Chelsea v Manchester United



GB at 2016-02-07 19:04:51

That was a polished performance from Michael Oliver who maintained his concentration right through to the end.


Yes I know some might say that it did not look like a difficult game, but he referee often deserves the credit for that. He obviously knew what and who he was dealing with and he managed what was put in front of him to perfection. He always seemed to be one step ahead of the “difficult” players and managed them effectively without micro-managing them. As a result, everyone knew where they stood and a tight grip on the game was established and maintained.


Add this very good display of man-management with a truly excellent fitness level and sound positioning, and there you have the recipe for how to control a potentially high intensity Premier League game!


All-in-all, the full team of officials can justifiably feel very pleased with their individual performances today. They had a game plan and they stuck to it, and as we always say “there were no surprises”. Just the type of performance which I predicted that this referee needs to put in consistently in order to establish himself as a reliable pair of hands to take control of some of the seasons’ BIG games.


Thanks for your company – That’s it from me until next week!

Future RefCams

GB at 2016-02-07 18:53:56

My final summary will follow very shortly.


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


Coming up tomorrow we have Southampton v West Ham United KO 8:00pm


Then we have 5 games lined up for next weekend for you to enjoy:


13th Feb:

12:45pm Sunderland v Manchester United

5:30pm Chelsea v Newcastle United


14th Feb:

12:00pm Arsenal v Leicester City

1:30pm Aston Villa v Liverpool

4:00pm Man City v Tottenham


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


GB at 2016-02-07 18:53:08

Full Time

Chelsea 1 – 1 Manchester United


GB at 2016-02-07 18:50:00

Michael Oliver still looking the calmest man on the field of play – thats the way to do it


GB at 2016-02-07 18:48:38

GOAL! Diego Costa (C 19)

Chelsea 1 – 1 Manchester United

I was just about to type that I though the game may have one more twist and then that happened! Had to be him.


GB at 2016-02-07 18:47:06

minimum of 6 added minutes to be played


GB at 2016-02-07 18:46:40

Once again it is all about presence, both physically and physiologically .


GB at 2016-02-07 18:45:21

the referee was quick to move over to take charge of the free kick following that offence


GB at 2016-02-07 18:43:54

Costa was really looking for that free kick and the referee did well not to be duped!


GB at 2016-02-07 18:41:54

Looks like we could have a hectic last 5 minutes to come!


GB at 2016-02-07 18:40:27

Yellow Card Chris Smalling (MU 12)

Not every deliberate hand ball offence is a yellow card, but if the referee deems that the action broke up a promising attacking move then a caution is the appropriate saction


GB at 2016-02-07 18:37:23

Yellow Cardfor Jesse Lingard (MU 35) following that reckless challenge. Once again the referee is sensibly not trying to mange these acts of unsporting behaviour but dealing with them consistently



GB at 2016-02-07 18:35:45

Michael Oliver just showing a keen awareness then as he reminded Marouane Fellaini (MU 27) not to take his time going off for the substitution


GB at 2016-02-07 18:33:29

I think the referee got that challenge perfectly correct as the Man Utd player had committed to the sliding challenge before the Chelsea player, who took the ball cleanly. Again it was the referees presence in the vicinity of the tackle which helped him to sell his decision


GB at 2016-02-07 18:31:09

Throughout this game the referee has displayed a credible composure as well as sound distance from the play at all times. He will definitely not be talked about for what he has done so far, so he really needs to keep this standard up.


GB at 2016-02-07 18:27:49

In games like this it is so important for the officials not to relax. It is a lot easier to mess these games up than to see them out to a safe conclusion


GB at 2016-02-07 18:26:19

It would not take much to spark this one off, but it must be said that the intensity has not been the same as previous meetings between the two teams

GB at 2016-02-07 18:24:12

Thanks for the Tweet

“Should be at least a penalty and sending off then.” But I cant say I agree with you!


GB at 2016-02-07 18:22:05

The officials will no doubt be checking in with each other on the comms since the goal and telling each other to raise it now as the tempo starts to rise


GB at 2016-02-07 18:20:10

Yellow Card Daley Blind (MU 17)

Clear unsporting behaviour with foul on Costa and all of a sudden it is GAME ON!


GB at 2016-02-07 18:17:36

GOAL! Jesse Lingard (MU 35)

What a goal – and just what the game needed

Chelsea 0 v 1 Manchester United

GB at 2016-02-07 18:15:03

I was once on the line when a player broke his leg with a compound fracture – none of the players challenged each other for the rest of the game!

GB at 2016-02-07 18:13:59

An bad injury like that can often change the face of a game even when no-one else was involved, so the officials need to stay switch on when play restarts


GB at 2016-02-07 18:12:09

this looks like a nasty injury

The referee did well to stop the game immediately


GB at 2016-02-07 18:11:12

Substitution for Chelsea:

Oscar (C 8) OFF

Eden Hazard (C 10) ON


GB at 2016-02-07 18:08:44

what I am liking from Michael Oliver today is that he is keeping a close eye on Costa without getting himself out of position


GB at 2016-02-07 18:07:28

I have a feeling that there will soon come a point in this game when we will see the referee more inclined to give the safe free kicks the longer it goes on if the challenges start to get more physical


GB at 2016-02-07 18:05:42

The referee’s game plan to play as much advantage as he can in this one is appropriate whilst the players are reacting positively to his method of control as well as generally towards each other.


GB at 2016-02-07 18:04:20

Michael Oliver signalled for advantage then as Rooney made contact with the Chelsea goalkeeper whilst both of his feet were off the ground which would have been a foul


GB at 2016-02-07 18:01:46

Second half underway

It’s Question-time again soon!

GB at 2016-02-07 17:59:44

Don’t miss out on #YATR Question Time at Walkabout Glasgow in March, with a host of special guests – former FIFA officials Keith Hackett and Mark Halsey, talkSPORT host Alan Brazil, and Bolton Wanderers Official manager Neil Lennon! Reserve your tickets now.



GB at 2016-02-07 17:58:33

Well there was scant incident to discuss in the first half until that ball to hand incident in the very last minute. I support the referee in not considering that the defender had deliberately attempted to handle the ball which was kicked straight at his face. When considering if an offence has taken place I often refer back to the “old” wording in the laws of the game which used the word “intentional”. This word was taken out of the laws altogether and was only replaced in the section concerning hand ball by the word “deliberate” – the context of the law never changed though – so for me this was not an offence. Another angle of the incident has just confirmed that the referee would have to have “guessed” to have given a penalty then anyway as his view was blocked. Nothing wrong with his position.


So if we park that one it must be said that Michael Oliver will have much more challenging halves to referee than that – just 6 fouls committed by Chelsea and only 2 by Manchester United.


The referee has shown that he is ready to deal with Costa, as he has shown a few sings of his normal temperament. The one where he shouted at the Assistant was interesting. In my blog I suggested this was one which may have been dealt with differently in a feisty game. For me Michael has got the temperature of this game spot on so far so his relaxed and composed body language is correct for this game.


Both Assistants look focussed and in tune with the referee so far.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:47:58

This month saw the introduction of our new monthly digital Newsletter which will be a regular feature from now on YATR Video Newsletter February 2016

Former Premier League Referee Rob Harris has also posted a though provoking piece on mental preparation for the big games and how recent events should be reflected upon to prevent referees from being thrown in at the deep end at the last minute: Why football should have a standby system for referees

Monday’s edition of Ref Show already has plenty to gets its teeth into again this week so be sure to catch it tomorrow. I hope Harry Lenard gets a mention for his key match decision at Newcastle. I know from experience that it takes some cojones to stick the flag up when the ball has just flown into the net from 20 yards and you only have half of the information from the line. Fair play to Lee Mason as well for completing the text book example of going over and discussing the situation with the Assistant and putting both the pieces of the picture together and correctly ruling that the player in the off-side position was directly in the goalkeeper’s line of vision. Well done to both of them for at least getting that one right! You can always catch up with all the previous editions her videos

All the other content on our site continues to provide a deep insight into refereeing matters with video features and Blogs with regular contributions from all around the world.

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


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


GB at 2016-02-07 17:47:29

Half Time

Chelsea 0 v 0 Manchester United


GB at 2016-02-07 17:46:52

Michael Oliver had a great view of that hand ball claim and it would have been a really harsh call as the players arms were in front of his face not outstretched to make himself bigger.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:42:26

It will all be about closing this one out to half time for the officials now. Not really been in the game much so far and will be happy for that to continue up until the break


GB at 2016-02-07 17:39:12

straight forward free kick to give for GB – Costa walking a tightrope then with his react to the official. In a game of higher tempo with a lot of official intervention that may well have resulted in a yellow card. I am sure MO has got that one noted though.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:36:10

that was the first time MO nearly got caught up with the play – no where for him to go really as he continues to stay close to the action in that left channel


GB at 2016-02-07 17:34:16

Another factor which helps the top officials stand out from the crowd is that they are not afraid to move into the penalty area when the play dictates their presence is required. No need to steam towards the goal-line every time, but so many lesser mortals are content to hang right back these days. Michael Oliver is one who knows when to move in.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:31:23

the signal of the assistant moving his arm forwards to show that a player returned from an off-side position is a routine factor these days which aids communication with the players


GB at 2016-02-07 17:30:05

there is definitely a sense that the opening game has finished now and the real contest is about to begin. Watch how this referee raises his profile from here on in to half time


GB at 2016-02-07 17:27:46

Could that be a taste of what we have to come/ Costa showing his temperament already and Michael Oliver ready to take him head on with the sensible use of his captain as well.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:26:33

good refereeing – Michael Oliver playing two advantages in one move, then getting into position to monitor the edge of the penalty are. This is the type of game to play advantage so far


GB at 2016-02-07 17:24:58

24 minutes into the game and the first foul committed by a Man Utd player – no arguments about that one!


GB at 2016-02-07 17:23:51

its all a bit cat and mouse at the moment, but these games can suddenly turn on the slightest of mistake by any of the officials so they all need to stay switched on during these quiet periods in the game


GB at 2016-02-07 17:20:35

20 minutes gone and all the officials looking very comfortable so far


GB at 2016-02-07 17:19:53

did you spot how close the referee was to Costa again then as he broke along the left wing? He has clearly got him in his sights at all times


GB at 2016-02-07 17:18:45

there even seems to be respect in the penalty area at corners so far – no grappling to be seen!


GB at 2016-02-07 17:16:23

first decent chance for the referee to “open his legs” and he just glides across the turf with speed and agility


GB at 2016-02-07 17:15:20

Beswich also treating us to a display of neat crabbing along the line today as well, in order to stay facing the field of play


GB at 2016-02-07 17:12:58

12 minutes gone and both teams showing each other respect at the moment. I expect the tempo to rise soon though.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:11:03

Beswich showing best practice again by coming to a complete stop before giving his throw-in signal


GB at 2016-02-07 17:09:27

Watch how MO is staying wide on the left channel to keep the play between him and his assistants when ever he can


GB at 2016-02-07 17:08:21

This referee always looks so light on his feet which really instils confidence from the players when the referee looks so fit


GB at 2016-02-07 17:06:43

Every team at what ever level has one player which the referee needs to get “on side” and work with – no prizes for which two players Michael Oliver will be keen to work with today.


Nice steady start with fouls given to expectation and no fuss.


GB at 2016-02-07 17:05:10

MO game plan showing nice and early by how close he was to Costa then


GB at 2016-02-07 17:04:29

Talking of signals – Michael Oliver also showing how much neater it looks when you keep both legs together when signalling a throw-in direction


GB at 2016-02-07 17:03:28

Gary Beswich demonstrating a smart throw-in signal – holding the flag for just the right amount of time – worth keeping an eye on these two assistants today for good technical displays


GB at 2016-02-07 17:02:16

Good example of shielding the ball back to the goalkeeper then – not an offence as long as the player remains in playing distance of the ball

GB at 2016-02-07 17:00:39

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


GB at 2016-02-07 17:00:12

Manchester United won the toss so it will be Chelsea 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 2016-02-07 16:55:56

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


GB at 2016-02-07 16:51:23

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Michael Oliver (MO)

AR1: Stuart Burt (SB)

AR2: Gary Beswick (GB)

4th Official: Craig Pawson (CP)

Michael Oliver

Michael Oliver takes charge of his 16th top flight game today and has been quietly going about his business effectively this season to merit his selection for the Blue Ribbon appointments such as this one.


Last season You Are The Ref consistently encouraged the Northumberland official to start to fulfil his potential to really stake a claim to deservedly sit amongst the top officials in England and this is exactly the type of stage for him to satisfy this prophesy!


His fitness and positioning skills have regularly been the corner stones of his best performances, but the most important aspect is obviously getting the big decisions right! The top referees just don’t make mistakes, so it’s over to you Michael to show us what you have got in the locker today.


Two FIFA Assistants will be doing their best to cover the Referee’s back today in the shape of Stuart Burt (also from Northumberland), with over 50 international appointments under his belt since 2011, and Gary Beswick who came onto the international scene in 2014 and is already approaching 20 internationals to his name. Both of these officials have worked in this referee’s crew on many occasions so I expect to see a high level of teamwork on display today.


Making up the international quartet with the board holding duties is Craig Pawson, who coincidentally had the same role in this game last season.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-02-07 16:46:35




Thibaut Courtois (C 13)

Branislav Ivanovi? (C 2)

Cesc Fàbregas (C 4)

Kurt Zouma (C 5)

Oscar (C 8)

Mikel John Obi (C 12)

Diego Costa (C 19)

Nemanja Mati? (C 21)

Willian (C 22)

John Terry (C 26)

César Azpilicueta (C 28)


Asmir Begovi? (C 1)

Nathan Aké (C 6)

Eden Hazard (C 10)

Andre Schürrle (C 14)

Pedro (C 17)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C 36)


Manchester United

Man Utd


David De Gea (MU 1)

Juan Mata (MU 8)

Anthony Martia (MU 9)

Wayne Rooney (MU 10)

Chris Smalling (MU 12)

Michael Carrick (MU 16)

Daley Blind (MU 17)

Marouane Fellaini (MU 27)

Jesse Lingard (MU 35)

Matteo Darmian (MU 36)

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (MU 43)


Memphis Depay (MU 7)

Sergio Romero (MU 20)

Ander Herrera (MU 21)

Morgan Schneiderlin (MU 28)

Guillermo Varela (MU 30)

Paddy McNair (MU 33)

Andreas Pereira (MU 44)


GB at 2016-02-07 16:44:01

This game has historically been one of the most anticipated fixtures each season and with both teams performing below their respective usual standards this time around, it is anyone’s guess as to what we are about to receive!

I ran the line in this fixture twice in my career and I have to say neither occasion went well for the Red Devils! In October 1999, Chelsea stuck 5 past United without reply and in April 2006 a 3 – 0 Home win secured the Premiership Title for the Blues.

The teams may be further apart in the league table than they are used to at this stage of the season, but the form guide sees them not so far apart:



1 Leicester 1   D  W  D  W  W  W 14
2 Spurs 2   D  L  W  W  W  W 13
3 Southampton 7   L  W  W  W  D  W 11
4 Man Utd 5   D  W  D  W  L  W 11
5 Man City 2   W  D  W  D  W  L 12
6 West Ham 6   W  W  L  D  W  L 11
7 Chelsea 13   D  W  D  D  W  D 10


Another Draw for the Home team away to Watford on Wednesday made it 10 games unbeaten in all competitions for Chelsea and a 3 Nil win for United will also send them into this one with confidence.

Chelsea’s only chance of playing in next season’s Champions League now hangs on them walking away with this year’s Title which is a massive ask. A win today, however, would inflict a dent in the Red’s more realistic aspirations to compete in the elite completion in Europe next season as well. With everything to play for let’s hope the officials are all charged up and ready to hit the ground running.


GB at 2016-02-07 16:42:55

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

Thanks to the Team for keeping the seat warm for the Bournemouth v Arsenal game. Big talking point about the two footed challenge is sure to rumble on. Kevin Friend will be disappointed when he sees that one back as all the scenarios and expected outcomes following challenges like this when both feet are off the ground (whether the ball is played or not) was laid out to all National List referees some years ago – and that one definitely fell into the red card category.

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