Liverpool v Arsenal


GT at 2017-03-04 20:43:04

It has been an absolute pleasure to be in your company again this evening, and I thank you all again for your Tweets and comments.

Looking forward to doing it all again soon.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and keep it YATR…

GT at 2017-03-04 20:41:33

Thank you again everyone for all of your comments this evening.

Twitter has been alive…and I have a feeling we have not heard the last of some of today’s refereeing performances or this week’s decision to go to sunny climes for a stag do….how the performances of some who went contrasted those of Bobby Madley who stayed here to referee Huddersfield Town v Manchester City.

Mike Riley, and I suggest Richard Scudamore, need to have a look at the Referees boss’ decision to allow a bunch of their professional referees a midweek ‘break’ in Marbella.

Sometimes a manager has to be strong enough to say ‘No’ to his employees.

GT at 2017-03-04 20:37:33

Stay with us here on YATR for a host of live commentary on Refcam.
Tomorrow sees THREE games being covered, starting with another clash of two sides in the top seven as Tottenham Hotspur entertain Everton.
That is followed immediately by Sunderland v Manchester City, with your Saturday being rounded-off by a return to MLS action in Orlando City v NY City.
The action keeps coming on Monday too with full coverage of West Ham’s ‘derby’ game against Chelsea.
Head over to the YATR website for some outstanding content, as well.
The newly-formed ACADEMY is such a unique, exciting and valuable resource for everyone with an interest in refereeing that it is a ‘must have’ if you want to develop your understanding and knowledge of officiating.
Also, don’t forget to take a look at the Betfair campaign which YATR is proud to partner. Some of us recently went down to Arsenal’s training ground and put three of their superstars – Olivier Giroud, Petr Cech and Nacho Monreal – through their paces as they refereed a game which included Mark Halsey and myself as players! The footage is superb and you really should take a look…
In a week which saw Aston Villa’s Leandro Bacuna handed a miserly six game ban following his altercation with an assistant referee, Keith Hackett has plenty to say on the subject and is not afraid to offer an opinion.
Whilst Jason Pettigrove continues his superb ‘Runner and Riders’ feature, and the ever-popular Refshow is always a winner.
All of this, and much more, shows why YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.
Keep it here on

GT at 2017-03-04 20:36:12

Balance, as ever, highlighted by Alan Biggs in his Tweet….

Well, @youaretheref panned Kevin Friend earlier. Only fair to highlight @no1lino ‘s salute for Mr. Madley.

That is why YATR is here….to offer fair and impartial views.

Head over to our website for details on our new Academy, where you can get even more content.

GT at 2017-03-04 20:33:40

Some may question if Emre Can should have seen a second yellow card following a foul on Theo Walcott.

My view is that Bobbyh called it correctly from his viewing angle.

He couldn’t possibly have been in any other position and from there he could not see if Can or Matip made first contact with Arsenal man.

Also, was it careless or reckless.

Enough doubt surrounded the decision for me, and for that reason I back the referee.

That was a performance much needed in a day shrouded in controversy and awful refereeing, as highlighted on Refcam earlier by Andy Hogg in the Manchester United v Bournemouth game.

No such problems for referee Madley this evening though, and he can drive home very happy with his work.

GT at 2017-03-04 20:27:44

Bobby was simply OUTSTANDING.

He played so much quality advantage in a game which longed for fluidity.

His reading of play was as good as  have seen from him and his fitness and positioning was better than witnessed before.

Top, top refereeing from a man who chose to stay at home and referee this week rather than go to Marbella on a stag break.

Is there a connection?

You decide…

GT at 2017-03-04 20:25:14

That was a game I was really looking forward to, and it did not disappoint.

Two sides who came to play football rather than stamp on and elbow each other.

And what about referee Bobby Madley’s part in the spectacle…

GT at 2017-03-04 20:22:54

Full Time


GT at 2017-03-04 20:21:48

Don’t overlook the part Peter Kirkup played in that third Liverpool goal either.

His non-offside was right out of the top drawer.

GT at 2017-03-04 20:20:20

Wijnaldum puts the result beyond doubt with a cool finish past Cech.

What a game of football this has been.

91 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 20:19:00

He should now!!


GT at 2017-03-04 20:18:25

We have reached the end of the regular 90 minutes in this fantastic game of football.

3 additional minutes to go on…

Can Jurgen Klopp become the first Liverpool manager since Gerard Houllier (1999/2000) to do a League double over Arsene Wenger in a single season?

GT at 2017-03-04 20:15:42

Foul on Lallana, whose is impeded by Sanchez….despite what Arsene Wenger may think!

Well done Bobby Madley.

GT at 2017-03-04 20:14:16

Offside against Mane….good decision Peter Kirkup

GT at 2017-03-04 20:13:06

Just 5 of the regular 90 minutes to go…

Great game.

Top refereeing performance with just one question mark following Emre Can’s foul on Theo Walcott

GT at 2017-03-04 20:10:53

We are in the final 10 minutes but the goals may not have ended…

There have been 16 goals scored in the 90th minute or later in League encounters between these two sides – more than any others in the history of the Premier League.

GT at 2017-03-04 20:09:06

More good advantage played as Arsenal press for the equaliser

GT at 2017-03-04 20:08:25

Granit Xhaka would do well to keep quiet as he continues his protest at Bobby Madley.

When will footballers learn to leave it to the referee?

80 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 20:07:07

Jurgen Klopp decides it’s time for a change as Coutinho makes way for Divock Origi

79 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 20:06:29

Bobby stays strong though, and is not influenced by their actions.

Granit Xhaka talks his way into the book though..

Yellow Card

Strength shown by Bobby

GT at 2017-03-04 20:04:59

Six Arsenal players surround Bobby Madley and plead for Emre Can to be sent off for a second yellow card following a foul on Walcott

GT at 2017-03-04 20:03:20

Just 15 minutes to go, and there is no let-up in the action or, indeed, referee Madley’s performance.

Come on, Bobby….see this one through to the end.

74 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 20:01:39

Arsene Wenger is going for the equaliser with a double-substitution.

Lucas Perez and Theo Walcott take over from Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck

GT at 2017-03-04 19:58:29

20 minutes to go in this pulsating encounter…

Hope you’rte enjoying Bobby Madley’s performance as much as I am.

Let us know what you think and give us your views by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref

68 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 19:57:00

Yellow Cardfor Can…and it’s more top quality refereeing by Bobby.

The Reds’ number 23 brought down Sanchez earlier in the move but Bobby played a great advantage.

Then, when play broke down,he went back and correctly cautioned the Liverpool midfielder.

Excellent refereeing.


GT at 2017-03-04 19:54:53

Quite unbelievable foot-speed from Sadio Mane, who continues to torment thew Arsenal defence.

His cross results in a free kick for The Gunners though as Bobby Madley correctly spots a foul

GT at 2017-03-04 19:51:22

Monreal perhaps fortunate to escape a caution there as he cynically brings down Mane.

As the foul took place deep in the Liverpool half, it probably saved him from the referee’s notebook.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:49:12

History suggests there is still more to come in this one…

Did you know there have been 16 goals in the last three League meetings between these two sides when they play at Anfield.

That’s an average of over 5 goals per game.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:46:50

Whilst the criticism for Kevin Friend and Anthony Taylor continues to pour in, so does the appreciation of Bobby Madley’s performance this evening.

Here is the latest one from Luke, via Twitter

@youaretheref Controversy can come at any moment. Good work so far from Bobby but he has to keep it up. Please no more shambolic calls today

56 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 19:44:53

GOAL! scored by Danny Welbeck….made by Alexis Sanchez.

Gunners fans will be wondering why he didn’t start the game.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:43:27

Good wait-and-see technique from assistant referee Kirkup.

Firmino was eventually penalised correctly.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:41:36

Free kick for Liverpool as Coutinho is too quick-footed for the Arsenal defence.

Good call, referee.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:40:23

Offside given by Marc Perry from the free kick and he is exactly right despite Olivier Giroud’s finger-wagging

GT at 2017-03-04 19:39:21

Much better from Arsenal in the opening 5 minutes of this half.

Exactly the same from Bobby Madley – superb – as he correctly calls a free kick for The Gunners following a foul

GT at 2017-03-04 19:36:38

@youaretheref Today Kevin Friend made Roger East look like Collina… Yes it was THAT bad! A L9 trainee would have got a 5&under for it!

My word…strong criticism coming in from all quarters.

But you cannot disagree with Gayle’s opinion.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:34:53

…and immediately Sanchez is in the action, almost getting on to the end of a cross

GT at 2017-03-04 19:33:09

Arsenal have, unsurprisingly, taken off Francis Coquelin and replaced him with their top scorer, Alexis Sanchez for the second half.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:32:37

We are back with the action as Liverpool get us going for this second half.

Much more of the same from the referees would be most welcome.

Bobby Madley’s performance is exactly what English refereeing needs right now.

As it sits in crisis following yet more ineptitude from some colleagues, he is doing his best to steady a rudderless ship.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:24:43

During the half-time break why not head over to our website as #YATR will be introducing a brand new academy very soon, find out everything you need to know and register your interest at

GT at 2017-03-04 19:17:28

Half Time

What an excellent opening half.

Liverpool may have totally controlled the football, but Bobby Madley has totally controlled the game.

That is the best 45 minutes of football I have seen from referee Madley.

Another 45 like that would be the cherry-on-the-cake, please Bobby.

GT at 2017-03-04 19:15:20

That’s the end of the opening 45 minutes, just 2 added minutes to go…

GT at 2017-03-04 19:14:00

I haven’t seen Bobby Madley referee this well or move so freely EVER.

This is exactly what confidence does for a referee.

He set off well, his early decision making was excellent and the two sides have come to play football.

All of those factors together have contributed to Bobby’s outstanding first half display

GT at 2017-03-04 19:11:21

The Reds have been too good for Arsenal in this opening half, and are good value for their two goal lead.

The other team shining out there is the referees’ team.

Quality from the home side and Bobby Madley.

39 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 19:09:59

GOAL! Sadio Mane makes it two for Liverpool


GT at 2017-03-04 19:07:21

With just 10 minutes left of this first half, this is the type of game a referee does not want to take a half time break in.

Things are going so well for Bobby and his team they would just prefer it went straight through to the end of the 90 minutes

35 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 19:05:29

Francis Coquelin finds his way into Bobby’s book, and rightly so following a clear pull of Adam Lallana’s shirt

Yellow Card

GT at 2017-03-04 19:04:31

No foul from referee Madley as Coutinho goes to ground….another superb decision.

The Reds number 10 went looking for the free kick

GT at 2017-03-04 19:02:57

Real pace shown by Bobby as Lallana pinches the ball and gives it to Mane who breaks at top speed.

Bobby got right up there to the Arsenal penalty area in double-quick time.

Good fitness and speed from the referee

GT at 2017-03-04 19:00:09

@youaretheref Refs having a shocking season. Doesn’t help when 10 players surround them giving their opinion, that would be so easy to stop.
It’s hard to disagree with this tweet from Mike.
Although I’m really pleased to report that Bobby Madley is having a great game in this one.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:59:03

Another fantastic advantage played by referee Madley as Coutinho almost doubles Liverpool’s lead

GT at 2017-03-04 18:57:15

Perry is right on the spot again to correctly judge the ball out of play and award a goal kick to Arsenal.

Marc is on his game this evening.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:55:00

Top offside call from Marc Perry.

They are the tough ones, with an attacker just marginally offside and moving at pace.

Good work, Lino…

GT at 2017-03-04 18:53:47

Half way through the opening 45 minutes, and Bobby Madley is performing superbly.

His approach is exactly what this game needs

GT at 2017-03-04 18:49:47

Excellent refereeing…

Bobby saw the foul by Iwobi on Can but looked for an advantage.

Nothing came for The Reds so he brought back play and awarded the free kick.

That’s what confidence can do for a referee.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:47:43

Watch Bobby’s movement and body language.

He is clearly enjoying the opportunity to stay out of the game for long periods and let the players play.

He is calm and assured and growing in confidence as the game goes on.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:43:33

Bobby Madley is playing this one perfectly so far.

The two sides have come to play, not kick.

So he is happy to let them get on with it…but is moving around the field of play well and tracking play just in case his involvement is needed.

Top refereeing, Bobby….keep it going.

9 minutes

GT at 2017-03-04 18:41:01

Less than 10 minutes played and Liverpool’s pressure pays dividends.

A lovely team build-up results in the ball arriving at the number 11’s feet, and he smashes it past Petr Cech.

Game on….

GT at 2017-03-04 18:39:23


GT at 2017-03-04 18:37:31


The game has begun as expected.

Liverpool have all the possession and are playing with high intensity.

Arsenal are sitting back, soaking up the pressure and are looking for counter-attacks.

7 minutes played and only two small fouls…these are two sides who like to play football, not kick their way to a win.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:33:38

It’s a very bright start from the home side with Arsenal sitting deep.

Bobby’s positioning in these early moments is good, he has tuned-in early into Arsenal’s set up which is to play on the break.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:31:35

20 seconds played and Bobby makes his first decision.

Free kick to Liverpool following a small foul.

Good call, referee

GT at 2017-03-04 18:30:18


Arsenal take the kick-off and get us underway…

Here we go, sit tight, this should be a superb 90 minutes of football.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:22:12


It’s almost time for kick-off at Anfield.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:16:27


As for our officials…

This is a massive game for Robert ‘Bobby’ Madley.

His own form is not dissimilar to the two teams….he can be very good or equally poor.

The PGMOL must have him earmarked as one of their hopefuls though, otherwise why trust him with such a crucial encounter, especially when our best referee Mark Clattenburg is fourth official to Mike Jones at WBA v Crystal Palace?

However, unlike Kevin Friend and the groom-to-be, Bobby did not go to Marbella this week on Anthony Taylor’s stag ‘do’ so there can be no hangover (excuse the pun) from a tiring midweek jolly-jaunt.

Incidentally, I find the decision to go on such a midweek break astonishing and even more remarkable is PGMOL referees’ boss Mike Riley’s decision to allow some of his team that kind of trip at this time of the season. Players would not be allowed to go, so why are professional referees?
Even if the break was golf-themed, the unwelcome publicity it attracts and the potential for criticism when it is followed up by inept performances such as those from Friend and Taylor today illustrates a lack of leadership and management from a man, who I know from personal experience, shies away from tough decisions.

I’ll end my ‘rant’ by asking a question for Riley…after suspending Mark Clattenburg for going to an Ed Sheeran concert in England what are you going to do about a bunch of your referees going on a stag break before a crucial weekend of Premier League football?

Back to this evening’s game…Bobby’s assistants, Peter Kirkup and Marc Perry, need to up their games too and give him the support he will need to see this one through to a successful conclusion.

Madley lives in the same neck-of-the-woods as his boss, Mike Riley, indeed they came through the same County FA.

Let’s hope he doesn’t need his boss’ support too when tomorrow’s newspaper headlines come out.

Everyone at YATR wishes Bobby and his team a great game with a feast of open and attractive football.

Sit back and enjoy this one with us…I’m looking forward to it.

GT at 2017-03-04 18:11:44


Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s second live Refcam commentary game.

Following the absolute shambles of a performance from Kevin Friend in the earlier game between Manchester United and Bournemouth we now offer undoubtedly THE big game of the weekend as Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield.

Last week’s shock defeat to Leicester City will have shaken the Merseyside giants and their manager Jurgen Klopp.

The German can point to a squad which lacks depth as a reason for the loss but nonetheless most people expected the 15 or 16 players at his disposal to have enough quality to beat last season’s champions.

No one believes that Klopp’s future at Anfield is in any doubt but he will expect his players to bounce back in style and inflict a second defeat this season upon rivals Arsenal.

Gunners’ supremo Arsene Wenger is not a man without his own challenges, however.

With fans planning a protest at their next home game the Frenchman will see today as an opportunity to silence his critics.

The thing with Arsenal is…when they are good they are excellent, but when they are poor they are awful, as we saw when Bayern Munich turned them over in the Champions League and Chelsea did likewise the last time they were out in this competition.

Both of these sides score goals for fun (Liverpool 55, Arsenal 54) but it is in defence where they both struggle.

Whilst this season Liverpool have a fantastic record against all other sides currently in the top seven – they are unbeaten – they have conceded more goals than any of those other sides.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have the worst record in games between the top seven sides, winning just once.

This will be a fascinating game, and goals are almost guaranteed, so sit back and enjoy the coverage on Refcam, not forgetting to let us know who you believe will be triumphant and what you think of the officials by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref