Crystal Palace Vs Manchester United


DM at 2018-03-05 23:09:57

Thank you for joining me on @youaretheref ref cam tonight, don’t forget to tune in to the ref show to hear the views of Mark Halsey and Roger Dilkes

DM at 2018-03-05 23:09:00


Well what a game and what a comeback from Manchester United.  The referee Neil Swarbrick allowed the game to flow, successfully managed the players and controlled the match well throughout.  He judged his involvement very well and the four cautions issued were all fully justified.  Neil moves around the field well and he takes up really good positions to make a large number of accurate decisions.  Neil was well supported by his Assistants and this was a game where the officials contributed positively to the outcome.  No VAR tonight but Goal Line Technology which works flawlessly and quickly correctly (Despite Manchester United’s protests) judged that the ball had not crossed the line in the 73rd minute.  Overall, this was a very good performance by Neil and he can be very pleased with his contribution to the game.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:59:07

Full Time Summary to follow

DM at 2018-03-05 22:53:43

Full Time



DM at 2018-03-05 22:52:40

Yellow CardMU31



DM at 2018-03-05 22:50:59



DM at 2018-03-05 22:49:58

Minimum of 3 minutes added time.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:45:32

MU2 fouls CP17 and AR Ledger correctly indicates a foul.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:45:01

Referee Swarbrick allows play to continue on the halfway line but it did look as though CP17 was bundled over.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:41:40

Neil Swarbrick uses his presence to diffuse a potential flashpoint following the correct award of a free kick to MU8.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:38:53


15 off, 44 on

DM at 2018-03-05 22:36:49

The last 15 minutes will be testing for the referee as both teams chase a winner


DM at 2018-03-05 22:35:20

GOAL!MU9 scores



DM at 2018-03-05 22:34:33

Yellow CardCP10 cautioned for delaying the restart of play



DM at 2018-03-05 22:33:57

Goal Line Technology comes in to play as Manchester United claim a goal but it did not cross the line


DM at 2018-03-05 22:29:33

Jose Mourinho unhappy as the CP goalkeeper slows down the restart of the game.  The referee needs to be alert to this and keep the game moving.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:28:39

The tempo of the game is rising as Manchester United try to chase the game.  Referee Swarbrick is keeping a lid on things but he needs to control the match by slowing it down where he can.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:27:19


18 off, 23 on

25 off, 8 on


DM at 2018-03-05 22:23:53

Neil Swarbrick correctly awards a free kick for a foul by MU12 on CP17


DM at 2018-03-05 22:20:51

AR Ledger correctly judges offside


DM at 2018-03-05 22:19:50

Yellow CardMU18



DM at 2018-03-05 22:17:58

Foul by MU18 on CP18 correctly penalised

DM at 2018-03-05 22:14:46

Very good non-offside judgement by AR West as CP5 played the goal-scorer Smalling onside


DM at 2018-03-05 22:14:05


DM at 2018-03-05 22:10:56

Referees are advised not to allow quick free kicks around the penalty area, once they arrive on the scene to manage the ball.  However the free kick taken by Crystal Palace was correctly allowed to be taken.  The ball was stationary and in the correct position.  The player took the kick almost immediately and there was no need for the referee to manage anything.  The ball was positioned quite a distance from goal.  Good officiating.

DM at 2018-03-05 22:09:04




DM at 2018-03-05 22:08:09

Foul by MU31 on CP17 correctly awarded.  The home team took a quick free kick and scored a goal.


DM at 2018-03-05 22:06:53

Good decision to play on by the referee as CP17 was not fouled in my opinion.

DM at 2018-03-05 22:04:47

Neil Swarbrick gets the second half underway

DM at 2018-03-05 22:04:28


39 off, 19 on

DM at 2018-03-05 22:03:45

Don’t forget to tune in to the @youaretheref Ref Show online as Mark Halsey and Roger Dilkes join Alan Biggs to discuss the weekend’s action

DM at 2018-03-05 21:57:11

Half Time Summary

The referee set out his intention from the start, allowing an advantage as early as the 3rd minute.  He has moved around the field very well and he takes up good positions to make mainly accurate decisions.  Neil has worked well with his Assistants and he is managing the players very well.  The caution for MU39 was solid and it has drawn a line in the sand as to what the officials will accept.  I would like to see Neil speak to MU6 about his theatrical falling to the ground, he has done this twice already and this needs monitoring as any further breach should result in a caution.

The Assistants have done well and have assisted the referee very well.  AR Ledger will be disappointed with his two offside flags, as both could have been delayed and ultimately not raised.  That said, his movement is very impressive and he takes pride in his lining technique which is best practice.

All in all this has been a very good half for the officials so far.

DM at 2018-03-05 21:51:52

Half Time


DM at 2018-03-05 21:51:42

I spoke pre-match about Neil’s excellent man-management.  During the stoppage he spoke to the CP goalkeeper #13 and explained his decision to penalise CP9 moments earlier for a holding offence.  The goalkeeper thanked the referee and patted him on the back after his explanation.  Very experienced and good management from the referee.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:50:19

The referee is very alert and stops play immediately for a head injury to MU18 and CP4


DM at 2018-03-05 21:47:54

CP9 is very unlucky in my opinion as he didn’t do much wrong there.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:45:43

MU6 is getting a little frustrated as he has been on the receiving end of a lot of fouls so far.  I do not think the CP players are targeting the player but the referee needs to keep an eye on this to make sure things do not escalate.

DM at 2018-03-05 21:44:40

The first caution of a match is very important as it sets the standard and outlines the referee’s tolerance level.  The challenge by MU39 was a reckless one a very easy caution for the referee and a good one to put down as a marker for the referee.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:43:39

Yellow CardMU39 cautioned for unsporting behaviour – reckless challenge


DM at 2018-03-05 21:41:51

MU6 goes to ground for a second time this evening in a rather theatrical manner.  What may have saved him from a caution in that situation is that he did not appeal or claim a penalty.  However, the referee needs to speak to him and if he repeats the theatrics again he will have no option but to caution him for simulation.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:39:05

MU6 tripped and the referee is well positioned to correctly award a free kick


DM at 2018-03-05 21:36:12

Jose Mourinho taking on the role of referee coach speaking to Lee Mason the 4th official.  Not sure if he is complaining and if so I am not sure what about.  The referee has been consistent and is trying to let the game flow.  He has not missed much so far.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:33:29

That is the first time I have disagreed with Neil Swarbrick as I felt that MU18 did foul the Crystal Palace player by a careless use of the arm.  However the referee was well positioned.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:29:17

Good piece of officiating by the referee and AR Ledger as they correctly judged that MU6 had not been unfairly challenged on the edge of the penalty area.  Pogba went down rather theatrically and I am sure the referee will want to have a quiet word in his ear about that at the next opportunity.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:24:10

Another foul on MU6 brings about another advantage by the referee. He has certainly set out his intentions to let the game flow and the players are responding well #CPFCMUFC


DM at 2018-03-05 21:22:48

AR West in a good position to judge that the ball had not crossed the goal line


DM at 2018-03-05 21:20:55

Neil Swarbrick is moving around the field really well.  One thing to notice for young referees is the way he holds back and lets play develop in front of him before moving to gain an angle.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:17:19

Scott Ledger again flags the offside a little too quickly.  Although MU9 was the only attacking player who could have got the ball, it was pretty clear that it was going out of play.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:15:44

Scott Ledger who I praised pre-match has flagged offside too quickly in that situation.  I think he should have delayed the flag and if he had a corner-kick would have been given.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:13:47

Another good piece of refereeing as MU6 is held on the halfway line.  Referee Swarbrick waited to see if an advantage could be played and decided it could not resulting in a free kick being given.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:11:26




DM at 2018-03-05 21:09:54

Good decision for the first free-kick of the game as MU25 trips an opponent.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:07:34

Even in the opening few minutes it is clear to see that the game is being played at a high tempo from end to end.  The referee is working hard to be in good positions but tonight will be physically testing for all of the match officials.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:05:43

Neil Swarbrick opts to play an early advantage as MU6 trips an opponent.  Referees should take caution when playing advantage so early in a game as it is advisable to establish match control first.  However, Neil is a very experienced referee and the players are of a very high skill level so the advantage is more readily accepted without being a threat to match control.


DM at 2018-03-05 21:02:46

Early incident there as CP3 appeared to be caught in the face by MU25, it didn’t look a careless challenge and I think the referee got that one right.

DM at 2018-03-05 21:00:48

Neil Swarbrick gets the match underway

DM at 2018-03-05 20:58:17

Don’t forget to tune in to the @youaretheref Ref Show online as Mark Halsey and Roger Dilkes join Alan Biggs to discuss the weekend’s action

DM at 2018-03-05 20:57:10

Lee Mason will need to take a calm approach as fourth official and I am sure he will effectively manage the technical areas.

DM at 2018-03-05 20:55:01

Scott Ledger is an excellent Assistant Referee and he should in my opinion have been promoted to the FIFA Assistant Referee Panel a long time ago.  His lining technique is one the best on the list and he has consistently handled the big games with aplomb.  Richard West bounced back on to the EPL Assistant Referee list a few seasons ago and he has matured as an Assistant and is having a good season.

DM at 2018-03-05 20:52:39

Neil Swarbrick has refereed 20 games this season in all competitions, in which he has cautioned 54 players.  Neil has not had cause to issue a red card so far this season.  Although statistics do not tell you everything, Neil is certainly one of the best player managers on the referee panel and he is a very solid and capable referee.  I have always been impressed with his style, he plays to his strengths and gets on with people very well but he is not afraid of taking action when it is required.

DM at 2018-03-05 20:50:13

Before I give a background on the match officials and preview the game, everyone at You are the Ref would like to express our condolences to the friends and family of Davide Astori, the late captain of Fiorentina who sadly passed away during the weekend.

DM at 2018-03-05 20:47:42

Appointed Match officials:

Referee – Neil Swarbrick

Assistants – Scott Ledger and Richard West

4th official – Lee Mason

DM at 2018-03-05 20:46:38

The referee for the match is Neil Swarbrick from Preston and his Assistants are Scott Ledger (technical area side) and Richard West (far side), with Lee Mason holding the boards as fourth official. 

DM at 2018-03-05 20:45:22

Welcome to this evening’s ref cam as Crystal Palace host Manchester United in the EPL.