Liverpool v Arsenal


Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-08-27 18:08:05


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

  • The end could not come quick enough for Arsenal in this game, but Craig Pawson looked relatively comfortable throughout.
  • There was nothing “fancy” about what Pawson did in this game, but he made sure that the officials will not be getting any of the headlines tomorrow.
  • Six cautions was about average for this referee this season, but I will give my opinion on that below.

To begin my summary, I should say well done to Craig Pawson for stepping up to one of the biggest games of the season and taking over without looking out of place. Mentally it can be extremely stressfully to suddenly find you are the main man, when you were expecting a “quite afternoon” on board duty! And as I said at half time, the first thing is to take these opportunities when they come along, and Craig did just that this afternoon.

He still lacks that “wow factor” if you ask me, and he still relies on his book to do the talking for him, but that is not always a bad thing, as the players will eventually understand that is the way he controls his games, so it is up to them to behave. All the top teams have “dossiers” on each referee, so when Craig Pawson rocks up, the players should know what to expect. Historically this game can ignite at any time year after year, so personally I felt that Pawson did well to control this one, and if that meant 6 cautions, well so be it – it worked for him!

His reading of the game was not great at times, and I still think his superb fitness is hidden somewhere due to his body language and running style, which is such a pity as he is a very mobile and capable official – someone should be able to correct this for him.

Good teamwork all round, and as I keep saying, the teams (both for different reason), will be taking up all the newspaper columns in the morning!

So well done Craig, you stepped up and came through it OK!

GB at 2017-08-27 17:52:56

You can get the latest opinion pieces from myself, Mark Halsey, Rob Harris and others on our Verdict section of the Academy. Read the latest views on the weekend’s football action….

More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-08-27 17:51:51


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage this weekend.

That’s it for August and we will be taking a break next weekend for the internationals.

That said, you can do your own RefCam on us next Saturday if you like and send us your comments whilst watching are very own Mark Halsey, along with myself and fellow You Are The Ref Coach Andy Hogg, as we all officiate at the testimonial match for the Grenfell Tower Trust at QPR, KO 3pm (Live on Sky)!

Then it’s back to the EPL the following week with a packed weekend of RefCams:

09.09.17 Manchester City v Liverpool KO 12.30 pm

09.09.17 Stoke City v Manchester United KO 17.30 pm

10.09.17 Burnley v Crystal Palace KO 13.30 pm

10.09.17 Swansea City v Newcastle United KO 16.00 pm

11.09.17 West Ham United v Huddersfield Town KO 20.00 pm

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2017-08-27 17:50:56

Full Time

Liverpool 4 v 0 Arsenal


GB at 2017-08-27 17:47:52

Minimum of 3 added minutes


GB at 2017-08-27 17:46:04

The referee finishing this game as he started by taking his time over a throw-in and letting the players tell him who should have the re-start – no need to rush if you are not 100% sure, especially in front of the technical areas!


GB at 2017-08-27 17:43:04

The referee also seems to be having difficulty in reading this game at times as he has to jink out of the way and turn around. Mind you, some of the Arsenal players are not exactly making it easy for the officials to know what they are going to do next!


GB at 2017-08-27 17:41:00

For one of the fittest referees on the circuit when he arrived in the top flight, Craig Pawson’s running style still looks laboured at times and he could do with some professional advice on how to correct that.


GB at 2017-08-27 17:37:56

Hand shakes all round as they all fall down just inside of the Arsenal penalty area, as Pawson gave himself a good angle to spot no foul that time


GB at 2017-08-27 17:36:30

Daniel Sturridge (L 15) GOAL! just rubs salt into the wounds of Arsenal!

Pawson shows and “advantage” signal in the build up, but not for the first time in this game (as someone mentioned on Twitter earlier) he did that when not offence had been committed. That sort of thing is not expected at this level.


GB at 2017-08-27 17:33:38


There have been 6 yellow cards in the game now, and it is not one of those games which looks like the passion has been that high. But take each one in isolation and the referee has needed to be strong to keep the lid on this one which he has kept control of “in his own way”.


GB at 2017-08-27 17:31:06

Now the temperature suddenly rises and quite rightly Rob Holding (A 16) gets a Yellow Card for his reckless challenge which Craig Pawson was right on top of again!


GB at 2017-08-27 17:29:20

Pawson was so close to that foul he could see that it was still an offence, but not worthy of a card this time


GB at 2017-08-27 17:28:05

A little push in the back goes by then, but I would give the referee the benefit of the doubt that he would have signalled advantage for that one but the play moved on so quickly with Liverpool in possession.


GB at 2017-08-27 17:24:32

Good teamwork there as Stephen Child gets another offside call right but Pawson allows the game to flow. Technically correct, but that is the type of “chance” i mentioned about this referees game. No need to try to be clever in this game, just get through without any controversy.


at 2017-08-27 17:22:22

With all the talk about how poor Arsenal have been in this game the officials need to concentrate right till then end to keep out of the reports of this game.


at 2017-08-27 17:20:35

Roberto Firmino (L 11) GOAL!makes it 3 up

At last Pawson shows his pace as the ball switched from one end to the other for that goal


GB at 2017-08-27 17:14:29

After a safe free kick which no one argued with, Craig Pawson then gave a dreadful corner decision which he got away with as nothing came of it. It only takes one poor call like that to change the whole game for the officials


GB at 2017-08-27 17:09:45

#LIVARS Mesut Özil (A 11) picks up the 5th Yellow Card of the game. Even though his opponent jumped over the challenge, it was still reckless in the delivery. Pawson has shown a lot of yellow cards so far this season but he has been consistent with his tolerance level. The problem when you set it low is that you risk that second yellow for a “soft one” though – so that comes down to the players to respond positively to the referee’s tactics.


GB at 2017-08-27 17:04:57

Second half underway

GB at 2017-08-27 17:02:12

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Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-08-27 16:56:45


Any referee who has reached the heights they aim for (what ever that might be), will tell you that you need a bit of luck. Well Craig Pawson’s came along today as he was required to step up due to Martin Atkinson suffering from a bad back and unable to fulfil this appointment.

This may have been the break he needed as he has basically not done his reputation any harm so far in this one. He still does not look like the full article to me as he seems to take chances sometimes which he needs to take out of his game.

But all-in-all, he has managed to keep out of this one-sided game as much as he can. The 3 yellow cards were timely and enhanced his control in my opinion and underpinned his first half performance.

Very well supported by his ARs so far as well.

GB at 2017-08-27 16:50:34


Massive praise for Graham Scott for the way he dealt with a dreadful challenge in the Watford v Brighton game yesterday. Read what the ex-Head of Professional Referees in England had to say about it, as well as a reminder to the players to show respect to each other!


You can get the latest opinion pieces from myself, Mark Halsey, Rob Harris and others on our Verdict section of the Academy. Read the latest views on the weekend’s football action….


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GB at 2017-08-27 16:48:29

Half Time


GB at 2017-08-27 16:47:21

Not a wise call that to play advantage with a player on the ground. No need for Pawson to start taking chances in this game. He has done OK so far so just needs to look after himself until half time.


GB at 2017-08-27 16:45:40

Minimum of 2 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-08-27 16:43:50

Sadio Mané (L19) GOAL! makes the score reflect the dominance of Liverpool in this game


GB at 2017-08-27 16:42:41

Well done again to AR2 Child, he really is on fire with his offside calls in this one


GB at 2017-08-27 16:41:41

Another great offside call by Stephen Child who is doing his best to redress the balance after some not so great calls from the Assistants in the Man Utd game yesterday!


GB at 2017-08-27 16:39:41


Pawson obviously raising his profile now quite rightly as the game comes to life


GB at 2017-08-27 16:38:31

The last Yellow Card may have been debatable (although I felt it was a classic safe decision), but this time Emre Can (L 23) can have no complaints for a clear holding offence which is a mandatory caution for unsporting behaviour.


GB at 2017-08-27 16:35:20

Pawson taking his time then and just checking in with his colleagues before giving the expected Yellow CardDanny Welbeck (A 23) for his clumsy challenge. Looked reckless to the officials so they obviously felt they needed to stamp their authority on that one.


GB at 2017-08-27 16:33:04

First Yellow Card of the game goes to Dejan Lovren (L 6) for that reckless challenge. Pawson has set his tolerance level with that one


GB at 2017-08-27 16:31:28

AR2 Stephen Child had a lot of decisions to make in the build up to that goal. A very tight not offside call on the wing in front of him to start with, then he had to hold his flag when the cross came in as Liverpool 11 was offside in the middle before Fimino came in with the decisive header.


GB at 2017-08-27 16:22:34

Roberto Firmino (L 9) GOAL!


GB at 2017-08-27 16:16:51

No question of a foul then as the players came together in the penalty area


GB at 2017-08-27 16:12:46

Pawson was very ahed into the penalty area for that close chance. His lack of a dynamic sprint has been flagged up before but he was quick to move in that time.


GB at 2017-08-27 16:08:15

First impressions of Craig’s body language is that he seems to be very relaxed about the step up for this game.


GB at 2017-08-27 16:06:04

The referee did well then to take his time over that first throw-in and let the players help him to decide which way to go – good refereeing!


GB at 2017-08-27 16:02:49

I wonder how much notice Craig Pawson had before the game that he would be in chanrge. This will be a test of how well he had prepared for this eventuality.

Kick Off

GB at 2017-08-27 16:00:56

Liverpool won the toss so it will be  Arsenal 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

Change of Referee

GB at 2017-08-27 15:57:55


BREAKING NEWS – Craig Pawson steps up from 4th Man to take charge of the game!

GB at 2017-08-27 15:55:41

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


GB at 2017-08-27 15:47:18


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GB at 2017-08-27 15:46:12


Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Martin Atkinson

AR1: Adam Nunn (Technical Area)

AR2: Stephen Child

4th Official: Craig Pawson

Something YATR has mentioned a number of times is the paucity of “reliable” officials who can be selected for the “big” games every season. Martin Atkinson, however, has certainly earned the right over the past few years to be in the category of being able to cope with anything which is thrown at him, so the prospect of this game will hold no fear for this official who already has over 310 EPL middles and 110 Internationals under his belt!

There is a balance to be made though, as the top games cannot be “divvied out” to the same officials every season, otherwise those coming up on the rails will not get the opportunity to prove how good they are under pressure.

Today’s referee first took charge of this game in his 5th season in the top-flight on the opening day of the 2010/11 season. Seven years seems a fair length of time before doing the same fixture again for me, but at least one of the Managers around today will remember the 2 Red Cards (Joe Cole (SFP), Liverpool; Laurent Koscielny (2 Yellows), Arsenal), and 4 more yellows in an otherwise low key contest.

In fact, Martin Atkinson has not exactly been a lucky omen recently to the Away team today, as the Gunners have been on the losing side 7 times out of the last 12 Premier League games he has been in charge of dating back to Dec 2013. Last season’s results were mixed for Arsenal under Atkinson, they beat West Ham and Sunderland – but lost at Manchester City and Chelsea. And both of those defeats left a sour taste in the mouth of Arsene Wenger, with the Arsenal boss adamant both City goals were offside and that Hector Bellerin had been fouled by Marcus Alonso as the Spaniard scored the opening goal of the game at Stamford Bridge.

Still waters run deep in this game as we all know, but if there was ever a referee around at the moment who can cope with the pressure, then he is out there today!

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-08-27 15:42:58


1       Loris Karius (L 1)

5       Georginio Wijnaldum (L 5)

6       Dejan Lovren (L 6)

9       Roberto Firmino (L 9)

11     Roberto Firmino (L 11)

12     Joseph Gomez (L 12)

14     Jordan Henderson (L 14)

18     Alberto Moreno (L 18)

19     Sadio Mané (L19)

23     Emre Can (L 23)

32     Joel Matip (L 32)


7       James Milner (L 7)

15     Daniel Sturridge (L 15)

16     Marko Grujic (L 16)

17     Ragnar Kalvan (L 17)

29     Dominic Solanke (L 29)

59     Harry Wilson (L 59)

66     Trent Alexander-Arnold (L 66)


33     Petr Cech (A 33)

6       Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

7       Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

8       Aaron Ramsey (A 8)

11     Mesut Özil (A 11)

15     Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

16     Rob Holding (A 16)

18     Nacho Monreal (A 18)

23     Danny Welbeck (A 23)

24     Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

29     Granit Xhaka (A 29)


9       Alexandre Lacazette (A 9)

12     Olivier Giroud (A 12)

13     David Ospina (A 13)

14     Theo Walcott (A 14)

20     Shkodran Mustafi (A 20)

31     Sead Kolasinac (A 31)

34     Francis Coquelin (A 34)


GB at 2017-08-27 15:35:37


I know that we are only three games in, but it would nonetheless still be fair to say that neither of these teams have exactly set the EPL alight yet this season. It could also be argued though, that neither have had the “rub of the green yet” when it comes to some decisions. Liverpool were clearly wronged on the first day, when a black and white case of an offside decision was not given in the build up to the winning Watford goal (despite the ball having been played backwards), then Arsenal suffered because of the magnificent 20/20 vision (!?) of an AR who gave a perfectly legitimate offside call which resulted in a “goal” being chalked off last week.

Both of the above decisions have been well documented already, and even though one was clearly wrong, and the other clearly right, the strange dichotomy is, that actually if they had each gone the opposite way, neither would have taken up so many column widths! That said, on the Arsenal decision, there was a lot of nonsense spouted by some pundits about the “rule” of the benefit of the doubt going to the attacking side, it needs to be made very clear that there has never been such a “rule” (or Law for that matter), and as I have said before “you cannot be a little bit pregnant”. If the flag had stayed down, the call would have been wrong, and under the present system of adjudicating the ARs performance via video technology, he would have been graded below standard. So well done Simon Beck (you got lucky), and hard lucky Arsenal, it was not your day!

Looking forward to this encounter, I do not expect this to be the blood and guts contest it might be if a Champions League place depended upon it at the end of term, but there is still no love lost between these two heavyweights, so nobody wants this one to be decided on a controversial decision.


GB at 2017-08-27 15:32:32


Welcome to this afternoon’s RefCam coverage of the Premier League game between Liverpool and Arsenal. 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

Any thoughts on the big calls in the EPL over the weekend so far?