Everton v Liverpool


Full Time Summary

GB at 2018-04-07 14:35:41


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

  • No yellow cards in a Merseyside Derby!
  • A lesson in keeping your nerve given by Michael Oliver.
  • No one will be talking about the officials after this one and this will look good on the referee’s CV for the future.

On reflection Michael Oliver has to be credited with pitching that one just right. I was occasionally concerned that he was pushing his luck as a few incidents worth of disciplinary action slipped by and the danger was that the players would up-the-ante as it looked like nothing was going to warrant a card coming out in this one. Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing particularly reckless going on, but there are very few referees around at the moment who could have “managed” that first half in particular as well as Oliver did. So for up-and-coming referees looking on, I would say that is what you can do when you reach the top, but I would not suggest a tolerance level as high as what we saw at times today would always be the best way to keep the lid on games such as this.

What Oliver did particularly well was use his fitness and positional awareness to squeeze as close as he could to the players the longer the game went on to be breathing down their necks before they did anything silly.

At the end of the day, this must go down as a good performance, even if it was not for the purest at times because of an occasional risk taken. You earn your luck though as a referee, so when you “get away with one”, bank it an move on quickly!

More RefCam to come

GB at 2018-04-07 14:21:02


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend. Stay tuned for two more massive big city derby games in the next couple of days, starting with the game which could decide the Premier League this afternoon.

07.04.18 Manchester City v Manchester United KO 17.30 pm

08.04.18 Chelsea v West Ham United KO 16.30 pm

Then on Sunday we return to the MLS for:

08.04.18 Orlando City v Portland Timbers KO 4.00 pm LT (8.00pm GMT)

Hope to have your company again for these games.

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:  http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2018-04-07 14:20:16

Full Time

Everton 0 v 0 Liverpool

GB at 2018-04-07 14:18:58

After the kicking they got last week, Everton fans will probably be happy with a draw at the end.


GB at 2018-04-07 14:17:00

minimum of 3 added minutes


GB at 2018-04-07 14:16:10

Michael Oliver using the substitution to manage the tempo as well and not restarting from the offside offence until everyone is ready.

GB at 2018-04-07 14:14:43

Two clear missed in a minute and this is obviously not going to be Everton’s day!


GB at 2018-04-07 14:12:56

For those of you keeping your eyes on the referee it is worth noting what I said just now about the way he is squeezing the play close to the ball in these closing stages to make sure he closes the game out without any unforced errors.


GB at 2018-04-07 14:10:55

Another foul challenge by Everton makes the count 12 to 4 in their favour and the longer the game goes on I cant see a yellow card coming out this afternoon.


GB at 2018-04-07 14:07:32

It is noticeable how the referee will sacrifice his diagonal now to remain within a credible distance of the ball to make sure he misses nothing


GB at 2018-04-07 14:05:12

Now the fans start to eventually get behind the home team the tempo might start to go up for the closing stages.


GB at 2018-04-07 14:01:32

As the game goes through a quite period the officials cannot afford to relax. It only needs a goal or another challenge which does not result in a yellow card as Oliver strives for his consistency, and things could all change.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:58:58

There is no doubt that Michael Oliver’s body language has been superb throughout this game as he looks so full of confidence.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:52:34

Going back to those handbags in the 58th minute, when I was an assessor, I always liked to look back at the end of a game and credit the referee if his tactics proved correct when looking at the overall picture. If Oliver gets through this one without issuing a yellow card at all then that will be a major achievement and probably a big tick for consistency. But if we get a soft yellow in a minute, then there have been a few things to look back on and question whether he has set his tolerance too high. I am willing to give him credit for the way he is managing the game so far.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:47:53


Here we go.

To be fair that seemed to come from nowhere, but the only course of action by the referee then needed to be a yellow card each in my opinion to keep the game on an even keel. Two yellows then would have sent out the correct sign to the rest of the players that the referee was going to be pro-active as I said at half time.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:44:20

Wayne Rooney (EV 10) obviously not happy about being taken off, but at least that gives the referee one less thing to worry about, as he must have been drinking at the last chance salon.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:41:22

As always with this referee, his fitness and positioning are helping him enormously as he gets in close enough to sell his decisions even when he does not stop play.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:38:35


Not sure whether that was careless or reckless as Michael Oliver took out the Liverpool player then!


GB at 2018-04-07 13:34:10

The first half free kick count of 7 -2 in Everton’s favour tells the story of who has been putting the challenges in. This can play on the referee’s mind when one team if fouling more than the other. If the first yellow card comes to the other team it can be awkward!


GB at 2018-04-07 13:31:36

Liverpool get second half underway

Half time Summary

GB at 2018-04-07 13:27:05


Right at the beginning of my commentary I mentioned the fine balance which would be important for the match referee in this game, and it has subsequently been interesting to assess Michael Oliver’s tactics so far in this game. Clearly he has not gone looking for trouble and has been willing to give the players the benefit of the doubt when it comes to setting his tolerance level for the first yellow card of the game.

Fair play to him, he has been consistent and has used his experience to manage what is going on out there so far. But that is where the balance comes in. It will be important now for the first card to be for a standout offence to maintain consistency. 16 minutes in and a careless challenge in the centre could have warranted a yellow card as it broke up a promising move, but Oliver did not want the first caution to be a soft one, then end up with a soft red later in the game. That takes some doing in a game like this and you have to have the respect of the players to get away with it. Then when Rooney “put a naughty one in”, later in the game, once again Oliver was happy to keep his tinder dry – I would just like to see him raise his profile now though. If he is working hard to “work” with the players, then he at least needs to make it clear that there will come a time when enough is enough. We may not have reached that point yet, but the skill of the top referees is to be pro-active when the temperature starts to rise and not rely on being reactive when it all kicks off!

GB at 2018-04-07 13:16:49


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GB at 2018-04-07 13:16:03

Half Time

Everton 0 v 0 Liverpool


GB at 2018-04-07 13:12:45

Oliver is at least being consistent with his tolerance level as Yannick Bolasie (EV 7) was not cautioned for that challenge which was about the same as Rooney’s earlier.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:10:17

With 5 minutes to go until half time I expect the referee to start managing the tempo into the break to preserve what he has manged to achieve with his control so far. No need to take any chances at this stage of the game.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:07:45


Wayne Rooney (EV 10) may have been fortunate then to get away with that challenge in the centre. I have no issues with the referee setting his tolerance level high in this game, but he needs to be seen to be managing the players for those challenges if he decides not to caution. Not to single the player out for the big “last one” after challenges like that just gives the player the chance to put another one in. That is not the Michael Oliver I have come to expect.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:03:53

Good teamwork then as Oliver over-ruled AR2 Daniel Cook who clearly got the throw-in wrong.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:02:29

Very short “peep” of the whistle for that free kick in the centre circle demonstrated how the referee can make his whistle talk. There has been so little need for the whistle in this game he is saving the big blasts for when they might be needed later.


GB at 2018-04-07 13:00:15


Just 3 free kicks awarded in the first 30 minutes shows how well the players are respecting each other and the match officials so far. They officials cannot afford to relax however, as it would not take much for games like this to suddenly turn!


GB at 2018-04-07 12:54:15

Great example then of how to sell a decision with the speed that Oliver blew his whistle to emphasise his corner decision after that fingertip save by the Liverpool keeper.


GB at 2018-04-07 12:52:09


20 minutes gone and the longer this game unfolds I have to say that the referee’s tactics are currently proving to be very effective in not strangling the game.


GB at 2018-04-07 12:49:46

Oliver was well place to see no offence in the Liverpool penalty area then


GB at 2018-04-07 12:48:54

Michael Oliver sets his tolerance level with that free kick in the centre not being considered as breaking up a promising attacking move- which could have warranted a yellow card. Tackle was only careless, but still he is giving this game every chance by not over-reacting too early.


GB at 2018-04-07 12:46:01


The pundits before the game were talking as if this would be like the “old days” with x certificate tackles flying in right from the start, but the game has started much more in line with more sensible tactics being employed as the laws are far more strict on reckless challenges these days.


GB at 2018-04-07 12:42:23

Ten minutes gone and the second 5 of those have been a little less hectic. The officials will be happy to have got over that first hurdle without needing to become centre of attention


GB at 2018-04-07 12:40:28


Whilst it might look like the referee is doing well to keep out of these opening exchanges, there have been a few cases already when he has missed the opportunity to stamp his authority on the game. Fortune favours the brave, but when it all goes south there have been a few minor coming togethers which the players have “got away” with, which might be looked back on.


GB at 2018-04-07 12:35:12

First free kick is straightforward for the referee. The conditions will be putting extra pressure on everyone in this game


GB at 2018-04-07 12:34:04

God demonstration then by  AR2: Daniel Cook of how to compose yourself and come to a complete stop before raising the flag – best practice


GB at 2018-04-07 12:32:23

Oliver ready to blow for the first foul then but decided to let play continue. It will be a fine balance required in this game in respect to “safe” free kicks

kick off

GB at 2018-04-07 12:30:19

Liverpool won the toss so it will be Everton to kick off.

Good luck to all! 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 info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2018-04-07 12:25:58


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GB at 2018-04-07 12:24:29

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


GB at 2018-04-07 12:22:05


Today’s officials are:

Referee: Michael Oliver

AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area)

AR2: Daniel Cook

4th Official: Chris Kavanagh

I am not a betting man, but I doubt you would have got very good odds if you predicted who the PGMO would point the finger at to take charge of this one! Michael Oliver rocks up with all the experience, composure and superb fitness required to orchestrate what can be one of the fiercely contested Derby games of the season. There is obviously more at stake for Liverpool than Everton in this one, but that should not make any difference to the passion the Everton fans will be expecting from their players today after a very disappointing season.

I must say though, that these “big” games can often go the other way, and turn out to be very sombre affairs, as both teams succumb to the pressure and stop short of the type of overzealous challenges these fixtures have been famous for in the past.

None of that is likely to bother Michael Oliver though, as he takes every game as it comes and is currently in a consistent run of good form in the EPL.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2018-04-07 12:20:47


1     Jordan Pickford (EV 1)

2     Morgan Schneiderln (EV 2)

3     Leghton Baines (EV 3)

4     Michael Keane (EV 4)

6     Phil Jagielka (EV 6)

7     Yannick Bolasie (EV 7)

10   Wayne Rooney (EV 10)

11   Kevin Mirallas (EV 11)

14   Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EV 14)

23   Séamus Coleman (EV 23)

26   Tom Davies (EV 26)


15   Cuco Martina (EV 15)

17   Idrissa Gueye (EV 17)

19   Oumar Niasse (EV 19)

25   Ramiro Funes Mori (EV 25)

29   Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EV 29)

33   Joel Robles (EV 33)

54   Beni Baningime (EV 54)


1       Loris Karius (L 1)

2       Nathaniel Clyne (L 2)

4       Virgil van Dijk (L 4)

5       Georginio Wijnaldum (L 5)

6       Dejan Lovren (L 6)

7       James Milner (L 7)

14     Jordan Henderson (L 14)

17     Ragnar Klavan (L 17)

19     Sadio Mané (L19)

28     Danny Ings (L 28)

29     Dominic Solanke (L 29)


9       Roberto Firmino (L 9)

18     Alberto Moreno (L 18)

21     Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L 21)

22     Simon Mignolet (L 22)

48     Curtis Jones (L 48)

63     Alberton Masterson (L 63)

66     Trent Alexander-Arnold (L 66)


GB at 2018-04-07 12:16:15


I sat back and watched Everton roll over in front of Manchester City last week, but surely they can muster up some passion for their Home fans this time around? There is at least one player in the Toffees line-up who will be up for a scrap, but I expect the referee to have a game plan ready to cope with him.

After that amazing result on Wednesday, Liverpool have it all to do again this lunch time, as well as next Tuesday. If it was any other game, the manager would have his work cut out to motivate his players today following their mid-week heroics, but this is the fixture which can define a whole season for the fans of each club, so he just needs to point them up the tunnel and let them go.

Fortune favours the brave they say, so it’s time to light the blue (or red) touch-paper and stand back for some fireworks!


GB at 2018-04-07 12:13:53


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

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com