Liverpool v Manchester United


RH at 2016-01-17 16:56:45

So before I hand over to my colleague Mark Halsey for the Stoke v Arsenal game the Refereeing talking points from Mark Clattenburg’s performance in this game were;

  • Excellent match control of a very high profile game!
  • A stepped approach to match control, talking to players, use of the captains before showing cards
  • Getting into great viewing positions in and around the penalty area to get those all-important big decisions right!
  • High skill shown in judging the difference between acceptable contact and what exceeded his tolerance level
  • Movement at breakaway attacks by holding back in the left hand channel in midfield and then sweeping in behind play with an explosive sprint following play into or around the penalty area

RH at 2016-01-17 16:56:02

Full Time

Talking points coming up!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:53:35

Mata can have no complaints at the award of this dangerously placed free kick!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:52:40

A minimum of 3 minutes added time

RH at 2016-01-17 16:52:11

Great non offside flag there from Simon Beck as Firmino was played on by Blind!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:49:43

Again Clattenburg is right down near the goal line left side to signal Ibe had not kept the ball in for that United goal kick!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:47:51

We’ve got more action for you from this weekend’s Premier League programme, coming up straight after this game is Arsenal’s visit to the Britannia Stadium! This was the game that ended in a 3-2 defeat last season for the gunners before they embarked on that fantastic 16 wins from 23 game run that saw them finish third! Tomorrow night the pressure is on in South Wales as Swansea look to bounce back from that home defeat to Sunderland, Watford will be looking to regain their away form following their 2-0 midweek defeat to Southampton

RH at 2016-01-17 16:46:29

With neither team playing a 4-4-2 today attacking play has mostly seen players moving into position to get crosses in or as in Liverpoo’sl case running into the channels with the ball. Why mention this you say? Well that’s because its reduced the potential for tight offside calls which hasn’t put Assistants Simon Beck and Richard West so much in the spotlight so far

RH at 2016-01-17 16:42:10

Before the corner that led to that goal, Mark Clattenburg demonstrated that superb movement in breakaway attacks that I talked about earlier, when Toure conceded the corner Clattenburg was only a few metre away!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:40:22

GOAL!Rooney breaks the deadlock!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:38:07

Yellow CardFellani late on Henderson, captain Rooney ushers his player away, that says it all!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:35:35

Such is the level of control in this game that Rooney escaped a caution for that challenge on Can, in support of the Referee, his advantage and warning was consistent with his handling of this game. On another game with a more charged phase of tempo, things may be different

RH at 2016-01-17 16:32:35

Good advantage played as Rooney came in hard on Can with follow up words to both players

RH at 2016-01-17 16:27:59

Yellow CardSmalling earns the first card of the game for breaking up a promising Liverpool attack


RH at 2016-01-17 16:26:01

Another great feature of Mark Clattenburg’s game is his movement at breakaway attacks which are part of Liverpool’s game. He hangs back in the left hand channel in midfield and then sweeps in behind play with an explosive sprint to follow up into the penalty area, great Refereeing!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:22:37

TV Replays showing that Sakho’s challenge on Martial was sound and certainly not a penalty!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:20:38

I wouldn’t recommend Mark Clattenburg’s pointed finger to Lucas, who surely must be on the verge of a caution?

RH at 2016-01-17 16:18:09

No back pass there from Herrera that wasn’t a controlled pass to De Gea

RH at 2016-01-17 16:15:25

As Toure and Blind challenged, both Referee and Assistant in perfect position to award a corner

RH at 2016-01-17 16:10:40

Looking at half time TV replays of the Lucas Fellaini clash there were suggestions of a stamp by Fellani, well it wouldn’t have been obvious to the Referee or his nearest Assistant, so what you do as a Referee is to take the bigger picture view and do as Mark Clattenburg did and buy some time and calm things down. However there are times in games where the Referee is working hard to maintain control and needs to seek out the problem players, that’s the time to identify offenders and show cards!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:07:17

The second half is underway!

RH at 2016-01-17 16:01:25

Plenty to admire in Mark Clattenburg’s first half performance, the Stepped approach to match control by talking to players, then involving the captains, in a big match like this it is a credit to the Referee that he’s yet to show his first card! I also love his hunger to seek out that all important viewing angle and range in and around the penalty area, if you want to get the big decisions right you’ve got to get into position to see, why don’t more Premier League Referee’s follow this example? The Fellain/Lucas clash saw masterly use of time, space and the team captains to control things and calm the players. The consequence being the remainder of the first half being played at a sensible tempo with players keeping their emotions in check .Mark Clattenburg is a Referee at the top of his game, its on matches like this that we see why. Assistants Simon Beck and Richard West also offering solid support so far. I just sense that the tempo will rise at some point.

RH at 2016-01-17 15:52:19

Half Time

RH at 2016-01-17 15:51:35

Some banter there with Lucas, he’s a players that the Referee needs to communicate with!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:50:23

A minimum of  2 minutes added time!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:48:26

We’ve got more action for you from this weekend’s Premier League programme, coming up straight after this game is Arsenal’s visit to the Britannia Stadium! This was the game that ended in a 3-2 defeat last season for the gunners before they embarked on that fantastic 16 wins from 23 game run that saw them finish third! Tomorrow night the pressure is on in South Wales as Swansea look to bounce back from that home defeat to Sunderland, Watford will be looking to regain their away form following their 2-0 midweek defeat to Southampton

RH at 2016-01-17 15:47:24

The difference between Clattenburg and some of his fellow Premier League Referees is his hunger to get that all important viewing angle in the penalty area, he’s showed this on several occasions in this game so far!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:45:33

In that last Liverpool attack the Referee delivered a 60 metre explosive sprint, slowed to a run as he neared the penalty area and homeed in on the defenders tackle to correctly decide that offence had taken place so no penalty, superb!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:42:22

The Referee is demonstrating great skill at the moment in allowing a certain amount of contact to take place, but stepping in the moment it exceeds his tolerance level, this is one of the most important skills that a Referee must master at any level!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:39:29

Fellaini getting confused between Milners chest and arm there!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:37:32

As with the midweek Arsenal game, Liverpool are breaking quickly, the Referee will be again be tested fitness wise in this game!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:34:46

Firmino goes to ground as the cross comes in Assistant Richard West is well placed and rightly signals a goal kick

RH at 2016-01-17 15:31:58

The match tempo at the moment would support the Referees earlier action, we all now that the tempo will rise at some point but in games such as this you have Referee in ten minute spells!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:30:01

Looking back at the Lucas Fellaini clash, did you note how effectively Mark Clattenburg used time and space? initially he marshalled away  the two offenders and several hangers on with him, he backed off to a point where he only had the two offenders plus captains Henderson and Rooney and in the process the players had calmed down, a lesson in how to buy time and use space to your advantage!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:26:28

The Referee is giving the players a chance to control themselves and keep their emotions in check, it would have been easy to issue cards to Lucas and Fellaini but Mark Clattenburg is keeping his powder dry, he’s still got all options open, this is a classic ladder approach of stepped game match control!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:23:57

Lucas again in late, that was borderline reckless, he’s on a tightrope now!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:22:59

Lucas and Fellani clash again, the Referee choosing to by time, isolate the two players and call in the captains for a warning, good Refereeing and clearly establishing that rapport that I was talking about earlier, a future clash between these two would would surely produce yellow cards

RH at 2016-01-17 15:17:48

A quick break by Liverpool see’s a 40 metre explosive sprint from the Referee!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:15:21

Lucas and Fellani challenge in midfield with the United player getting a sore head, no further action needed from the Referee

RH at 2016-01-17 15:13:30

Mark Clattenburg will be sensing the early mood and tempo and then looking to work with players who he can establish a rapport with and seek out those players who he will need to be aware of who could challenge his management of the game, this is where he will build the platform and credibility for a big match performance

RH at 2016-01-17 15:10:43

Note at that free kick that once he was ok with the placing of the ball that Mark Clattenburg kept his focus on the players who were lining up to receive the ball into the penalty area

RH at 2016-01-17 15:09:01

Henderson with a rash but careless tackle on Martial!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:06:01

If you are watching the game on TV, Assistant Richard West is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Simon Beck is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2016-01-17 15:05:12

Our match Referee Mark Clattenburg gets us underway!

RH at 2016-01-17 15:03:05

Today’s Match Referee is Mark Clattenburg. His Assistant Referees are Simon Beck and Richard West, The Fourth Official is Anthony Taylor

RH at 2016-01-17 14:57:04

The following article is ‘Statto’s column- Liverpool v Manchester United’, which featured on the ‘You are The Ref’ Website on 14th January;

Liverpool versus Manchester United is one of the fiercest rivalries in the Premier League.

A big derby always gets the fans fired up – but with the influx of overseas talent to the modern game, it’s sometimes said that the players themselves don’t always share the same local pride.

That doesn’t apply to this clash – because neither manager will need to remind anyone that as far as the supporters are concerned, this is a game they must not lose.

Jurgen Klopp will liken the fixture to Bayern versus Dortmund and for Louis Van Gaal it’s the equivalent of Ajax taking on Feyenoord.

Manchester United have been rightly accused of playing boring football this season but on Tuesday night at Newcastle they threw away two points in an enthralling 3-3 draw, during which they led 2-0 and 3-2.

United have an extra day off compared to Liverpool, who faced Arsenal at Anfield on Wednesday.

A draw is the most likely result on Sunday at Anfield but it will be the least backed outcome simply because for football punters it is always a ‘heart v head’ decision when it comes to taking a flutter.

A typical example of this was the recent Manchester United versus Chelsea match which everyone fancied 0-0 – yet very few backed that outcome.

United have scored early goals away at Wolfsburg and Newcastle and not gone on to win – but after the events at St James’ Park I don’t envisage a repeat of that.

Liverpool have major injury problems and a huge fixture pile up – they dare not lose. Like most people, I hope for great entertainment on Sunday with a 3-3 like Tuesday night, but I fear it might be 0-0 or 1-1 in a contest with few chances.

With passions running high, the referee will have a big say and it will be the experienced Mark Clattenburg who officiates. He’s only given one yellow card in each of the last games he’s taken charge of either Liverpool or Manchester United this season (Liverpool in their 0-3 loss at Watford and United in their goalless encounter at home to West Ham).

He gave four yellows in the Manchester Derby (an Old Trafford stalemate) and he has given three red cards in the 25 matches he has overseen this season, with 83 yellows.

The highest number of yellows he has given this season is seven in Bournemouth’s match with Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.

Clattenburg did send off both Tyler Blackett at Leicester and Luke Shaw of Manchester United, both late on in away games for United last season.

He was in charge at Old Trafford in March 2014 when sending off Nemanja Vidic and booking six others during Liverpool’s 0-3 win.

In a fixture like this you need a strong man in charge and few on Merseyside will forget his handling of Liverpool’s 1-2 win at Goodison in October 2007 which saw two Evertonians (Hibbert and Neville see red), but remarkably only 3 yellows.

All that fans want is a fair ref – and in Mark Clattenburg you have one of the best officials to control one of the Premier League’s most feisty encounters.

Meanwhile we’ve had 34 red cards in the Premier League this season after 20 matches, which is similar to last season (where 35 had been shown after 20 matches) but it’s far higher than the 18 showed in a similar period two seasons ago, and the 27 shown during the same period the season before.

Steven Gerrard got sent off in Liverpool’s fixture with United after coming on at half time in the 1-2 defeat at Anfield last March – and Jonjo Shelvey saw red in the 1-2 defeat at Anfield in September 2012.

However, so far this season Liverpool have had just one red (Coutinhio against West Ham, which ironically forced him out of the match at Old Trafford).

United have not had a red card in the Premier league so far this season (and not many goals either). Last season Rooney, Shaw, Blackett, Fellaini and Smalling all saw red.

We’ll all eagerly await to see what happens on Sunday.



RH at 2016-01-17 14:51:51

This game is always eagerly awaited in the North West! It’s another stand out fixture! Liverpool always seem capable of delivering against high profile opposition, they love getting one over long-time rivals Manchester United, who never lie down on this fixture!