Liverpool v Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 15:04:14

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GB at 2017-04-01 15:03:45

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Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-04-01 15:02:13


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

  • This was the proverbial game of two halves when assessing the referees performance.
  • The referee’s game plan was clearly not to raise his profile too early in respect to showing a yellow card “unless he really had to” in the opening stages. Whilst this tactic can be very effective in some games, unfortunately a couple of challenges allowed to slip under the radar in the opening 6 minutes, led to a feisty second period of the first half, and a very poor challenge which should have resulted in a red card was only deemed worthy of a yellow.
  • Anthony Taylor came through the second half reasonably un-scathed, and managed to keep control of things in the end in a calm and composed manner.

Starting with my last bullet point first, I have to say that the players attitude in the end had a lot more to do with why this game did not boil over, than the performance of the referee. Even though there were no major talking points in the second half, there were still times in the opening stages of the second period when the players showed scant fear about the consequences of their actions with the ferocity of some of their challenges. And that for me reflected the referee’s “reactive” style today, rather than “proactive” refereeing.

History will show just 4 yellows in this game, which will hide the fact there should have been a red card issued in the 38th minute. The record books will also not reflect that the referee may well need to reflect tonight on if he got “lucky” – although I am not sure Dejan Lovren (L 6) would agree with that, having been on the end of Barkley’s potentially serious injury challenge.

Sometimes the referee cannot be held responsible for irresponsible behaviour by players, but sometimes they do open themselves up for genuine debate as to whether they contributed to subsequent actions of foul play. I made my opinion clear in my halftime summary, when I said it all comes back to tolerance levels, but that must also include reading the temperature of the game.

Two challenges got away in the opening 5 minutes, which may never have been mentioned again, but when one of the player’s (Barkley), then goes on to put in and even more serious offence, the referee’s decision making is justifiably open for debate.

In the end, this just shows how difficult it is for the referee to keep everyone happy at this level. It may only be the purists who will criticise the referee for his tactics in the opening minutes and the subsequent missed red card, but the signs were there for everyone to see.

This would be a great game for the referee to sit down and review minute by minute with his coach and identify where it all started to go wrong in the first half. By the end of that meeting though, I would expect there to be some positive points for Anthony Taylor to take away from his second half performance in which he seemed to park his earlier errors reasonably well. That said, this was not the competent and confident performance of a referee looking to move on up in UEFA, and he would not have done himself any good at all with the eyes of the Refereeing World watching him today, because of the missed red card.

More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-04-01 14:23:14


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please stay tuned for Southampton v Bournemouth coming up at 17.30 today.

Following that one, we have 4 more games coming up in the next  days to review from the referee’s perspective:

02.04.17 Swansea City v Middlesbrough KO 13.30 pm

02.04.17 Arsenal v Man City KO 16.00 pm

04.04.17 Manchester United v Everton KO 20.00 pm

05.04.17 Chelsea v Manchester City KO 20.00 pm

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


GB at 2017-04-01 14:22:26

Full Time

Liverpool 3 v 1 Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 14:19:16

Minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-04-01 14:18:29

The sporting manner in which the Liverpool player knocked the ball out then as an Everton player was injured, shows for me why this game never really exploded. The attitude of the players has generally been very good, setting aside the one horrendous challenge in the first half.


GB at 2017-04-01 14:14:18

Interesting little educational point with Anthony Taylor’s little “strong” peep on his whistle for that “little” holding offence. That’s how to make the whistle “talk” for you. No need for a big blast, just a strong positive short one!


GB at 2017-04-01 14:10:20

A big last 10 minutes is required from all the officials now to hang on to what they have achieved in the way of control in the second period in this game. No need for any chances now, just safe “pro-active” refereeing to ensure a safe conclusion to the game.


GB at 2017-04-01 14:04:37

The last few minutes seem to have seen the game come off the boil for a while which has allowed the referee to keep out of the limelight for a change.

Positioning wise and fitness wise, Anthony Taylor has been first class in this game so any criticism of his decision making cannot be suggested that he had a poor view of the key match incidents.


GB at 2017-04-01 14:00:23

Clear hand ball spotted by Adam Nunn from the line. I have to say I would not have been surprised to see a yellow card for that one. Not every hand ball deserves a yellow card of course, but they do when they stop a promising attacking move like that.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:56:56

The longer the game goes on, the less it looks like the referee has really stamped his authority on this one. Even if he raises his profile now, the seeds have been sown and the players just seem to be content to go in as hard as they like, instead of having fear for the consequences of their actions.

As with that Yellow Card for Emre Can (L 23)

GB at 2017-04-01 13:54:11

Thanks for the Tweet, Christopher @CMcLaughlin14

Why was Barkley not sent off? Did the Anthony Taylor bottle it or was he correct? I didn’t see it. @youaretheref

Using the term “bottle it” is not one I like, but all I can say is that he failed to differentiate between a reckless challenge and one made with excessive force which endangered the safety of the opponent.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:51:49

Yellow Card for Ashley Williams (EV 5) for another really reckless challenge.

The officials need to react to the fact that Everton know they have probably lost the battle, so they might be focusing on winner the war now instead!

(There is Anthony Taylor’s century by the way)


GB at 2017-04-01 13:49:12

GOAL! Divock Origi (L 27)

Liverpool 3 v 1 Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 13:48:19

I know this referee is very good at looking calm and collected. But sometimes you have to have that “angry” look which shows you mean business when things start to hot up. Collina obviously had that in spades and Mike Dean still shows it when required. I just get the feeling that players react better when they know “this referee really means it!”

The longer this one goes on, we will see if the softly softly approach will be as effective.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:42:32

The officials need to manage this injury incident between them and get the player off the field of play before play can restart


GB at 2017-04-01 13:41:01

Every challenge penalised or not now is likely to bring a reaction from the players and so the referee’s calm persona will be very important this half. These are the types of games which this referee needs to show that he can handle without any problems and he did not exactly get off to a flyer in the first 45.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:35:30

An early sign there of very positive body language from Anthony Taylor as he gives the first free kick in second half. He needs to work hard now and I am sure he knows it.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:33:15

Liverpool get second half underway

GB at 2017-04-01 13:31:59


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Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-04-01 13:30:19


Anyone who has ever been involved in a game as big as this with as much “history” cannot help but have some sympathy with the referee in the first half. But that said, it is clear that it all started to go horribly wrong for him the longer the game developed, with the missed Red Card for Ross Barkley (EV 8) after his reckless challenge with excessive force only results in a yellow.

I mentioned tolerance levels a lot in the opening stages, and as I said in my blog, sometimes a referee is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn’t when it comes to showing yellow cards early in games like this. We often use the term “Risk and Reward”, which reflects sometimes how a referee can get away with it”, by not jumping in too quick, but the problem is, that it is a BIG Risk in a game like this.

Looking back, the two reckless challenges which the referee chose to “manage”, if he had his time again, I am sure he would raise his profile much earlier. If he did, then the horrible Red Card challenge which went unpunished may not have happened.

The Referee really has his work cut out to keep the lid on this one now as no doubt the Liverpool players would have seen Barkley’s challenge at half time!

GB at 2017-04-01 13:27:42

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GB at 2017-04-01 13:17:45

Half Time

Liverpool 2 v 1 Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 13:15:53

Minimum of 2 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-04-01 13:15:15

Half time cannot come quick enough now for Anthony Taylor as he seems to be thinking about things gone by. He needs to park those earlier challenges he let go and move one!


GB at 2017-04-01 13:13:13

One minute later and my last comment comes to light!

Ross Barkley (EV 8) gets a Yellow Cardfor an offence that could easily been a red as he had not intention to play the ball. Now the reflections on what the referee let go earlier will be justified.

I know it always looks worse in slow motion, but that challenge endangered his opponent’s safety.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:09:28


Everything about this performance by the referee has been about his tolerance level so far. The more he tries to “keep the players happy” by not stopping the game for these little knocks and pushes, then the more likely this could blow up in his face.


GB at 2017-04-01 13:05:27

Anthony Taylor will be well aware that the temperature will be rising not until half time so I expect him to get in even closer to the action and start to manage the tempo by not taking any chances which could affect his control. He will want to get to have time now without any controversy, so that everyone can re-group for the main event in the second half!


GB at 2017-04-01 13:02:53

GOAL! Philippe Coutinho (L 10)

Liverpool 2 v 1 Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 13:02:00

Reflecting on the 1st yellow of the game for Davies, there is a school of thought that says if Barkley had been cautioned earlier then the Davies offence may not have happened.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:59:57

GOAL! Matthew Pennington (EV 38)

Liverpool 1 v 1 Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 12:58:00


Yellow Card Tom Davies (EV 26)

Clear reckless challenge right under the nose of the referee and the line in the sand has been drawn by the referee. Not much doubt about that one, which is could be argued was just slightly more worthy of a yellow than the earlier two incidents.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:55:34

Taylor was well placed to sell his decision again then as the careless challenge on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area results in just a free kick again.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:53:36


Twenty minute in and the referee will be happy with the way things have gone so far.

The major incident on 5 minutes may even have been the second opportunity for a yellow card following Nathaniel Clyne (L 2) challenge earlier in the game.

The problem the referee faces in games like this is that he is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn’t. At the moment his control has not been affected, but if it all goes south later, then those tow incidents will be shown over and over again. Consistency has to be the name of the game now.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:48:36

Great example there of the AR chasing the ball all the way to thew goal-line. Basic AR skill set, but not always displayed at lower levels. It is so important to be right on the line to sell your decision if the ball only just goes out.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:45:00

A “little bit” of holding goes by without punishment which is sensible refereeing in a game like this. If the referee lower’s his tolerance level too far, then the players get frustrated and it has a counter effect of winding them up even more. Its all about balance as I said earlier.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:42:34

Five minutes gone since the first opportunity for a yellow card slipped by and there is no sing that that tactic has meant the strength of the challenges has dropped at all. Anthony Taylor cannot afford to let this one get away from him.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:40:15

GOAL! Sadio Mané (L19)

Liverpool 1 v 0 Everton


GB at 2017-04-01 12:39:10

Now we have the first big one as Ross Barkley (EV 8) slides in with the first reckless challenge in my opinion. Taylor chooses to keep his tinder dry, but he has set his stall out now!


GB at 2017-04-01 12:35:44

A clear holding offence gives Taylor yet another early chance to keep things on an even keel. I mentioned in my pre-match how important the start would be for the referee and he has come out with a positive attitude.


GB at 2017-04-01 12:33:50

And there we have the second careless challenge which Anthony Taylor wont worry about at all as it gives him another excellent opportunity to set his tolerance level. Good one.

20 seconds in

GB at 2017-04-01 12:32:16

1st challenge and wisely play stopped by Anthony Taylor as the sliding tackle was careless

Kick Off

GB at 2017-04-01 12:30:37

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


Good luck to all the officials 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


GB at 2017-04-01 12:28:00


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GB at 2017-04-01 12:26:36


Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Anthony Taylor

AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area)

AR2: Adam Nunn

4th Official: Martin Atkinson


There should be no surprises today that the PGMOL have sent out a full team of FIFA Officials to orchestrate what is potentially one of the toughest games of the season! Every referee likes to get a crack at this game at some point in their career, as it sits nicely on the CV for ever. That said, Anthony Taylor will need his thinking head on for this one if he is going to walk away unscathed.

Today’s referee was sitting neck and neck with Michael Oliver at times last season in the race to be the English official to make a stake for the next available slot on UEFA’s converted Elite list, but despite Oliver’s attempts to tarnish his own chances recently, Taylor has also been guilty of not exactly standing out for all the right reasons either.

Tensions are sure to be high out there, so it will be vital for all the officials that they hit the ground running. Big games like this can often go one of two ways, but very rarely do they fail to deliver the odd major talking point. Establishing his authority in the early stages will be high on the referee’s game plan, then keeping out of the limelight whilst the players take centre stage will be the next objective. Going in too early with the first Yellow Card in a game like this could have a detrimental effect on the respect received from the players, and may even lead to a soft Red Card for a second Yellow, but failing to recognise the first major pinch point and letting it pass without the appropriate sanction, can also be a recipe for disaster. It will all be about getting the balance right and with that likely to be on a knife-edge, the Assistants will also have a very important part to play to ensure this game is not decided on a controversial decision.

This match also holds the dubious record of having more Red Cards to its name than any other Premier League match.

Incidentally, I would not be at all surprised if Anthony Taylor reaches his century of Yellow Cards for the season in his 24th game of this campaign, with 97 under his belt so far. That reminded me of when I was waiting to leave the tunnel at White Hart Lane a few years ago, when a Spurs player said to the referee,

“Take it easy today mind Ref, I am on 9 yellows so far this season. One more today and I will miss the League Cup final next weekend!”

The Referee just looked him straight back between the eyes and said,

“Funny you should say that, I’m on 99!”

Needless to say, we didn’t have any problems with that player for the whole game.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-04-01 12:25:27


22     Simon Mignolet (L 22)

2       Nathaniel Clyne (L 2)

5       Georginio Wijnaldum (L 5)

6       Dejan Lovren (L 6)

7       James Milner (L 7)

10     Philippe Coutinho (L 10)

11     Roberto Firmino (L 11)

19     Sadio Mané (L19)

21     Lucas Leiva (L 21)

23     Emre Can (L 23)

32     Joel Matip (L 32)


1       Loris Karius (L 1)

16     Marko Grujic (L 16)

17     Ragnar Klvan (L 17)

18     Alberto Moreno (L 18)

27     Divock Origi (L 27)

58     Ben Woodman (L 58)

66     Trent Alexander-Arnold (L 66)


1       Joel Robles (EV 1)

3       Leighton Baines (EV 3)

5       Ashley Williams (EV 5)

6       Phil Jagielka (EV 6)

8       Ross Barkley (EV 8)

10     Romelu Lukaku (EV 10)

17     Idrissa Gueye (EV 17)

26     Tom Davies (EV 26)

29     Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EV 29)

30     Mason Holgate (EV 30)

38     Matthew Pennington (EV 38)


9       Arouna Koné (EV 9)

11     Kevin Mirallas (EV 11)

18     Gareth Barry (EV 18)

19     Enner Vallencia (EV 19)

22     Maarten Stekelenburg (EV 22)

31     Ademola Lookman (EV 31)

43     Jonjoe Kenny (EV 43)


GB at 2017-04-01 12:22:29


This game never needs much building up, but with the relative positions of the teams today as we enter the business end of the season, there could potentially be a lot more than the usual bragging rights at stake here at Anfield.

A win for the visitors today would really boost their chances of finishing above their arch rivals for the first time since 2012/13 season. There is still a long way to go yet, but that goal makes this a real “6 pointer”.

Liverpool, on the other hand, have a far more important objective than to just finish above the Toffees, as both Manchester United and Arsenal could leap-frog them with their games in hand and replace them in the ECL position, if they slip up on their own cabbage patch today.

If ever a Merseyside Derby was set up nicely, then this could be it as Everton attempt to heal the hurt of 18 years and 34 attempts to take all three points away from Anfield!

A quick look at the form table for the last 10 games suggest that they may not get a better chance for a long time:

    GP W D L GF GA Pts
1 Everton 10 7 2 1 26 7 23
2 Tottenham 10 7 2 1 22 8 23
3 Chelsea 10 7 2 1 21 10 23
4 Man Utd 10 6 4 0 18 6 22
5 Man City 10 5 3 2 15 10 18
6 WBA 10 5 2 3 14 15 17
7 Arsenal 10 5 1 4 18 15 16
8 Stoke City 10 4 3 3 11 10 15
9 Swansea City 10 5 0 5 15 19 15
10 Liverpool 10 3 4 3 15 15 13

So light the blue touch-paper and stand back and enjoy!

All I am hoping for is that there are no April fools dressed in BLACK at the end!

15 minutes to go

GB at 2017-04-01 12:14:42


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