Chelsea v Manchester City



GB at 2016-04-16 19:53:42

At the start of my summary, I must say that I make no apologies for being a big Mike Dean fan!

I have worked with this referee on many many occasions on the Premier League and he was one of the most genuine and great guys on the circuit when I was on the list, who every assistant wanted to work with – because you always knew where you stood with him.

So let me get all the good stuff out there first and state clearly what he did well today and what he does much better than a lot of his colleagues, which makes him one of the best we have got at the moment:

  • His reading of the game is first class
  • His positioning and fitness was faultless today and he leaves a lot of the younger referees on the list in the shade with his powerful sprints when required
  • He gains the players respect by the way he generally sets his stall out and sticks to it (you know there is going to be a BUT in a minute though don’t you?)
  • He always looks calm and gives his decisions and goes about his work with total conviction and confidence which is so important for a referee
  • He never lets the game even slightly run away from his control


I could go on and on about all the good stuff in that game, but here is the BUT – I just wish he wouldn’t let himself down by bending over backwards sometimes to keep players on the field of play when the correct decision is a second yellow card. At the start of the season I was not a lone voice is saying that I hope Mike Dean does not drop his standards this season and keeps up the level of performances he is capable of, as the longest serving official on the list. Well I will admit that he has rightly stood out as one of the few top quality officials available to the PGMOL at the moment who you know can handle every single game on every single fixture list every  single week. So with a reputation like that, I cannot defend when he makes what I thought was a clear weak call in this game in the 65th minute, when a clear yellow card offence did not result in Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5) receiving his marching orders!

Rant over.

The other big talking point for me in this game is looking forward to next season, would that challenge by Thibaut Courtois (C 13) which correctly resulted in a penalty, also result in a red card next term? For me that was a classic example of where the inconsistency will be blatantly exploited. I would hazard a guess that as many people will argue that the goalkeeper was going for the ball (so no red card next season), as those who will say after seeing the slow motion replay that the keeper was intent on tripping the attacking player (so red card next season) – you pays your money and you takes your choice, one for The Ref Show tomorrow night I suspect!

All-in-all, I was very impressed by the decision making of the assistants today.

That’s it from me until tomorrow night when I will be on duty for the MLS, so I hope you can join me again then.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-04-16 19:22:11

My final summary will follow very shortly.

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

Coming up in the next two days we have 4 more games lined up for you to follow from the referee’s perspective:

On Sunday we have:

1:30pm Leicester City v West Ham

4:00pm Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Followed by the return of our coverage of the MLS with

8:30pm Orlando City v NE Revolution

Then on Monday we have:

8:00pm Stoke City v Tottenham

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


GB at 2016-04-16 19:21:11

Full Time

Chelsea 0 v 3 Manchester City


GB at 2016-04-16 19:17:28

Minimum of 4 minutes to be added


GB at 2016-04-16 19:16:58

Good work by Stuart Burt as he delayed the off-side flag until the player became active


GB at 2016-04-16 19:15:19

Safe call then by Mike Dean and precisely what I referred to in my previous post. A firm challenge for the ball but it looked ugly and was dangerous so the expectation is just give the free kick. No need to take chances at this stage


GB at 2016-04-16 19:13:09

As a game like this reaches the final stages the officials need to remain motivated and expect the unexpected in order to close the game out without any more controversey

GB at 2016-04-16 19:10:01

Any thoughts on the big decisions so far? Do you think the officials got them right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2016-04-16 19:07:27

GOAL!  hat trick for Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Chelsea 0 v 3 Manchester City


GB at 2016-04-16 19:06:16

Red CardThibaut Courtois (C 13)

Not much argument about that one as the laws stands at the moment – would anyone who has studied next seasons law changes like to hazard a guess if that will be a RED CARD next season – @youaretheref


GB at 2016-04-16 19:04:20

@youaretheref Mike Dean just loves to be the star – terrible decisions

Can’t totally agree with the latest Tweet from Pat, but I know where he is coming from!


GB at 2016-04-16 19:02:24

The tempo has certainly began to rise in the past few minutes since the Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5) incident.

Top referees have the ability to put previous decision in another box and move on immediately. If you dwell over an earlier decision, thats when you start making more mistakes – Mike Dean is too clever to let that affect him in this game.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:59:25

Yellow Card Sergio Agüero (MC 10) Definate reckless challenge from behind deserved a yellow card but there will always be the charge of inconsistency following the Man City player not getting a second yellow earlier in this half


GB at 2016-04-16 18:57:26

The still shot of Sergio Agüero’s left arm being in an off-side position in the build up to the Manchester City second goal shows what a fantastic decision it was by Jake Collin NOT to raise his flag. A player can only be penalised for being in an offside position if part of his body which he can legally play the ball with is in an off-side position – and that does not include his arms!


GB at 2016-04-16 18:54:11

The last time I was on RefCam when Mike Dean was the referee I felt he did exactly the same thing as he just did as Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5) “got away” without receiving a second yellow card. That type of “alternative” refereeing as we used to call it does not help a referee’s reputation.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:51:53

That was disappointing for me as it was the type of cynical foul which deserved a yellow card whether the player has already received one or not.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:50:07

Yellow Card César Azpilicueta (C 28) clear movement of the arm towards the ball (demonstrated by the referee) made that the correct decision for deliberate hand ball and also worthy of a caution BECAUSE of where it took place and BECAUSE in stopped a promising attack – NOT just BECAUSE it was hand ball


GB at 2016-04-16 18:47:27

Mike Dean continues to show off his backward running to excellent effect in the second half.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:46:31

Having complemented Jake Collin in the first half, Stuart Burt gave a classic example for me of “how not to do it” as he stepped right back away from the touchline, when his next decision was to signal when the ball left the field of play – you cant make that decision from a metre away from the line


GB at 2016-04-16 18:42:00

Fantastic powerful run from one end to the other then by the referee ensured he was right up with play for the second GOAL! for Sergio Agüero (MC 10) to make it

Chelsea 0 v 2 Manchester City


GB at 2016-04-16 18:38:21

Good awareness demonstrated by the referee then in just checking with the player who had a knock to the face before he restarted play


GB at 2016-04-16 18:37:05

When Mike Dean carries out his cautioning procedure he does so with so much confidence and conviction, this is the type of thing which makes people suggest that he is arrogant. Not for me! Just firm and positive.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:34:13

Yellow Card Samir Nasri (MC 8) Clear reckless challenge but not with the excessive force which would have warranted a Red card

GB at 2016-04-16 18:32:14

What do you think about the referee’s performance so far? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2016-04-16 18:31:32

Chelsea get the second half under way – how often this season have we not heard the referee mentioned at half time?


GB at 2016-04-16 18:28:12

Mike Dean has not disappointed so far in showing how it should be done! He has looked totally in control of this game from the opening minutes and has used his experience really well with needing to become “alternative”. He set his tolerance level in the 10th minute and the players reacted accordingly and have given him the respect he deserves for letting this game flow as much as he can and only coming in when necessary.

Referees at all levels would do well to study how calm and relaxed this referee looks on the outside, when in fact he is pedalling like mad inside to keep everything under complete control.

What Mike Dean benefits from by being on the list for so long, is that his style is both “old school” and “new wave”! Referees who have been around a bit will understand what I mean by that, but just a few examples to what out for in the second half: what how he is not afraid to vary his position to keep the best angle; what how much backwards running he doe to keep the ball always in his sights. Get the positioning and fitness right, and all the rest will fall into place!

Bot assistants have also delivered so far and are showing why they are on the FIFA List.

More of the same from everyone second half will be fine.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:18:11

This week saw the latest article from our former Danish FIFA Official columnist Kim Milton Nielsen, who gives us some interesting reflections on Friendly frustrations and referee-turned-managers


Keith Hackett’s Blog also starts the ball rolling this season on who should get the FA Cup final – never one to mince his words, out headline blogger has come out and put his cards firmly on the table Mark Clattenburg should receive FA Cup Final honour


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


GB at 2016-04-16 18:17:42

Half Time

Chelsea 0 v 1 Manchester City


GB at 2016-04-16 18:16:46

Yellow Card Nicolas Otamendi  (MC 30) – unsporting behaviour

See what I mean about the spray – no messing about!





GB at 2016-04-16 18:15:28

Not the extended whistle tooe when the City man “made a back”


GB at 2016-04-16 18:14:40

Another excellent lineing skill demonstrated then by Jake Collin this time. As the play came towards him on the line he did not “move back” but just gave himself the angle to look back along the line to judge that the ball crossed the touch line. If you move backwards as the ball and players come towards you, you end up guessing if the whole ball has crossed the line.


GB at 2016-04-16 18:11:24

Good example then of Stuart Burt keeping his head turned into the field of play when he gave that throw-in signal


GB at 2016-04-16 18:09:01

All the officials will be feeling very comfortable about how things have gone so far but it is so important to remain focussed and not lose concentration


GB at 2016-04-16 18:05:53

Watch how this referee anticipates the play and seems to instinctively move into the position he needs to be to make the next decision – that’s another thing which makes the difference between the average and good referees


GB at 2016-04-16 18:03:46

GOAL!  Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Chelsea 0 v1 Manchester City


GB at 2016-04-16 18:01:20

Mike Dean never fails to deliver the best use of the “spay” in the premier League for me. He doesn’t mess about trying to get the player’s back, he just marches out the 9.15 metres and says “there you are – get behind that” – Job Done!


GB at 2016-04-16 17:59:23

Yellow Card Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5) First real reckless challenge of the game gets what it deserved


GB at 2016-04-16 17:58:27

The camera shot of the Chelsea defender with his arms tucked behind his back shows the extent players need to go to these days to “prove” they are nor deliberately handling the ball when it hist them!


GB at 2016-04-16 17:55:57

Mike Deans slight movement out towards the touch-line at that last Man City attack shows his “old school”teaching which sets him apart from some of the newer less experienced referees who would have stayed “inside” and been in the way of the players.


GB at 2016-04-16 17:53:12

Always a good sign things are going well when a “dodgy” corner comes to nothing!


GB at 2016-04-16 17:51:11

The very slightest of touches missed then by Jake Collin as Chelsea are denied a corner. The learning point from that one is that as an assistant you must NEVER guess. If in doubt, always go defence.


GB at 2016-04-16 17:49:03

A quick check of the watch then by the referee confirms that his first 15 block has safely passed – now it is head down for full concentration for the next 15 minute block. This tactic was suggested by the Premier League Referees’ Sports Physiologist about 15 years ago and is still used to good effect. There is no reason why any referee cannot use it at every level. It also helps concentration on the line.


GB at 2016-04-16 17:45:51

A delayed advantage signal there just shows everyone that the referee spotted the offence and did not simply miss it or ignore it.


GB at 2016-04-16 17:44:23

MD is once again selling his decisions by being so close to each incident and getting himself into sound viewing positions. This has always been the “basics” which he always does well.


GB at 2016-04-16 17:42:29

Mike Dean has set his tolerance level there with that strong challenge on the touchline. He is strong enough to stick with it in a game like this. Experience helped him not to go for a card too early in this game for that one


GB at 2016-04-16 17:40:58

Great positioning then by Mike Dean and excellent example of how technology helps today’s officials at the top as he was able to focus on the players in front of him and reacted to the buzz on his arm immediately to signal the correct off-side decision. Referees are using buzzer flags much lower down the leagues these days but it is important NOT to always rely on them without also looking towards your assistant


GB at 2016-04-16 17:38:04

Grate camera shot then of Jake Collin looking down at the players in front of him then immediately up to see the referee’s position. It is so important on the line to have both these situations in your head so you know when you can assist by coming in or staying out


GB at 2016-04-16 17:35:51

5 minutes gone before the first foul so Mike Dean gives a really good blast to let everyone know he is around


GB at 2016-04-16 17:32:41

A first powerful sprint put in by MD in the opening minutes, followed by the first “routine” off-side decision for JC. Always nice to get your first flag out of the way

GB at 2016-04-16 17:30:41

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


GB at 2016-04-16 17:30:15

Chelsea won the toss so it will be Manchester City 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 2016-04-16 17:25:29

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


GB at 2016-04-16 17:19:48

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Mike Dean (MD)

AR1: Stuart Burt (SB)

AR2: Jake Collin (JC)

4th Official: Peter Bankes (PB)

Mike DeanMike Dean turns up today as a referee in a rich vein of form of his own and is still showing the way to go in his 16th season at the top of the refereeing ladder in England. Big games like this hold no apprehensions for this former FIFA Official, so let’s hope we can all watch and learn from one of our countries most consistent high performers.

Assistant Referee 1 today is the experienced Stuart Burt who is in his 8th season on the Select Group List and is running out for his 29th game this season. Stuart has amassed a very respectable 67 international appointments since being promoted to the FIFA List back in 2011 and also reaches a significant milestone in the Premier League today as this will be his 200th appearance!

Assistant Referee 2 for today is also no rookie as he coincidentally also reaches the 200 mark for Premier appointments with this game. Collin has been Mark Clattenburg’s trusted wing man for a number of years and will be at his side for the Euro’s in June, to add to his not too shabby 48 internationals to-date as well.

With all this experience on the line, I am looking forward to some excellent teamwork to be displayed this afternoon.

It’s a big day as well for our 4th Official Peter Bankes, in only his 2nd full season on the National List, as he gets his first live appearance as the person responsible for keeping control of the Technical Areas, and assisting the referee to control the game from there. He has obviously impressed the PGMOL this season in his 16 Championship appointments to date, to be given the responsibility of replacing today’s referee in the middle if required, and therefore must fancy his chances of being part of the new second tier of professional referees in England next season – watch this space!?

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-04-16 17:15:07




Thibaut Courtois (C 13)

Branislav Ivanovi? (C 2)

Cesc Fàbregas (C 4)

Nathan Aké (C 6)

Mikel John Obi (C 12)

Pedro (C 17)

Diego Costa (C 19)

Willian (C 22)

Gary Cahill (C 24)

César Azpilicueta (C 28)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C 36)


Asmir Begovi? (C 1)

Radamel Falcao García (C 9)

Juan Cuadrado (C 11)

Andre Schürrle (C 14)

Robert Kenedy (C 16)

Victor Moses (C 20)

Nemanja Mati? (C 21)


Manchester City



Joe Hart (MC 1)

Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5)

Samir Nasri (MC 8)

Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Aleksandar Kolarov (MC 11)

Jesús Navas (MC 15)

Kevin De Bruyne  (MC 17)

Eliaquim Mangala (MC 20)

Fernandinho (MC 25)

Nicolas Otamendi  (MC 30)

Yaya Touré (MC 42)


Bacary Sagna (MC 3)

Fernando (MC 6)

Wilfredo Caballero (MC 13)

Wilfred Bony (MC14)

Fabian Delph (MC 18)

Martin Demichelis (MC 26)

Kelechi Iheanacho (MC 72)


GB at 2016-04-16 17:12:37

With just 6 matches left for each of these two Big Clubs to cement a place in the respective European Competitions they have aspirations to be competing in next season, we can expect no quarter to be given today.

The Sky Blues will obviously arrive buoyed up by their historic inclusion in this season’s Champion’s League semi-finals, but they know that their inclusion in next year’s competition for Europe’s elite teams is by no means guaranteed yet!

Chelsea on the other hand only have an outside chance to qualify for the Europa League, following their disastrous start to the season and still have a lot of work to do if their new manager for next season is going to be leading them across the English Channel!

A fascinating contest awaits this afternoon, and with the two teams almost neck-and-neck in the current Premier League Form Table this has the potential to be too close to call before a ball is kicked.

Premier League Form Table

8 Chelsea


 W  W  D  D  W  L


9 Man City


 L  W  D  L  W  W




GB at 2016-04-16 17:09:41

Welcome to this afternoons RefCam coverage today of the premier League game between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Thanks to Glenn Turner for keeping the seat warm at lunch time when Andre Mariner seems to have set the bar really high already today with one of his best performances of the season in a real tinderbox atmosphere of a relegation battle.

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