Manchester City v Arsenal


RH at 2016-05-08 18:13:43

Referee talking points

  • Stepped Approach to Match Control
  • Tempo management used at heightened periods during each half
  • Impact Refereeing demonstrated during quieter phases of the game

The stepped approach to control very much depends on the awareness of the Referee to sense rises in match tempo and identify serial offenders. Anthony Taylor used these skills to good effect during this match. Yes there are uncomfortable moments like Iwobi’s first half challenge on Navas and Mangala’s lunge on Sanchez which our first instincts tell us to caution, but if we are to keep the card count down and keep 22 players on the field of play where legally possible,  then borderline challenges at low tempo phases of the game must be managed as they were today.  But when the tempo rises as it did in the later phases of this game, bearing in mind the massive implications of what was at stake here, then the Stepped method of match control demands a response from the Referee, which I’m pleased to say Anthony Taylor delivered. Credit also for his lower profile at quieter phases of the game, here he was able to adopt a lower profile  choosing wisely when to intervene which added impact to his actions, skilful Refereeing. However I did hold my breath when the Referees inadvertent chesting down of a Wilshere pass could have resulted in much embarrassment for the Anthony Taylor had City have scored from their fortunate possession.  No controversial incidents but TV replays did pick up Sanchez being held in the City penalty area, but nobody could have expected the Referee to have seen that and Lee Betts was too far away to have spotted it either, it was only a behind the goal camera that detected it. But there is a problem here and defenders obviously feel its worth taking a chance occasionally by committing such offences. Both Assistants looked sharp today, they were solid on offside decision making and choosing when to intervene to assist the Referee. As I sign off the TV pundits are not talking about the Match Officials or Refereeing decisions, at the end of the day that says much for Anthony Taylor and his team today.

RH at 2016-05-08 17:50:43

Full Time

Summary to follow

RH at 2016-05-08 17:49:18

Yellow CardQuickly followed by Fernandinho who shoved Giroud to the ground!


RH at 2016-05-08 17:48:26

Yellow CardA Reckless tackle by Otamendi on Sanchez earns the second yellow card of the game!


RH at 2016-05-08 17:47:17

A minimum of three minutes additional time to be played

RH at 2016-05-08 17:45:52

City fans appeal for a hand ball against Gabriel but his arm was in a natural position and the ball came at him from very close range, not for me!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:43:57

Lee Betts rightly flagging Gabriel offside as he timed his run badly at that free kick

RH at 2016-05-08 17:42:17

Two more cracking Premier League games to come this week on Refcam! On Tuesday evening at 07.45 pm we’ve got West Ham’s last ever home game at Upton Park where Manchester United are the visitors with European football qualification to play for, what a game! Then on Wednesday at 8.00 pm we’re featuring the action at Anfield where Chelsea provide the opposition for Liverpool’s last home league game of this campaign!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:40:50

We’ve seen the stepped approach used in this game which has resulted in just the one card so far

RH at 2016-05-08 17:38:07

We’re getting a series of careless Arsenal challenges in midfield at the moment and its detracting from the quality of the game!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:36:57

Monreal with a clumsy challenge on Fernandinho, the Referee looks to see what advantage options are on before awarding a free kick, I feel that that delay in whistling and Monreal’s remorse saved the Arsenal play a caution

RH at 2016-05-08 17:32:09

A Mangala bear hug on Giroud earns Arsenal a free kick in midfield

RH at 2016-05-08 17:29:20

Gabriel getting in Anthony Taylor’s face as that last sub was made, not sure what he was fired up about, but he was still seeing the red mist as he Recklessly charged into De Bruyne which earned him a Yellow Card

RH at 2016-05-08 17:26:18

GOAL!Sanchez draws Arsenal level again with a great strike!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:25:46

Great no offside flag from Lee Betts as Walcott crosses the ball!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:24:59

Lee Betts thrown in flag to City wins loud cheers from the home faithful!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:22:46

Corner to Arsenal as the Referee plays advantage for foul challenges on Wilshere and Ramsey, but TV replays show that it should have been a goal kick and the City fans are unforgiving!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:20:34

City pressing high at the moment, so both active Assistant and Referee are on heightened awareness!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:18:30

There have a couple of sound offside flags at each end during the last five minutes, so credit to both Assistants!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:17:29

Good advantage played on the edge of the penalty area as Wilshere goes to ground!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:15:29

Wilshere pass chested down by Anthony Taylor and City counter attack, fortunately nothing comes of it, what did I say about positioning!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:13:49

Anthony Taylor goes deep off his patrol path to signal that City throw near the corner flag!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:11:25

Just before that goal was scored, TV replays clearly showing Mangala holding back Sanchez by the arm in the penalty area as a free kick came in, to be fair to the Referee only a goal line position would have detected that, but it would have resulted in a penalty if it was spotted!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:09:23

GOAL!De Bruyne with a great solo effort!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:07:25

Words of warning to Mangala as he fells Sanchez, another of those would certainly result in a caution for the City player!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:05:35

Stuart Burt still with the disadvantage this half with the sun in his eyes, where as Lee Betts is in the shade!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:03:39

First free kick of the second half as Ramsey brushes Fernandinho off the ball!

RH at 2016-05-08 17:02:13

We’re  underway again!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:54:28

A high tempo game which has seen good impact Refereeing from Anthony Taylor, he has shown good decision making in choosing when to when not to intervene in this game, and why not? the players want to get on with so there is no point in being picky. However there was a ten minute spell on the half hour mark where the Referee did need to clamp down but once we had successfully come through that we were back to plan A. Stepped match control was exercised with the only borderline challenge from Iwobi on Navas so no cards so far. As usual from Anthony Taylor movement and position has been a strong feature of his game, he’s working the channels in FIFA style but is prepared to come off that patrol path to get good viewing angles in and around the penalty area. Both Assistants look sharp and are on the Referee’s wavelength, a good half!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:47:16

Half Time

RH at 2016-05-08 16:46:37

Stuart Burt with a good back up  flag as Giroud commits a blind side offence!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:45:34

A minimum of two additional minutes to be played!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:42:20

The first time the Referee has got caught up in play as Elneny came away with the ball!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:41:34

Two more cracking Premier League games to come this week on Refcam! On Tuesday evening at 07.45 pm we’ve got West Ham’s last ever home game at Upton Park where Manchester United are the visitors with European football qualification to play for, what a game! Then on Wednesday at 8.00 pm we’re featuring the action at Anfield where Chelsea provide the opposition for Liverpool’s last home league game of this campaign!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:41:08

A lunge by Wilshire enables the Referee to play a superb advantage as City counter attack!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:39:55

Anthony Taylor responds with a safety first midfield free kick to Arsenal

RH at 2016-05-08 16:38:56

After a quieter phase of the game, we’re back to higher energy levels and a raised match tempo

RH at 2016-05-08 16:37:46

Giroud colliding with Mangala, the Referee immediately concerned with the players welfare,after confirming all is well  restarting play with a drop ball

RH at 2016-05-08 16:35:23

The Referee demonstrating an expert reading of the game choosing when and when not to intervene, giving himself greater impact when he does!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:32:46

Ramsey with a superb challenge on Navas, but look at the Referees position as he signalled a corner, Anthony Taylor showing great impact with his position and viewing angle!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:31:05

Iwobi late on Navas, the Referee choosing to manage the challenge with a warning, clearly adopting the stepped approach of Match Control

RH at 2016-05-08 16:29:06

Cech comes rushing off his line to assist Koscielny as Aguero pushes forward, it was messy but the keeper got the ball and there was no offence for me!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:27:00

TV pictures showing Otamendi with what was in fact a two footed challenge on Iwobi, having said that it wasn’t obvious at the time and his feet were on a couple of inches off the ground

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RH at 2016-05-08 16:21:49

As Welbeck is treated the Match Officials can get a breath from what has been a very tempo start to this game, but the lads have prepared well, they are all looking sharp so far

RH at 2016-05-08 16:19:16

Good to see Anthony Taylor having a calming word with Fernandinho after that Giroud free kick was awarded

RH at 2016-05-08 16:18:20

Again a good delayed whistle as Giroud carelessly challenges Fernandinho

RH at 2016-05-08 16:17:16

Anthony Taylor puts in a great run to track Bellerins break, then plays a good advantage as Clichy counter attacks

RH at 2016-05-08 16:14:04

good to see that there hasn’t been any grappling from the set pieces so far, lets hope that continues?

RH at 2016-05-08 16:11:42

No time for the Match Officials to get their eye in, this game has fizzled from the first whistle!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:10:23

GOAL!Arsenal match City with a Giroud equaliser!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:09:32

This is a much higher tempo start by City than we saw in the Champions League in the week!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:08:17

GOAL!Aguero gets an early opener for City!


RH at 2016-05-08 16:05:01

Great delayed whistle to penalise Giroud for a shirt pull on Clichy! good to see the Referee showing superb awareness early in the game!

RH at 2016-05-08 16:03:15

Good shoulder charge by Aguero on Bellerin,

RH at 2016-05-08 16:01:34

If you are watching the game on TV, Stuart Burt is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Lee Betts is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2016-05-08 16:00:11

Our match Referee Anthony Taylor gets us underway!

RH at 2016-05-08 15:57:09

The teams and Match Officials have entered the field of play!

RH at 2016-05-08 15:53:40

Anthony Taylor – all you need to know Matches in 2015/16: 31 (15 on TV) Fourth official appointments in 2015/16: 17 Football League appointments in 2015/16: 41 Last refereed Manchester City: 6 February 2016 Last refereed Arsenal: 2 April 2016

RH at 2016-05-08 15:51:26

Today’s Match Referee is Anthony Taylor. His Assistant Referees are Lee Betts and Stuart Burt. The Fourth Official is Mike Jones

RH at 2016-05-08 15:46:39

A strong Premier League finish is what’s at stake today! A place in next seasons Champions League the prize! Today’s action at the Etihad is certainly no end of season dead rubber!