Arsenal v Swansea City


good night from me

GB at 2015-05-11 22:06:56

Thanks for your company and I hope you can join us on RefCam again tomorrow night as YATR is proud to bring you minute by minute coverage of Mark Clattenburg as he takes charge of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final between Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

full time summary

GB at 2015-05-11 22:05:40

Kevin Friend did what he needed to do in this game and turned in a solid no nonsense performance which will have done his confidence and reputation no harm at all.


He choose to manage two reckless challenges which I felt got away from him in the first half and at the time was a risky strategy, but as a coach (as opposed to an assessor) looking back at the bigger picture of the whole game, I can now say he got away with it. Setting those isolated incidents aside, there were no surprises (apart from the goal!) and no one really noticed the referee at all. Kevin Friend deserves credit for that in a game which had the potential to heat up but never really did, so he will have to wait a little longer now to reach his ton of yellow cards this season. This game was not about the referee and his constant movement and adjustment of his position, always on his toes, helped him to hardly miss a single thing in the game – including a very significant use of goal-line technology.


All the officials can afford to feel very satisfied with their contribution to that game which leaves the Arsenal team only themselves to blame as to why they did not get anything out of it at home.


So a good day at the office and one that I am sure Kevin will look back on with complete satisfaction for a long time to come.

full time

GB at 2015-05-11 21:52:55

My final summary will follow in a few minutes; meanwhile I hope you can join us on RefCam again tomorrow night as YATR is proud to bring you minute by minute coverage of Mark Clattenburg as he takes charge of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final between Bayern Munich and Barcelona.


This must see game will be followed next weekend by more Premier League action:


Saturday 16th May:

Southampton v Aston Villa at 12:45pm

Liverpool v Crystal Palace at 5:30pm


Then Sunday 17th May:

Swansea v Man City at 1:30pm

Man United v Arsenal at 4:00pm


And finally by our late night MLS game

Orlando City v LA Galaxy at 10:00pm


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


GB at 2015-05-11 21:52:17

Full Time

Arsenal 0 – 1 Swansea City


GB at 2015-05-11 21:48:20

4 minutes of time added on to be played


GB at 2015-05-11 21:47:42

as it is, there has been very little talk back to the officials tonight


GB at 2015-05-11 21:46:59

can you imagine the amount of dissent that goal would have led to in the past?


GB at 2015-05-11 21:46:04

I was as surprised as everyone else that that ball crossed the line but the officials were left out of that decision! that was a fantastic example of how valuable that technology is to the officials these days


GB at 2015-05-11 21:44:36

technology kicks in!

GOAL!Bafetibis Gomis (SW 18)

Arsenal 0 – 1 Swansea City


GB at 2015-05-11 21:40:13

“no more time wasting” I suggest was the words used then


GB at 2015-05-11 21:39:20

the longer this game goes on the more competent KF s performance has looked. Just needs to close it out to a satisfactory conclusion now


GB at 2015-05-11 21:38:24

and again KF was close to that free kick and prepared to allow the game to start again immediately


GB at 2015-05-11 21:37:01

KF really looks on top of his game by the way he is getting as close as he can to the play on the edge of the Swansea penalty area without getting in the way of the players. He really id doing his best to give himself the best chance to get the big decisions right as we approach the last ten minutes


GB at 2015-05-11 21:34:21

now there is a man who looks under pressure, would not think they are already assured a place in the Champions League by the way Arsène Wenger is pacing up and down!


GB at 2015-05-11 21:31:40

tempo is clearly rising now and the referee will need all his experience to mange the players expectations as they get frustrated and tempers rise as well


GB at 2015-05-11 21:30:35

note KF position there as he moved into the assistant’s side of the penalty area to keep a close eye on the player inside of the penalty area


GB at 2015-05-11 21:28:54

2 more 10 minute slots to go and I still think this game could have a sting in its tail


GB at 2015-05-11 21:27:47

good tactic shown then by RM and MS for that last substitution. We used to call that “making a gate” for the player coming on to be right on the half way line


GB at 2015-05-11 21:25:58

very important for the assistants to stay switched on as well as they have also not had much to do so far


GB at 2015-05-11 21:23:44

first talking point of the second half and once again KF can sell his decision by his proximity to the play


GB at 2015-05-11 21:22:28

KFs style of personality is very quiet and professional, he is not the type of referee who is talking to the players all the time. This works for some referees better than others but the important thing is not to try to copy someone else’s style if it does not suit you


GB at 2015-05-11 21:22:04

good to see KF moving closer to the play in the penalty area then


GB at 2015-05-11 21:18:09

30 minutes to go and I predict this will be a test of KFs resolve to see if he can see this one out with 100% concentration and accurate decisions in the big calls as they come along. To start with he will need to be ready to adapt to the change in tactics send on with the substitues


GB at 2015-05-11 21:14:37

as I said in the first half, these games often come down to fitness and positioning when there is not much else for the referee to get involved in. So far I think KF has ticked those two boxes


GB at 2015-05-11 21:13:24

great shot of the referee really putting the effort into his run through the middle then


GB at 2015-05-11 21:11:14

seeing KFs constant movement it is in stark contrast to some of his colleagues who are content to stand still and let the play go on around them. He is doing well to keep on his toes all the time


GB at 2015-05-11 21:09:12

interesting to hear a lot more whistle and stringer tone in the second half already. KF using this tool to raise his profile already


GB at 2015-05-11 21:08:03

good to see KF being pro-active regarding grappling before corner taken


GB at 2015-05-11 21:07:20

even the crowd seem a bit flat tonight so the officials must not loose their concentration for a split second


GB at 2015-05-11 21:06:02

followed by another. KF right to get these little ones boxed off early in the second half to keep the confidence of the players


GB at 2015-05-11 21:05:06

nice little soft free kick for KF early in this half


GB at 2015-05-11 21:03:43

What do you think, is this going to liven up in the second half?


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



GB at 2015-05-11 21:02:47

off we go again for second half

half time

GB at 2015-05-11 21:00:43

The latest version of the Ref Show is all over the cutting room floor at this very moment but should be available to view later tonight. There were a few interesting decisions for the panel to review stemming from all the Premier League action this weekend, so be sure to tune into this week’s lively debate as soon as it is posted.


All the previous editions, remain available to view at


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

half time summary

GB at 2015-05-11 20:58:27

Kevin Friend has come through that first 45 minutes with his control intact and the players seem to be accepting his tolerance level. I was worried at the start that he may be walking a tightrope, but so far it has worked in his favour, not least because Jonjo Shelvey (SW 8) played straight into his hands with his second poor challenge which Kevin was able to react to in the mode of the warning the player was given in the second minute.


Kevin has looked on his toes and is moving around comfortably adjusting his position when required and coping well with the pace of the game with the switches from end to end.


Once again there could be some comment at half time about a bit of holding in the Swansea penalty area, but there was nowhere near enough in that for me to require a penalty kick to be awarded.


I can’t help feeling like that was just the warm up for the first 45 minutes. Both teams want to win this game I am sure so I expect them to come out fighting in the second half so the officials need to be switch on from the start again.


Richard West will wake up in a cold sweat tonight when he recalls one off side he gave in that first half and his colleague has had very little to do but has fulfilled all his duties competently so far.


half time

GB at 2015-05-11 20:48:56

On the back of the announcement that Mark Clattenburg has been appointed to referee the second leg of the Champions League semi-final between Bayern Munich and Barcelona tomorrow night, Keith Hackett’s first blog this week gives a comprehensive explanation of the differences between the moderation systems used by UEFA to compile their merit lists for referees compared to that in use in the EPL and concludes that Referee assessors are sadly missed by referees in our top competition in England. This and all previous blogs are still available now at .


The YATR Mag area of the website leads the way by heralding the news that tomorrow night’s showcase semi-final will be conducted by the official whom the YATR experts have singled out all season as the one consistently performing at the top of his ability. It also gives an incite into who the UEFA Observer charged with running the rule over one of England’s top official throughout this game will be, so if you want to find out who that is, you can catch up with the YATR Mag at


As you would expect, YATR will be bringing you coverage of Mark’s big game tomorrow night via RefCam.


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 2015-05-11 20:48:15

Half Time

Arsenal 0 – 0 Swansea City


GB at 2015-05-11 20:47:43

good awareness by KF there to play advantage from the off side flag


GB at 2015-05-11 20:45:38

minimum of 2 added minutes required


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

good learning point there for referees. Ask the player if he want to go off for treatment first – don’t just call the trainer on regardless


GB at 2015-05-11 20:44:05

to be fair to the referee he does not look to be under too much pressure and appears to be ticking the technical boxes in this game so far by remaining alert to changes in direction of the play and maintaining credible distance from th eplay


GB at 2015-05-11 20:41:56

more cat and mouse stuff from the teams mean this becomes a test of fitness and positioning for the referee


GB at 2015-05-11 20:39:50

Yellow Card

Jonjo Shelvey (SW 8)

I obviously spoke too soon. Very pleased to see that caution though anything less for his next challenge would have been very poor



GB at 2015-05-11 20:37:33

Despite the tone of some of my comments, I must concede that Kevin Friend seems to have the confidence of the players in his recognition of fair and unfair challenges and so far the lid has remained tightly down in this game regardless of a few “meaty” challenges in the early stages


GB at 2015-05-11 20:34:24

KF will need to sort this grappling out as it looks stronger than the usual


GB at 2015-05-11 20:33:40

KF’s position inside of the penalty area added credibility to his corner decision then


GB at 2015-05-11 20:32:31

good to see KF getting the little thing right there to have free kick taken from right place


GB at 2015-05-11 20:31:50


second match in a row I have blogged where an assistant has demonstrated what I said a few weeks ago about best practice to run ahead of the players and look back to judge ball over the line or not as players run towards you rather than stepping back from the line


GB at 2015-05-11 20:30:02

KF well placed to spot that foul by Arsenal. If it is an Arsenal player who gets cautioned first they will feel very aggrieved, that is the type of extra pressure the referee puts on himself by not taking strong action early. This may not appear like a feisty game yet, but trust me, it is bubbling under!


GB at 2015-05-11 20:27:42

once again the players do not help themselves by going down so easy in the penalty area. no penalty for me that time


GB at 2015-05-11 20:26:43

another challenge from behind by Federico Fernández (SW 33) that time. KF choosing to keep his tinder dry again but I cant help thinking that he will have to stamp his authority onto this game sooner or later


GB at 2015-05-11 20:24:42

I think the pace of the game is deceiving at the moment. The players from each team are happy to hang back but as we have seen they have not held back in the force of their challenges a couple of times. That was just a routine foul there in the middle. KF picking them off OK at the moment.


GB at 2015-05-11 20:23:02

That was more like it by MS. Good to see him right in line with the second rearmost defender in the replay. Good sound off side – close but correct


GB at 2015-05-11 20:19:59

Well that off side signal was totally wrong. Jonjo Shelvey (SW 8) played the ball to himself off a defender. RW got that completely wrong. Does not baud well …..


GB at 2015-05-11 20:18:09

I wish referees would not stop play for players to do up their laces – nothing in the law which says they should


GB at 2015-05-11 20:16:13

That was a clear foul but KF needs to be fully focussed tonight not to get conned by the players as the challenges fly in. There is no doubt they know his level of experience and lack of top games so they will push him to the limit. He needs to react accordingly


GB at 2015-05-11 20:14:09

Well done MS then – no foul close to him. Good to see KF squeezing play over to be close to that challenge too


GB at 2015-05-11 20:12:40

No one wants to see cards thrown around too early, but KF must have done his homework into the last time these teams met and realised that them took no prisoners that time


GB at 2015-05-11 20:11:28

That was the second reckless challenge for me. The Swansea player was so late he was never going to get the ball. At least Jonjo Shelvey (SW 8) got a clear warning after his reckless challenge to set up what will be his inevitable caution but KF not quite so strong with his words of wisdom this time.


GB at 2015-05-11 20:08:17

The assistants will be pleased to see the clear lines on the way the grass has been cut – no excuse for miss-judgement for off sides tonight


GB at 2015-05-11 20:06:03

KF has already shown his cards by getting ahead of the play where he can as the play switches from one end to the other quickly. You really need to be fit to do that in order to catch up when play switches back


GB at 2015-05-11 20:03:37

Look likes this game has started as the last encounter finished. KF set his tolerance level with that challenge from behind – time will tell if he will regret not cautioning for that first crunching challenge


GB at 2015-05-11 20:02:03

Swansea not touched the ball yet but get first throw-in


GB at 2015-05-11 20:00:48

AR1: Mark Scholes (MS) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2015-05-11 20:00:10

Swansea City 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

pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:55:01

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

pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:54:23

Today’s Assistants:


AR1: Mark Scholes (MS)

Mark joined the Select List of Assistant Referees for the first time at the beginning of the 2008/09 season and has participated in over 105 games including 28 this season. He spent a couple of years in the wilderness and did not officiate at any Premier League games for 2 seasons between 2010 and 2012, but his re-selection to the elite list proves that it is form and not reputation which keeps the top assistants occupying the top spots.


AR2: Richard West (RW)

Richard West also moved up to the Select Group in 2008/09 and has since participated in over 140 top flight games in this country during an uninterrupted run of 6 straight seasons. Richard can also boast of 18 international appointments between 2008 and 2010, although he was never rewarded with a full FIFA badge.


This is the first time this season that either of these assistants have worked with tonight’s referee, so it will be interesting to see how well they gel together in the early stages which will demonstrate the effectiveness of the referee’s pre-match instructions which are usually delivered at the hotel before the officials travel to the ground.


4th Official:

Robert Madley finds himself on board holding duties in the Premier League again having refereed only 9 Premier League games this season and not crossed the line with the whistle for a top flight game since 21st March when he conducted Aston Villa v Swansea City.

pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:50:37

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Kevin Friend (KF)

AR1: Mark Scholes (MS)

AR2: Richard West (RW)

4th Official: Robert Madley (RM)


I was fortunate to work with Kevin on a number of occasions before he reached the level of Premier League Referee in 2009, and you could not wish to meet a nicer bloke who thoroughly deserves all he has got out of refereeing due to his committed attitude and professional demeanour.


Kevin has conducted a credible 21 Premier League matches this season as well as having the joint record for the amount of 4th official duties. He may not have taken charge of any of the really big games at the top which come along each year, but he has generally proved himself to be a safe pair of hands to control what is put in front of him and he has had less than his fair share of controversial incidents to his name so far this season. This could be a tough test for him though.


The 2013 Capital One Cup final referee has issued 94 Yellows and 3 Reds so far this season – I wonder whether the crowd will stand up and applaud if he reaches his century tonight?

pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:45:46

Here are the teams for tonight’s game:




David Ospina (A 13)

Per Mertesacker (A 4)

Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

Mesut Özil (A 11)

Olivier Giroud (A 12)

Aaron Ramsey (A 16)

Alexis Sánchez (A 17)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Santi Cazorla (A 19)

Francis Coquelin (A 34)

Héctor Bellerín (A 39)


Wojciech Szcz?sny (A 1)

Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Gabriel Paulista (A 5)

Tomáš Rosický (A 7)

Jack Wilshere (A 10)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Mathieu Flamini (A 20)




?ukasz Fabia?ski (SW 1)

Neil Taylor (SW 3)

Ki Sung-Yueng (SW 4)

Ashley Williams (SW 6)

Jonjo Shelvey (SW 8)

Nathan Dyer (SW 12)

Jefferson Montero (SW 20)

Angel Rangel (SW 22)

Gylfi Sigurðsson (SW 23)

Jack Cork (SW 24)

Federico Fernández (SW 33)


Leon Britton (SW 7)

Marvin Emnes (SW 11)

Bafetibis Gomis (SW 18)

Matt Grimes (SW 21)

Gerhard Tremmel (SW 25)

Ashley Richards (SW 29)

Modou Barrow (SW 58)

pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:43:48

Looking back at the history of this match in League competitions in London, these teams have only faced each other before 5 times and there is currently nothing between them as they both have 2 wins, 2 losses and a draw to their names since the teams first met in the League back in 1982. Taking all League games into consideration home and away, the picture remains the same with both teams having logged 5 wins and 5 losses a piece and 1 match ending in a draw.


Swansea took the honours 2-1 in the reverse fixture this season in November which was a feisty affair refereed by Phil Dowd, who kept up with the historical identical form guide by issuing 5 yellow cards to each team! I am sure tonight’s referee will have done his homework on that game and will be keen to stamp his authority on the proceeding early on.


pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:41:34

Tonight on the other hand, Arsenal will be very keen to take all three points to elevate them to the same number of points as Manchester City. They will also have a game in hand, which they will need if they are going to secure second place with all the benefits that brings to their starting place on the grid for next season’s Champions League, because of the superior goal difference which the North West club currently has over them. Arsenal will be on course for their highest Premier League finish in 10 years if they can beat Swansea at the Emirates tonight.


Swansea’s dreams of qualifying for the Champions League may have disappeared some weeks ago, but they still have a very good chance of qualifying for the Europa League in their own right if they can scramble above Southampton and should Arsenal beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup final. So there is still lots for them to play for, as well as the little matter of the a couple of million quid difference in what they could pick up in prize money depending upon the position they end up in which could still be as high as 7th.


If the current Premier League form table is anything to go by then we could be in for a great game with Arsenal top and Swansea just 3 places below.


1 Arsenal 3 W W W W W D 16 L W W W W W 15 W W W W D W 16
4 Swansea 8 D W L W D W 11 L W L W L W 9 W W D L W W 13


pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:38:36

So we now know that it is two down and one to go as far as the Relegation places in the Premier League after the weekend’s results as QPR joined Burnley into the abyss yesterday in dramatic fashion!

There are still a few things to be settled yet though, both at the top and the bottom, which is great for all you neutrals out there as well as the fans of those teams which still have something to play for. The breaking news that the Premier League has been awarded an extra place in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League as a result of UEFA Respect fair play rankings keeps the door open for the team finishing highest in the Barclays Premier League Fair Play Table at the end of the 2014/15 season, that have not qualified for Europe via the league or cup competitions.

Here is a snapshot of those teams in the top 7 positions at the moment:


1 Liverpool 34 1126 281.5 8.3
2 West Ham 34 1125 281.25 8.3
3 Everton 34 1115 278.75 8.2
4 Man City 34 1113 278.25 8.2
5 Burnley 34 1112 278 8.2
6 Southampton 34 1111 277.75 8.2
7 Man United 34 1108 277 8.1


Far be it for me to be cynical, but if the yellow and red card count goes up dramatically in the remaining West Ham and Everton games, I think we could put that down to the fact that players aren’t that keen to commit to the extra games and travelling which the Europa League commitment requires. Comments welcome as always @youaretheref

pre match

GB at 2015-05-11 19:36:22

25 minutes to go before KO and welcome to this early evenings live minute by minute RefCam coverage of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Swansea City.

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