Crystal Palace v Manchester United, FA Cup Final


RH at 2016-05-21 20:36:11

So the talking points in this game were

  • The Smalling Wickham advantage incident
  • Rojo on Ward incident
  • The need to Referee to your strengths
  • Mental strength and the need to move on!
  • Stronger performance in the second half and extra time

Refereeing can be a tough profession and I fear that Mark Clattenburg will come in for justifiable critiscm flowing this game, something none of us here at You Are The Ref wanted from a Referee who has and will continue to produce some wonderful performances. As I’ve said in my blog the problem was with two first half decisions, on both occasions the Referee intervened too early, when he should have seen the bigger picture and allowed play to continue. Was the problem that he decided to keep things tight and he overcompensated? or did nerves play a part? either way he  didn’t Referee with the confidence and freedom that he normally does, as I said at half time he seemed to caught out by the pace of Palace’s counter attacking and pace, something we raised pre-match. He worked hard to rectify this, the Zaha Rooney penalty incident which he got right and his second half and extra time performance saw the resumption of normal Clattenburg service. To his credit he showed much mental strength to turn things around and raise his game but in truth all he had to do was Referee to his normal strengths, that’s all any Referee at any level has to do! Both Assistants did well and could not be faulted today, they could not have been held responsible for any first half shortcomings. To Mark Clattenburg’s credit his second half extra time performance contained some superb recognition of offences,  well chosen cautions and great management of incidents, Rooney on Puncheon being a good example

If Puncheons 78th minute strike had won the Cup for Palace then some of the post match rancour would have evaporated but strikes from Mata and Lingard won it for United as Palace ran out of steam! So much as we didn’t want it the Referee will attract the wrong headlines post match.

But just as he did in the second half and extra time Mark Clattenburg must learn from that first half performance and Referee the way we all know he can do next in Saturday’s Champions League Final! We here at You Are The Ref know you can do it Mark!

RH at 2016-05-21 20:08:42

Full Time

Summary to follow


RH at 2016-05-21 20:08:23

John Brooks spot on there as Delaney comes back from an offside position

RH at 2016-05-21 20:06:55

A minimum of two minutes additional time to be played!

RH at 2016-05-21 20:06:17

The Referee comes over to his Active Assistants touch line to speed up United at hat throw in!

RH at 2016-05-21 20:03:40

Both Assistants have done well today, whatever is said about the Match Officials in this game both Assistants have judged their involvement level to good effect!

RH at 2016-05-21 20:01:36

Just admiring John Brooks poise as he signalled that last throw in, he looked so composed! bet his hearts beating fast!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:59:43

Carrick gets the verdict to Zaha’s  disappointment, free kick United

RH at 2016-05-21 19:58:21

Yellow CardLingard was cautioned for his goal scoring celebration!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:56:30

GOAL!Lingard fires ten man United ahead!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:54:36

Yellow CardMcArthur holds backs Lingard for an obvious caution!


RH at 2016-05-21 19:53:46

With Palace still counter attacking at will and United with two wingers as full back this is going to be a physically demanding final 15 minutes for the Referee!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:51:39

We’re underway again!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:51:22

Half Time


RH at 2016-05-21 19:48:57

Yellow CardRed CardThe Referee had no option there, he hauls Boloaise to the ground and he has to go!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:46:34

Rooney and Jedinek go shoulder to shoulder Clattenburg is right there, goal kick. spot on again!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:44:51

This is the Mark Clattenburg that we know!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:44:21

Yellow CardFellaini for reckless use of the arm on Jedinek, spot on!


RH at 2016-05-21 19:43:42

Rooney late on Puncheon, the guilty party was looking at the ball until late and both players shook hands, I said at he start those situations would be managed so no surprise there, correct decision!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:41:52

Good alertness from the Referee in that last United attack to hurdle the ball!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:41:02

Good Refereeing as Mark Clattenburg buys time to have words of warning with Fellaini and Puncheon, that’s what you call buying time!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:40:03

Suddenly Wembley opens up is that something to do with tired legs? Young is no playing wide and Martial’s gone into the middle, Palace continue to counter attack and exploit the gaps behind  United’s back four! The match officials will need to be as mobile as ever in this final stage of the game!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:37:07

Both Ward and Zaha a bit over physical there?

RH at 2016-05-21 19:35:21

Again that’s the quality we expect from Mark Clattenburg, that no penalty call was sound!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:34:31

Zaha goes to ground under pressure from Blind but the Referee is so well placed to judge no offence!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:32:32

Extra time has started!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:31:56

From a Refereeing perspective that really has been a game of two halves so far from Mark Clattenburg, the second half performance was much more like his normal game, And there we have his dilemma, why did he not Referee the first half like he normally does? He seemed to be too safety first, what we like about Mark Clattenburg is his ability to judge his involvement level so expertly. What he has to do now is Referee the remainder of this game the way he controlled the second half!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:28:01

Extra Time


RH at 2016-05-21 19:26:39

So all the substitutions have been made, these 22 will have to soldier on if we go to extra time!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:24:47

Both Referee and Assistant John Brooks did well to allow Bolaise to carry on when United defenders were nibbling at his legs!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:22:48

A minimum of five minutes addional time to be played

RH at 2016-05-21 19:19:51

Don’t forget to join us next Saturday 28th May at 7.45 pm when Mark Clattenburg and his team of English Match officials take charge of the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final Between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, definitely not to be missed! We round off the weekend with more MLS action when New York City take on Orlando City on Sunday 29th May, this one kicks off at 9.00 pm

RH at 2016-05-21 19:19:14

Yellow CardGood Refereeing as Rooney goes in Recklessly on Zaha , delayed whistle and caution!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:17:53

Noticeable this half how hard the Referee is working to get close to the action, look at how close he’s getting to squeeze play with John Brooks, this I feel goes back to that Smalling Wickham incident where he felt uncomfortable at being too far away!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:15:32

As the volume in the stadium lifts off the match officials must kick on and raise their concentration levels

RH at 2016-05-21 19:13:17

GOAL!Mata heads United level, game on!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:10:27

GOAL!Puncheon certainly has opened things up. 1-0 Palace!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:08:52

Wickham the meat in sandwich as he rightly wins a free kick

RH at 2016-05-21 19:07:04

Mark Clattenburg continues to look more like his normal self this half, which given the enormous pressured his first half performance placed on him. is to his credit!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:04:26

As the game begins to open up Palace bring on Puncheon, that will open things up

RH at 2016-05-21 19:04:06

John Brooks spot on with that Bolaise offside flag!

RH at 2016-05-21 19:02:37

Rashford picks up a nasty knock as Cabaye catches his knee in finding his footing

RH at 2016-05-21 18:59:11

Rooney goes in hard on Cabaye, this is going to be  a crucial phase of the game!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:58:24

Rojo’s is pulled off, the result of that Delaney challenge

RH at 2016-05-21 18:57:08

Well we talk about borderline challenges, that Delaney challenge was borderline Reckless Serious Foul play, but I feel the Referee got it right!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:55:16

Yellow CardDelaney earns a yellow card for reckless challenge on Rojo, Mark Clattenburg was in quickly

RH at 2016-05-21 18:53:22

So far this half the Referee is judging his involvement level much better, he’s Refereeing more in keeping with his standards, they will be a time for reflection later  but right now its game on!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:50:02

Its worth acknowledging that both Assistants are offering support whenever they can, Blind didn’t like that free kick but he fouled first before his shirt was tugged, John Brooks was right!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:46:54

Good call as Bolaise goes to ground under a challenge from Rashford, no free kick, that’s more like it!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:46:15

Good call as Bolaise goes to ground under a challenge from Rashford, no free foul, that’s more like it!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:42:46

Carrick and McArthur getting to know each other but nothing too serious

RH at 2016-05-21 18:42:09

From a playing point of view its proving that the Palace team selection is proving successful as there are hard to break down and quick to counter attack, that has led to the Refereeing problems of the first half, so we were right in highlighting how tactics affect Referring performances!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:39:30

Yellow CardDann all over Rashford for the first Palace caution


RH at 2016-05-21 18:39:00

Early offside flag from Andy Halliday Rojo being the offender

RH at 2016-05-21 18:37:16

The second half of the Cup Final is underway!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:31:02

Well doubt about the half time talking points in this game! two Refereeing decisions that are so uncharacteristic of Mark Clattenburg. The first decision Smalling on Wickham I feel was down to the Referee being in a position where Palace broke quickly and Mark was left playing catch up, he may have decided on safety first given his position and distance from the incident and pulled the trigger too quickly, I feel this was on his mind given his sharpness to get into position for the Rooney Zaha incident, which he got right. Unfortunately his nerves got the better of him again when he acted too quickly as Ward got away from Rojo. What he needs to do now is refocus at half time, this would be a great opportunity for coaching support, he needs to put those incidents behind him, as he doesn’t need to take that kind of baggage into the second half!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:21:48

Half Time

RH at 2016-05-21 18:21:26

A minimum of one minute additional time to be played

RH at 2016-05-21 18:21:01

Yellow CardMata see’s yellow for a reckless challenge!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:19:46

Don’t forget to join us next Saturday 28th May at 7.45 pm when Mark Clattenburg and his team of English Match officials take charge of the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final Between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, definitely not to be missed! We round off the weekend with more MLS action when New York City take on Orlando City on Sunday 29th May, this one kicks off at 9.00 pm

RH at 2016-05-21 18:19:15

Palace will feel that they have not had the benefit of the doubt on two key Refereeing decisions

RH at 2016-05-21 18:18:10

Well we call it as it is on Refcam and I have too say that the Referee was too quick on the whistle again there as Ward should have benefitted from an advantage!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:15:55

Yellow CardYellow card for Rojo, but has the Referee blown too quickly again?

RH at 2016-05-21 18:13:44

TV replays showing Rooney did not commit an offence whilst challenging Zaha and what a great position Mark Clattenburg was in!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:12:19

Well Mark Clattenburg could have been in any closer there as Zaha goes to ground early in the penalty area, well sold!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:08:29

From a tempo point of view, the game is tight and neither side has reason to want to reel the game back in, so from a Refereeing point of view there is no need to change gear at this stage!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:05:44

Palace proving hard to break down as United’s creative players are struggling to get into the game, Palace looking useful on the break

RH at 2016-05-21 18:02:34

The Referee penalises an obvious holding offence by Martial on Zaha!

RH at 2016-05-21 18:02:04

It would appear at this stage that the key action at United set pices into the penalty area is the challenges between Jedinek and Fellaini

RH at 2016-05-21 18:00:33

Corner given but the TV pundits can relax as the ball is headed out!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:58:01

Just going back to the Smalling Wickham incident, it has to be said that the other United player and keeper stopped on the whistle so Wickham would have been challenged

RH at 2016-05-21 17:56:39

Wickham the guilty party that time as he grounds Blind!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:55:56

Mark Clattenburg has to put that incident behind him and re-focus!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:55:07

Well you have to say that the Referee was too quick on the whistle and should have played advantage as Wickham was in!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:53:45

Yellow Cardyellow card as Smalling brings down Wickham

RH at 2016-05-21 17:52:09

I love the way that Mark Clattenburg constantly adjusts his position to get a full on 180 degree view of play, superb!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:50:38

Good flag from Andy Halliday as Zaha holds Rojo

RH at 2016-05-21 17:49:42

Good to see United keeper acknowledging Andy Hallidays decision to rightly allow play to continue as the keeper fielded the ball on the goal line!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:48:41

Its obvious that Palace holding midfield player Jedinak is going to be in the thick of the action!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:46:58

Plenty of corners but fortunately not too much grappling at this stage

RH at 2016-05-21 17:45:03

Just going back to that challenge on Rashford, I think the defenders challenge was fair, but it was close!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:43:01

Rashford goes to ground under a challenge from Delaney the defender getting the benefit of the doubt, corner to United

RH at 2016-05-21 17:41:13

Cabaye in late with a careless challenge on Carrick

RH at 2016-05-21 17:39:46

First corner of the game and other than a minor push by Dann no grappling!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:37:49

I know that Mark Clattenburg will have a game plan today, and that the plan will be based on his need to ‘manage the event ‘. This is a unique occasion in our national football calendar and Mark will not want to be remembered for the wrong reasons, he and his team will be quite satisfied if the players make all of the headlines after the game. Yes we all know that luck will play its part in any game and today is no exception, but I expect Mark to set a tolerance level that will enable him manage any situation that does not require the formal sanction of a yellow or red card. So we must expect that borderline challenges and confrontations may well be managed today, however we must also be aware that during phases of the game where the tempo and emotions are high that Mark may have to intervene with formal sanctions to maintain his control of the game. But the overriding consideration is to manage the whole occasion and complete the game with 22 players on the field of play if at all possible.

RH at 2016-05-21 17:37:11

If you are watching the game on TV, John Brooks is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Andy Halliday is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2016-05-21 17:36:49

First free kick for a push on Fellaini

RH at 2016-05-21 17:35:35

The Cup Final Referee Mark Clattenburg gets us underway!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:29:52

The teams and Match Officials have entered the field of play for the pre-match introductions and National Anthem

RH at 2016-05-21 17:23:24

So how could the team formations affect the role of the match officials? Tempo wise Palace will want to unsettle United who like to enjoy a possession led slow build up, Mark Clattenburg will need to control this. The Assistant running United forwards will have to concentrate hard while they are in extended possession and track cross field passes in the knowledge that the ball will be worked wide for a cross into the middle or a run is made into the channels by Martial or Rashford for a strike on goal

Palace will most likely look to exploit the area in front of the United back four so they could well use the pace of Bolasie or Zaha so the Assistant running the Palace forwards may well need to be more mobile. As for the Referee, in addition to match tempo he will need to be aware of the effect of both managers preferring to select crucial holding midfield players and of possibility of players working hard to win possession in midfield, could be some competitive challenges out there!

RH at 2016-05-21 17:17:38

Mark Clattenburg – Premier League/Football League matches Matches in 2015/16: 31 (13 on TV) Fourth official appointments in 2015/16: 10 Football League appointments in 2015/16: 44

RH at 2016-05-21 17:15:04

This article commenting on Mark Clattenburg’s FA Cup Final Appointment has been featured on the You Are The Ref website, it includes some quotes from Mark regarding his thoughts on today’s game;

Mark Clattenburg says a lifetime ambition will be fulfilled when he walks out at Wembley Stadium to take charge of the 2016 FA Cup Final.

Manchester United and Crystal Palace will contest for the famous trophy on Saturday 21st May, and Clattenburg has been given the honour of leading the two teams out at the national stadium.

The 41-year-old, a Premier League referee since 2004, has had another fine season domestically and in Europe, and this appointment has seen him achieve a target that he set himself at the start of the campaign.

“I think every referee who hasn’t refereed the Cup Final works hard every season to hopefully referee one of the most prestigious and important cup finals in the world,” Clattenburg told

“You set yourself goals at the start of the season, and mine was to referee in the FA Cup Final. It’s an honour and a massive achievement.”

A member of the Durham County FA, the Consett-born official will be familiar with his surroundings under the arch, having refereed both the League Cup and Olympic Final in 2012, along with the Community Shield in 2013.

Attentions will then turn further afield, with Clattenburg – along with Martin Atkinson and a number of Select Group officials – off to this summer’s European Championships in France.

“It’s probably one of the positives is that I have been at Wembley on quite a few occasions,” he added.

“To referee at Wembley for the first time is quite an experience but once you’ve done it a few times you become a little bit more appreciative to try to enjoy the experience.

RH at 2016-05-21 17:10:35

Today’s Match Referee is Mark Clattenburg. His Assistant Referees are John Brooks and Andrew Halliday. The Fourth Official is Neil Swarbrick and the Reserve Assistant Referee is Michael Salisbury

RH at 2016-05-21 17:03:28

Welcome to Refcam’s coverage of the 2015/6 FA Cup final. Ask any Referee and this is the game that they would love to officiate on! Its Crystal Palace verses Manchester United and the its one Refereeing’s biggest games in the calendar!