Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion


Full Time Summary

GB at 2018-02-12 23:10:03


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

  • A clear penalty not awarded in the 4th minute.
  • A clear Red Card offence not seen in the 9th
  • Too many surprises when offences were committed but the play was not stopped which frustrated the players and left them looking perplexed at times.

I am afraid that was a tipical type of performance we have come to expect from Lee Mason. There were some positives to note, primarily in his use of advantage, but he never instils confidence that he is actually totally aware of what is going on out there.

I covered the two major mistakes in the first half in my half time summary, but it is worth remembering that this is the same referee who failed to action the clear red card offence in the Cardiff v Manchester City in the FA Cup a few weeks ago as well.

There was a bit more about the referee in the second half in respect to his movement, as he seemed to find some extra gears, but there were still too many surprises in the way he failed to deal positively with incidents which happened right in front of him.

The intensity of the wrestling which was allowed to happen at corners was the worst I have seen all season. Even when he did spot it, the way he dealt with these situations left the players quite content to go straight back in and do it again. Ineffective man management. Is it any wonder the players get frustrated?

Shirt pulls and trips were not acted upon in the second half, when the same offences were penalised in the opening 45 minutes.

So all in all, a performance which did not instil very much confidence, despite the fact that there will be little mention of the referee in the papers tomorrow as the result went as expected.

This performance demonstrates why we never get to see Lee Mason taking charge of a game involving two teams from the top 6 positions in the League Table.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2018-02-12 22:53:36


My final summary will follow very shortly.

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GB at 2018-02-12 22:52:51

Full TimeChelsea 3 v  0 West Bromwich Albion


GB at 2018-02-12 22:51:03

Minimum of 2 added minutes


GB at 2018-02-12 22:50:18

There has been more a case for wrestling going on in the penalty areas tonight than grappling! Yet again the players are content to use as much force as they like because the referee has failed to control it from the first corner of the game.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:48:32

Great close-up of AR Harry Lennard’s index finger down the shaft of his flag – that’s how you ensure your flag is straight when you raise it – no need to look at it.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:45:35

And yet again Victor Moses (C 15) was clearly tripped right in front of the referee but no foul is given. The reaction of the player was priceless as he seemed to look totally bemused but reticent to the fact the referee has missed another clear foul.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:41:05

Nice little cameo than as AR Harry Lennard holds his flag down as Hazard was offside but checked his run so another Chelsea player could run onto the ball – no need to signal.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:39:04

The most positive aspect of this performance from Mason tonight is that he has picked out some sound advantage situations and got his signals out early so everyone knows he has seen an offence and has deliberately played on.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:36:32

AR Matthew Wilkes just did the rookie move of looking at his flag as he gave that last throw-in – woe betide him if he were to miss someone smacking an opponent and when asked how he did not spot it having to say “I was just checking my flag was straight”!


GB at 2018-02-12 22:32:44

GOAL!  Eden Hazard (C 10)

Chelsea 3 v 0 WBA

Now it will come down to discipline for the WBA players and up to Mason to be pro-active as soon as there are any signs of them starting the rough stuff.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:29:42

Ball did not leave the penalty area at that goal-kick before Chelsea player touches it so it correctly needs to be retaken


GB at 2018-02-12 22:27:54


Antonio Rudiger (C 2) grabs Jonny Evans (WBA 6) around the neck then and drags him to the ground. The ball was just in play as it happened and Mason misses a great chance to assert his authority and give a free kick to WBA and hand out at least a public warring to the Chelsea player.

As it happens he simply wags a finger and has the corner taken again and seconds later it is 2 nil Chelsea as Victor Moses (C 15) gets second GOAL! of the game.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:21:50

Thinking back to that blatant shirt pull which was not given by the referee, that is what winds the players up and makes them lose confidence in the referee that he will get the big call right. It comes back to giving the fouls that everyone expects. If you are the ONLY person on the field of play who does not think it was an offence, chances are it was!


GB at 2018-02-12 22:19:04

Much more intelligent positioning that time as Mason takes up an unorthodox position inside of the penalty area at the back of the players. I would much rather see that than him being too far away from them to sell his decisions.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:15:24


When a player gets his shirt pulled like Oliver Giroud (C 18) did then right in front of the referee, you can understand why they get frustrated. That was so blatant I cannot explain for the life of me why the referee did not award the foul to the Chelsea player then.


GB at 2018-02-12 22:10:15

Another very crude reckless challenge by Kieran Gibbs (WBA 3) this get what it deserves with the second Yellow Card of the game. You have to ask why the players do things like that when there is only one possible outcome, unless they think they might get away with it tonight?


GB at 2018-02-12 22:05:07

Second half under way

Half-Time Summary

GB at 2018-02-12 22:01:36


The two main talking points about the referee’s performance in that first 45 minutes came in the opening 9 minutes. First there was a clear penalty decision missed when Cesc Fàbregas (C 4) follows through with his clumsy challenge and makes contact with his studs just under the WBA player’s knee in the penalty area, whilst the ball is still in play. A camera view from behind the goal shows how the referee missed this clear foul because he took his eyes of the player and followed the flight of the ball.

5 minutes later whilst the talk is still about a penalty not given, Craig Dawson (WBA 25) leaves the ground with both feet and commits a red card offence as he makes contact with a Chelsea player with his studs just under the knee again. A clear Red Card offence was missed because the referee did not give himself an angle to be prepared for the contact.

Apart from those big calls, the referee has had little to do except keep out of the way – which he is not always the best at. He tends to stand still a lot and not anticipate play so he is often turning on the spot. Nothing else missed, and a good 1st yellow late in the first half, but not the most convincing performance I have seen this season so far.

GB at 2018-02-12 21:51:51


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GB at 2018-02-12 21:51:11

Half Time

Chelsea 1 v 0 West Bromwich Albion


GB at 2018-02-12 21:49:28


First yellow card Yellow Card of the game for Jonny Evans (WBA 6) for that reckless challenge from behind.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:46:33

Good advantage played by Mason in the centre then and I am glad to see that one managed with a word after the fact – no need for a yellow card in that area of the field of play and only careless.

Minimum of 3 added minutes to be played


GB at 2018-02-12 21:42:55

AR Harry just taking his time again with his offside signal until the player catches up with the ball.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:40:43

Sensible restart by the referee as well with a drop ball to the WBA goalkeeper with no one else around. Common sense to manufacture those, no attacking player is going to want to go for it after an injury like that.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:38:47

Oliver Giroud (C 18) gets an accidental clip on the top of his head following his dying swan impersonation in the penalty area. Good alertness by Mason to stop the play as soon as possible for the head injury.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:35:59

Good positioning by Mason that time following the players into the penalty area to make the correct corner decision. As a referee if you do not get into that corner, no one else is going to make the decisions for you in that area, so you end up guessing if you do not put the effort in to squeeze the play out there.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:33:09

Another safe free kick and the game has settled down after that frenetic first 9 minutes. I have reservations about the referees positioning and movement but he has not missed much in the last 20 minutes.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:31:24

With all that pushing at the last corner again – did anyone spot the referee using his presence and proximity to the players to assert his authority?


GB at 2018-02-12 21:29:19

Referee gave himself a split second then but correct decision given for the foul as the WBA player was blocked.

Good delayed flag by Harry Leanard from the free kick as he waited to ensure the playerwould was offside at the far side was the one who got involved in the active play.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:25:18

GOAL! Eden Hazard (C 10)

Chelsea 1 v 0 WBA



GB at 2018-02-12 21:24:07

That was very difficult for any referee to spot as the players are getting so good at going down these days, but there was no contact on the Chelsea player but he sold the foul to everyone.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:22:42

Mason only seems to have two seeds tonight – slow ahead and stop.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:20:32

Once again I quest Mason’s positioning for that corner by WBA again as he is so far outside of the penalty area. It is important to give yourself an exit, but it is more important to get the best view of the dropping zone in the goal area. Percentage wise I would like to see him closer in for penalties. Lets see where he stands for the next one.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:17:34

The one positive thing which Mason is always consistent over, is that he never looks perturbed following a controversial decision. His body language stays the same and he show no emotion at all.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:13:36


As the TV replays prove that the Referee did not utilise a trailing eye to spot what should have been a penalty for WBA – we then see him very poorly positioned to miss a horrendous challenge by Craig Dawson (WBA 25) which should have resulted in a Red Card. This really is not starting well and Mason has a lot of catching up to do already to keep this game fully under control


GB at 2018-02-12 21:09:37

As we saw from that challenge by Cesc Fàbregas (C 4) – officials at this level really need to be switched on from the start. Not a very impressive start.


GB at 2018-02-12 21:06:44

First talking point as the Cesc Fàbregas (C 4) catches his opponent high just under the knee in the penalty area. It has to be said that we have seen penalties given for far less contact this season. Was the referee tuned in and looking for that foul?


GB at 2018-02-12 21:03:43

Strange positioning by Lee Mason at that first corner of the game – right out on the corner of the penalty area. I would suggest he would be better getting closer to the penalty arc


GB at 2018-02-12 21:01:37

One back for the referee’s team as Mason makes sure everyone is in their own half at the kick off – good for him attention to detail

kick off

GB at 2018-02-12 21:00:13

West Bromwich Albion won the toss so it will be Chelsea to kick off.

Good luck to all! And may the ball run kindly for you.

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GB at 2018-02-12 20:58:53

You only get one chance to make a good first impression – so why was Mathew Wilkes walking out so far away from the referee? They don’t look joined up already and the game has not even started yet.

GB at 2018-02-12 20:56:32

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


GB at 2018-02-12 20:53:50


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GB at 2018-02-12 20:52:21


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GB at 2018-02-12 20:50:57


Today’s officials are:

Referee: Lee Mason

AR1: Harry Lennard (Technical Area)

AR2: Matthew Wilkes

4th Official: Stuart Attwell

Who knows which Lee Mason will rock up to Stamford Bridge tonight?

On his day, this referee is very capable of bossing a game like this one and take it in his stride. On another day though, Mr Mason is also capable of throwing in the odd surprise of a missed caution, or even a red card when the pressure rises in his games. With over 10 years’ experience at the top level behind him now, there is no excuse for the 46 year old to blow hot and cold at his stage of his career.

Games like this bring their own challenges though and it could get trickier than it looks on paper out there tonight if the Home team fail to take complete charge of the proceedings. So my advice to Mr Mason tonight would be to expect the unexpected! Don’t underestimate the importance of being strong right from the get go in this one, and keep a very tight rein on the first 30 minutes to give yourself wriggle room later in the game if this gets one-sided and the Away Team get tired and frustrated.

I have seen referees turn up to games like this one expecting to sit back and watch walk-over, only to be faced with WWIII when the under dogs realise they are going to lose the War, but suddenly decide they don’t want to lose the battle!

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2018-02-12 20:45:38


13   Thibaut Courtois (C 13)

2     Antonio Rudiger (C 2)

4     Cesc Fàbregas (C 4)

7     N’Golo Kanté (C 7)

10   Eden Hazard (C 10)

11   Pedro (C 11)

15   Victor Moses (C 15)

18   Oliver Giroud (C 18)

21   Davide Zappacosta (C 21)

27   Andreas Christensen (C 27)

28   César Azpilicueta (C 28)


1     Will Carballero (C 1)

6     Danny Drinkwater(C 6)

9     Alvaro Morata (C 9)

22   Willian (C 22)

24   Gary Cahill (C 24)

33   Emerson (C 33)

44   Ethan Ampadu (C 44)

West Bromwich Albion

1     Ben Foster (W 1)

3     Kieran Gibbs (W 3)

6     Jonny Evans (W 6)

9     Salomón Rondón (W 9)

10   Matt Phillips (W 10)

11   Chris Blunt (W 11)

15   Daniel Sturriidge (W 15)

18   Gareth Barry (W 18)

20   Grzegorz Krychowiak (W 20)

25   Craig Dawson (W 25)

26   Ahmed El-Sayed Hegazi (W 26)


13   Boaz Myhill (W 13)

2     Allan-Roméo Nyom (W 2)

5     Claudio Yacob (W 5)

14   James McClean (W 14)

17   Oliver Burke (W 17)

19   Jay Rodriguez (W 19)

23   Gareth McAuley (W 23)


GB at 2018-02-12 20:41:18


Could we be in for another upset tonight I wonder?

All the talk is about the Blue’s Manager at the moment, but it would not be the first time the players have turned against the boss in the recent history of this Club, and with the rumours that he is not exactly getting on with his hierarchy, it will be fascinating to see how loud the lions roar for him tonight.

West Brom have nothing to lose by coming out and going for it right from the start of course, and may not have a better chance to hit Chelsea on a wobble than tonight’s encounter.

Both teams have lost their last 2 games and have also both only won one of their last 5 EPL fixtures. If Chelsea go down by 3 goals on the trot tonight, one would expect the Blues Manager to be getting the “vote of confidence” from his Board tomorrow ………………….


GB at 2018-02-12 20:38:15


Welcome to this evening’s RefCam coverage of the EPL game between Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

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