could bring if it encourages more respect for referees at the top level.


As always the panel were able to balance their comments across some generally good performances again this week, as well as pointing out one or two less than perfect decisions made by both Referees and Assistants in the latest round of fixtures.


All the previous editions, remain available to view at The Ref Show


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

get your kit here

GB at 2015-05-20 20:42:32

Did you know you can get all your kit from You Are The Ref as well?


Check out this link  YATR Shop and get 20% discount now



half time

GB at 2015-05-20 20:41:50

Keith Hackett’s early blog this week explained the throw-in Law 5 in detail and echoed some of my own thoughts about how disappointing it is to see this simple law not administered appropriately at all levels catch this well-structured educational piece along with all previous blogs which are still available now at Hackett’s Blog

In the last few minutes a new blog has been posted in which Keith passes on his best wishes to Chris Foy as he moves to pastures new and gives his verdict on his new posting.


As usual there are many other new articles available at YATR-MAG including a comprehensive synopsis of all the breaking news and plumb appointments which were announced on Monday.


The second instalment of the recent interview with ex Top FIFA Referee from Denmark, Kim Milton part 2 is also a very interesting read for referees at all levels.


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


Let us know what you think about the views of our experts published in any of this media on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

half time

GB at 2015-05-20 20:38:50

Well there has been very little for the officials to get stuck into yet, but what they have all done is react appropriately to what has been put in front of them.


Anthony Taylor is using a very sensible tolerance level, and apart from one isolated incident of a shirt pull, he has managed the player’s expectations by giving the fouls they have expected.


The one yellow card was also a good example of the fact that you must not lower your standard in a very quiet game. That was a reckless challenge in any game and referees cannot allow those to go by without taking the appropriate action.


Apart from that the only MAJOR talking point  for me was the fact that Lee Cattermole (SUN 6) has been allowed to play with tape on his sock which does not match the colour of his socks! – and NO I won’t “get over it”. Come on you lot, stand up for all your colleagues in the lower leagues who have to inforce that (stupid) law every week. Rant over (unless he comes back out with it on).


GB at 2015-05-20 20:32:17

Half Time

Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland


GB at 2015-05-20 20:30:54

minimum of 2 added minutes


GB at 2015-05-20 20:30:31

good shot there of AT directly side on to the dropping ball in the centre circle – referees should be able to judge exactly where it is going to be contested by this far into the game


GB at 2015-05-20 20:29:10

both teams may be happy with the score at half time but I would not be surprised if the tempos rises at the start of the second half at least


GB at 2015-05-20 20:27:07

great stamina shown again then by AT as he sprints from end to end again


GB at 2015-05-20 20:25:49

no need at all for AT to significantly raise his profile yet. Just needs to stay there and there abouts and pick off all the little fouls being committed without stopping the game unless he needs to, to keep control


GB at 2015-05-20 20:23:03

Lee Cattermole (SUN 6) having a good nibble at his opponent (with his black tape on)


GB at 2015-05-20 20:22:19

Sunderland will continue to push there luck if AT does not give offences like that shirt pull a few minutes ago


GB at 2015-05-20 20:21:16

AL showing best practice there by staying put in line with the position for the re-start so the player has a reference point


GB at 2015-05-20 20:19:05

cant believe AT did not stop play there when that shirt was clearly being held – very dangerous president set there for if that happens in the penalty area by a defender – the same law applies. Come on AT be consistent and keep your concentration


GB at 2015-05-20 20:17:11

Sunderland may have parked it – but I think they are going to need a bigger BUS


GB at 2015-05-20 20:16:14

AT well placed there to sell that throw-in direction


GB at 2015-05-20 20:15:47

AT seemed to be a long way back then as Arsenal shot for goal – no excuse for him not pressing in to the play as he has the fitness to get back out again


GB at 2015-05-20 20:14:00

nice neat signal for throw-in MP – keep up the concentration now


GB at 2015-05-20 20:13:22

had to tell myself to focus again then because that tape is going to irritate me now


GB at 2015-05-20 20:12:27

well there he is back on the field of play and the black tape is still on his sock. Top officials have a responsibility to ensure that law is adhered to by professional teams who can afford every colour tape there is – other wise the poor grass roots referee has no chance on Sunday morning!


GB at 2015-05-20 20:10:12

he won’t be allowed back on with that


GB at 2015-05-20 20:09:45

that black tape on Lee Cattermole (SUN 6) socks is contrary to law


GB at 2015-05-20 20:08:25

this could be a long night for the Sunderland keeper if Arsenal keep peppering the shots in


GB at 2015-05-20 20:07:41

super sprinting ability displayed there by AT – all Premier League referees should be able to do that through the middle of play


GB at 2015-05-20 20:06:06

well done AT you set your tolerance level well with that first caution. If you miss those or let them go then it would be very difficult to be consistent for the rest of the game. The reckless nature of that challenge still leaves him room for later challenges


GB at 2015-05-20 20:03:54

that was not a good challenge at all – clearly reckless Yellow Card for Aaron Ramsey (A 16) first challenge or not


GB at 2015-05-20 20:01:56

another example of AT safety first attitude tonight to the slightest of physical contact in the Sunderland penalty area


GB at 2015-05-20 20:00:43

point of law – you do not need a player from each team to contest a drop ball – BTW, you can’t score from one either!


GB at 2015-05-20 19:59:52

nothing in that challenge by the Black Cats keeper, but it looks like he hurt himself


GB at 2015-05-20 19:59:02

13 minutes gone and already Sunderland not showing a lot of urgency to get the ball back into play quickly. I expect AT to manage any time tasting firmly in the second half


GB at 2015-05-20 19:57:08

good practice to see MP turning his head and not his body as he looked down the touchline then


GB at 2015-05-20 19:55:02

AT not risking letting any minor offence slip by so far. Not a bad tactic until the players intentions are obvious in a game like this


GB at 2015-05-20 19:53:45

it always instils confidence in a referee when he “looks” as fit as the players – AT certainly ticks that box and moves around very comfortably. Just needs to ensure he end up it the best position


GB at 2015-05-20 19:51:36

pushing seems to be the offence of the night – AT moved in well after giving the faoul


GB at 2015-05-20 19:50:37

good spot by AT another holding offence evens things up and gives the referee a chance to be consistent already

GB at 2015-05-20 19:49:02

caution category


GB at 2015-05-20 19:48:40

first foul was a clear holding offence but that one did not fall into the mandatory cause category


GB at 2015-05-20 19:47:45

Sunderland with 9 men behind the ball already – wonder what their tactics are?


GB at 2015-05-20 19:46:25

MP had to be switched on right from the start then to keep up with play


GB at 2015-05-20 19:45:37

AR1: Scott Ledger (SL) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2015-05-20 19:45:11

Arsenal  won the toss so it will be Sunderland 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

pre match

GB at 2015-05-20 19:40:22

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


GB at 2015-05-20 19:36:58

Next Sunday’s appointments are now out and they usually give an indication as to how well individuals have done in the respective merit lists for the season. In the past, all those officials awarded fixtures on the last day of the Football League and Premier League campaigns were always selected on merit. Getting a game on the last day of the season was right up there with being out on the first day of the season and Boxing Day on every official’s wish lists.


The “Runners and Riders” regular feature will be up on the YATR website later this week with the usual full SP on the last set of appointments for the season, but until then, tell us if you think this lot would be your top ten based on what you have seen this season via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at .

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion   Mark Clattenburg
Aston Villa v Burnley   Mike Jones
Chelsea v Sunderland   Lee Mason
Crystal Palace v Swansea   Craig Pawson
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur   Jonathan Moss
Hull City v Manchester United   Lee Probert
Leicester City v Queens Park Rangers   Michael Oliver
Manchester City v Southampton   Chris Foy
Newcastle United v West Ham United   Martin Atkinson
Stoke City v Liverpool   Anthony Taylor


GB at 2015-05-20 19:30:53

Today’s Assistants:


AR1: Scott Ledger (SL)

Scott was promoted to the Select Group of Assistant Referees back in season 2009/10 and has officiated in nearly 200 games in the top League including a very creditable 35 appointments already this season. He has tasted the joys of Europeans appointments on half-a-dozen occasions but has not quite made the break through into FIFA nomination. He must have had a pretty decent season as he recently ran the line in the first leg of the Championship Play Off semi-final at Brentford. This will be the 4th line Scott has run to tonight’s referee in the Premier League this season.


AR2: Marc Perry (MP)

Marc Perry is coming to the end of his second season on the Premier League and has been the subject of a few offers of technical advice via RefCam during some of his games under our microscope. One brilliant decision does not make a season, nor should one error in judgement ruin a season either, but in order to stay in the top flight as an assistant referee, it is important to get a reputation for reliability and consistency week-in week-out. Marc has only worked with Anthony once before in the Premier League this season. Good luck tonight Marc, go out and show everyone what you can do and what got you to where you are today!



4th Official Kevin Friend (KF):

Kevin keeps his position at the top of the 4th Official’s league table with his 25th appointment to manage the technical areas and assist the referee from the side-line.


GB at 2015-05-20 19:28:40

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Anthony Taylor (AT)

AR1: Scott Ledger (SL)

AR2: Marc Perry (MP)

4th Official: Kevin Friend (KF)


Referee:  Anthony Taylor (AT)

Anthony takes charge of his second game in North London in 4 days and will be fully aware of the significance of the fixture to both clubs, so he needs to be totally pumped up for this one and approach it with the same professional attitude as if it were the first game of the season As we saw on Monday, end of season games can still throw up disciplinary incidents which need to be dealt with appropriately.


Anthony has had more than his fair share of dodgy penalty decisions this season, so this is one area in particular that he will be desperate to ensure he nails in this fixture. I expect the pressure to start from the first minute tonight as the home team come out of the blocks running, so this could be the ideal opportunity for Anthony to show us all what he is capable of.


He has already packed a lot into his relatively short refereeing career since he was taking charge of Northern Premier League games back in 2002, then swiftly rose to the FIFA ranks 11 years later in 2013. Anyone not familiar with the policies and politics of a referee’s progression up the promotion pyramid (notwithstanding the essential ingredient of a substantial ability which is well above all those other officials at the same level as you), may think that 11 years is a long time from flash to bang – but trust me, not many officials ever manage to scale the heights that Anthony has achieved in such quick time in this country.


The award of this season’s Capital One Cup Final confirmed the continued confidence in his ability held by those in the corridors of power, but Anthony needs to repay this confidence now by putting together a sustained run of performances in which none of his big calls are the subject of discussions by the pundits (albeit it will have to wait until next season now). With 13 full internationals under his belt and over 100 Premier League games to his name since 2010 (including 27 this season), Anthony needs to push on if he wants to be in position to challenge for the positions currently held by Atkinson and Clattenburg in the years to come.


GB at 2015-05-20 19:27:09

Here are the teams for this evening’s game:




David Ospina (A 13)

Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Per Mertesacker (A 4)

Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

Jack Wilshere (A 10)

Mesut Özil (A 11)

Olivier Giroud (A 12)

Aaron Ramsey (A 16)

Alexis Sánchez (A 17)

Lukas Podolski (A 9)

Santi Cazorla (A 19)

Héctor Bellerín (A 39)


Wojciech Szcz?sny (A 1)

Gabriel Paulista (A 5)

Tomáš Rosický (A 7)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Mathieu Flamini (A 20)

Francis Coquelin (A 34)




Costel Pantilimon (SUN 1)

Billy Jones (SUN 2)

Patrick van Aanholt (SUN 3)

Lee Cattermole (SUN 6)

Sebastian Larsson (SUN 7)

Connor Wickham (SUN 10)

Adam Johnson (SUN 11)

John O’Shea (SUN 16)

Danny Graham (SUN 19)

Sebastián Coates (SUN 22)

Jermain Defoe (SUN 28)


Jack Rodwell (SUN 8)

Steven Fletcher (SUN 9)

A Reveillere (SUN 15)

Emanuele Giaccherini (SUN 23)

Vito Mannone (SUN 25)

Santiago Vergini (SUN 27)

Will Buckley (SUN 30)

pre match

GB at 2015-05-20 19:25:11

There is not much to choose between these teams when you look at the current Premier League form table though, with Sunderland just two places above the Gunners courtesy of their most recent results:


Form Pos CLUB League








4 Sunderland 16 D L W L W D 8 D L D L D W 6 W L D W W D 11
6 Arsenal 3 W W W W D L 11 W W W W W D 9 W W D W L D 13



Looking back at the history of this match in League competitions in London, Arsenal have a healthy 36 wins to their names against just 15 for Sunderland and there have been 16 drawn games since the teams first met in the League back in 1904. Taking all League games into consideration home and away, the picture is a lot closer, with Arsenal still ahead with 53 wins to Sunderland’s 44 and 38 matches having ended in a draw.


Arsenal took the honours 0-2 in the reverse fixture this season in October which was refereed by Kevin Friend. There were 3 yellow cards issued for each team in that game.

pre match

GB at 2015-05-20 19:23:40

The weekend’s results have left this fixture still meaning a lot to both Arsenal and Sunderland, as the trap door to the football League is still slightly ajar for Sunderland and Arsenal’s single point from their last two matches means that they are still not assured of claiming the 3rd Champions League place outright.


That said, a point today will suit both clubs so it will be very interesting to see how each team approaches the game. One thing for certain is that it would be very risky for either club to come out and offer to shake hands at the start, as a goal at any stage of the game could easily spoil someone’s whole season.


It remains to be seen whether they will now put their backs into this one though and with only one win against Arsenal in their last 22 Premier League clashes, Sunderland have a lot to do this evening if they intend to upset the historical form book!


I am sure Arsenal will be looking for the win as well, as they know anything less than a point today will mean that they will need to wait until the final day of the season the make sure they can save all the fuss of slipping on the potential banana skin of the extra qualifying round for the Champions League proper with the extra two leg qualifier that requires.

pre match

at 2015-05-20 19:21:41

25 minutes to go before KO and welcome to this evening’s live minute by minute RefCam coverage of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Sunderland. This game was originally due to be played on 18th April.

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