Liverpool v- Manchester United


T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:25:20

Despite being in the way of play on some occasions and being distant from other fouls, Martin Atkinson has displayed excellent judgement in his contribution to the control of the game. The big decision was the sending off when Gerrard was correctly dismissed for treading on his opponent. Martin has communicated his decisions well, shown empathy for players and contributed to a game of open football. His penalty decision for the foul by Can gave Rooney the penalty that was saved. Why didn’t Mata take it for his hat-trick?  This was another big decision got right to conclude a consummate performance. Getting in ann the incident at the final whistle as De Gea was caught by Skrtel at the death. Well done to the officials who restored faith in the standard of officiating after another bad weekend for the PGMOL. Stay with us and keep your comments coming. Full Time

T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:17:02

Free kick to Liverpool following a ‘soft’ foul by Rooney. Good position for Liverpool but it breaks down and United on the counter attack.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:13:52

Another Liverpool corner with 5 minutes to go but defended well before Falcao fouled.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:11:07

Liverpool get their first corner be De Gea claims the cross before United sub Herrera off – Falcao on with 8 minutes to go. Herrera had been cautioned so more go thinking by the United manager.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:07:31

The extra man advantage has not been obvious in the last few minutes as Liverpool have put ‘a shift’ in of high work rate. Smalling and Balotelli crash into the advertising boards but referee Atkinson gets in quick and nothing developed. Good refereeing! 10 minutes to go.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:03:19

Several foul challenges occurring as players tire and judgement faulters. The referee needs to maintain his concentration in the final 15 minutes despite his hectic week in Europe to see the game to a safe conclusion. He has had some big decisions to make so far and been accurate in all his judgements.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 16:00:03

Mignonette hurt as his ankle goes over with Rooney in close proximity but  the game continues without any caution, rightly in my opinion.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:57:29

The best referees ensure that their quiet control is based on sound decisions delivered credibly and ‘no surprises’. The art of refereeing to perception and expectation is a vital aspect of the top referee’s skill set. Player dissent will generally only surface if there is an issue of incorrect decision making when the referee needs to have a good store of dialogue in his locker to effectively manage the adverse reaction to his wrong award. Liverpool score with a sweet finish by Sturridge to set up the final 20 minutes GOAL!

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:55:44

Moreno off and Balotelli on for Liverpool as Liverpool chase the game’s next goal. Sensible management to make the change with around 25 minutes to go. Balotelli foul on Jones earns him a caution correctly issued by Martin Atkinson. Yellow Card How dumb was that by Balotelli?

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:49:31

A third goal in a game is the most important – will it be 2-1 or 3-0? Big difference as United look to get the next goal to effectively close out the game. The referee needs to be fully focused as the tempo will undoubtedly increase again.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:47:01

Di Maria caught the ball before it went out of play with the crowd baying for a card, Martin Atkinson rightly saw the ‘funny side’ of thenDi Maria judgement and awarded the free kick to Liverpool. juan Mate with a beautiful strike scores United their second goal GOAL!

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:43:19

Manchester sub – Di Maria for Young. Beware of substitutions! As a referee the introduction of Substitutions can turn a game upside down. At any level referees must always be aware that a game can change on the introduction of new players. Either they will come on to disrupt play, be badly disciplined or attempt to show the manager that they should have been on from the start and score wonder goals. Added awareness from the referee is requires to manage all these eventualities. Caution for Jones immediately after the substitution. Yellow Card

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:38:07

Good advantage played for United as Liverpool reorganise their defence following their number reduction. The next few minutes are vital for Martin to show composure and have a calming effect on the game.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:36:21

Red CardGerrard off for an act of serious foul play  by stamping on Herrera who also is caution for the reckless challenge that caused the Gerrard reaction. Gerrard’s first ever dismissal! Yellow CardBoth decisions 100% correct by Martin Atkinson

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:32:51

Lallana off and Gerrard on at half time – The whistle blows and we are under way for what should be an interesting game as both teams have shown great quality throughout the season to date.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:20:53

Join us after the break for the second half to see if Luverpool can salvage at least one point by scoring early in the second half. It is ‘so far so good’ for Martin Atkinson and his team who have delivered consistent judgement in a highly credible manner to ensure that the game has been controlled. Yorkshire tea time for me now. We value your comments throughout this game via email and Twitter, so keep them coming. Let us have your views on Twitter @youaretheref or email to

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:17:33

The Juan Mata goal divides the teams at half time during a half that has caused little problems for the officials they will be highly delighted with their control of the game and teamwork on the communication system solved a problem of a foul in the 45th minute. Two minutes of time allowed was credible following the Lallana injury and it ended a half of composed officiating Half Time

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:11:27

De Gea taking his time to kill the game as we approach the final 4 minutes of the half.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:09:59

Corner to United to be taken by Mata at the Kop end but Liverpool clear as the tempo increases following the near miss by Liverpool. 6 minutes to half time.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:07:56

Fellaini given a final warning by Martin after a foul challenge on Allen. He has effectively ‘sold a caution’ for Fellaine’s next indiscretion.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:05:44

Lallana with the first chance for Liverpool after some great approach play, but he shoots wide.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:03:47

Lallana foul on Blind punished correctly with a free kick from the referee despite him being some distance from play. A great skill set of the Referee is in judging an acceptable level of physical contact between the players whilst maintaining their respect and trust in arbitrating fairly. This is a skill in establishing a balance between match control and allowing the game to breathe and giving increased enjoyment for the players and fans. The involvement and level of intervention may need to change if there is a rise in tempo.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 15:00:41

Half an hour gone and all the officials can be pleased with their standard of decision making as the game has been capably controlled.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:57:33

Corner to United as Liverpool defend their goal but a back heal flick gives The Kop relief as it goes over the bar.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:55:20

Lallana back on as United keep up the pressure on the Liverpool defence. 25 minutes played and United are looking good for their one goal lead.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:52:41

20 minutes gone and Martin might have a tough few minutes ahead after a crunching challenge on Lallana leaves the home player needing treatment. Gerrard warming up.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:50:12

Caution for Joe Allen of Liverpool for a holding offence in the midfield area as Martin defines his tolerance to misconduct with a timely caution Yellow Card

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:47:53

It was a close call for offside on the goal but AR Mullarkey kept his flag down before he delivered a great flag for a foul in his close proximity. First chance for Liverpool but Sturridge shot over the bar.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:44:00

GOAL! Juan Mata opens the scoring for United.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:43:01

Neither Assistant has had an offside judgement to make but both were correct in their judgements on direction of throw-in awards. First offside on 12 minutes which AR Mullarkey judged correctly.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:40:56

Martin will be delighted with the high level of fair play shown by both teams resulting in no threats to his control and just one foul in the first 10 minutes.

T.S. at 2015-03-22 14:39:05

First foul of the game by Moreno after 7 minutes gives United a free kick. Spray used despite the kick being 30m from goal. Cleared by Liverpool.

at 2015-03-22 14:34:44

Thoughtful positioning by Martin to keep out of the way of play in the left channel – an area that many officials get in the way of play or hit by the ball. Well done.

at 2015-03-22 14:32:34

Corner for United after early pressure on the Liverpool defence but it is cleared.

at 2015-03-22 14:30:16

The whistle blows and we are under way for what should be an interesting game as both teams have shown great quality throughout the season to date. United kick off.

at 2015-03-22 14:25:20

The players are in the tunnel and ready to enter the field of play after the Assistant Referees have carried out equipment checks. Game on!

at 2015-03-22 14:20:35

Both teams need the points on offer today and we should be in for an enthralling game between two ‘in form’ teams. They will have both done their homework and let us hope that they don’t try and cancel each other out, but instead go for open football which will excite the capacity crowd at Anfield this afternoon. Yesterday’s games showed the unsympathetic side to manager’s opinions of referees, with Nigel Pearson being totally out of order in saying Mike Dean was arrogant and distasteful following Leicester City losing at Spurs by 4 -3. The Spurs’ penalty award was ‘soft’ for Harry Kane to convert for his hat-trick, but Pearson’s remarks were totally out of order and should be investigated by the FA. The dismissal of the wrong West Bromwich Albion player at Manchester City represented an inaccurate decision by referee Neil Swarbrick and how he got it wrong is beyond comprehension! Poor lad! Tony Pulis condemned the referee’s performance and despite the referee delivering his apology, the error of judgement was allowed to stand. Dawson did the foul challenge but was not sanctioned for the perceived DOGSO! It adds to the worrying litany of appalling judgements by officials this season. Shocking decision to add to the catalogue of major errors during the current season. Let us hope that Martin Atkinson displays a high level of judgement commensurate with his elevated status as our top FIFA official.

at 2015-03-22 14:16:50

Both assistants have worked with Martin on many occasions before and 4th Official Andre Marriner is probably Martin’s biggest friend within the referee fraternity. I was delighted to work with them both at the Dallas Cup when they were both at Football League level and delighted to be a part of their progress onto the Premier League and FIFA. The mass exodus of PGMOL people to Dallas next week seems incongruous, with David Allison, Kieran Barrett, Mike Riley and Howard Webb all taking advantage of the Dallas Cup hospitality as well as ‘Coach’ Dunn being there in a working capacity. If the British Airways flight goes down there will be several ‘top jobs’ on offer and I cannot believe the naivety of the organisation in allowing this risk to happen. Another bad decision off the field? Who is looking after the shop whilst they are gone and offering support to the referees over the busy pre-Easter period?

at 2015-03-22 14:15:15

Pele is at Anfield this afternoon and what a genuine nice guy he is. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Dallas Cup about 20 years ago where he was warmly received for his contribution to World Football. He will be watching the players, unlike us, as we focus on the performance of the officials throught this game.

at 2015-03-22 14:12:24

Martin has been a pillar of strength in terms of his referee ability over many seasons and has generally performed to the high standards you would expect from our top FIFA referee. It is easy for people to point out his shortcomings with one or two errors of judgement which have been given an airing recently. Martin is a genuine nice-guy who thinks deeply about his games and always gives them the best of attention. Like the rest of us, he is human and that means that, like the rest of us, he can be vulnerable in making the odd error of judgement when he referees. Just prior to the Arsenal / Burnley game he had journeyed back from a tough game in Europe and he has done the same before today’s game. He has the strength of character not to be affected by all of this and I am fully confident that he will turn in a very workmanlike performance today.

at 2015-03-22 14:09:04

There were some interesting comments/observations made this week over yet another incredulous decision on the part of the PGMOL in their appointment of Martin as referee for this game. This is what You-Are-The-Ref pundit Mark Halsey had to say in his local newspaper…

“Why on earth has Martin Atkinson been appointed to referee the Liverpool v Manchester United game when he is travelling all the way to Seville in Spain midweek on European duty? It is one of the biggest games of the season, which could mean millions when you look at Champions League qualification, and we’re asking him to be at his best after flying back from Spain not 48 hours earlier. It’s mad.

I’ve already raised concerns about Martin’s performance levels after coming back from Europa League games, and I can totally understand how taxing all the travelling can be on your body. But what has me scratching my head is that we have Mike Dean – a referee in excellent form and based not far away in North Wales – unable to officiate. He used to live in the Wirral, and is a big Tranmere Rovers fan, but I can’t see why that should render him unavailable for a Liverpool game. Chris Foy is similar – he’s based in St Helens, 10-15 minutes down the road from both cities, and yet he’s not permitted to take charge either.

I’m already puzzled why Anthony Taylor, an Altrincham fan who lives locally, can referee the Newcastle United v Manchester United game the other week.United’s reserves have played at Altrincham plenty of times and that’s a little too close for comfort in my book. Imagine what Jose Mourinho would say if Taylor made a mistake refereeing United v Chelsea? You’d never get him off the TV!

I’m not for one second questioning impartiality, or even Martin Atkinson’s ability to referee Liverpool v Manchester United to the best of his ability but surely the powers that be should start making it a little easier for their officials to do their job”. The views of Mark Halsey were published in The Bolton News and certainly his thoughts on the perceived lack of thought going into the appointments of the referees is a very valid observation.

at 2015-03-22 14:06:14

Good afternoon and welcome to Ref Cam for this potentially fascinating game at Anfield between Liverpool – currently in 5th place in the Premier League, just one place and two points behind visitors Manchester United who hold the 4th position in the league table. A win for Liverpool would take them above United, but should United win they will close the gap on Arsenal to just one point in 3rd place!

at 2015-03-22 14:02:11

SUNDAY MARCH 22nd 2015
REFEREE – Martin Atkinson.
ASSISTANT 1 : M. Mullarkey.
ASSISTANT 2 : S. Child.
4th OFFICIAL : Andre Marriner.