Manchester City v Barcelona; UEFA Champions League, Group C


GT at 2016-11-01 22:50:44

Thank you all again for all of your input tonight.

This was a game, and a refereeing performance, which brought lots of comment in to us at YATR.

We enjoy reading all of your Tweets and reply to as many as we can.

Many thanks again everyone…it’s been a pleasure as usual tom share this evening with you all.

GT at 2016-11-01 22:48:34

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have more action for you coming up starting with the early game on Saturday between Chelsea and Everton.
Then on Sunday we bring for you the massive north London clash, Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, followed by another derby match, this time the Midlands affair, Leicester City v WBA.
Take a look on our website for Jason Pettigrove’s hugely informative ‘Runners and Riders’ section along with former top referee and General manager at the PGMOL Keith Hackett’s verdict on the season to date.
All of this, and much more, shows why YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.
Keep it here on

GT at 2016-11-01 22:47:44

As with the two teams, we expected great things from the normally dependable Viktor Kassai.

But tonight he was not at his best.

He missed, or failed to apply, a mandatory caution to Barca’s Digne on 7 minutes when he pulled back his opponent by the shirt. That is basic refereeing application of Law.

He then made his key match error when he missed a penalty kick for City as Sterling was tripped in the penalty area…and to compound the mistake he followed it up with a caution to the disbelieving Manchester winger.

Missed cautioning opportunities for the fortunate Busquets meant the Barca 5 got away with far too much before he was eventually picked up in the second half.

Not an absolute disaster by any means from the Hungarian, and he will ‘get away’ with the missed penalty as City won 3-1 in the end. But this is a referee of the highest calibre, whom I admi-re greatly, but tonight was not the usual Viktor KassaI about whom we can usually eulogise.

Still…that is the life of a referee…one minute a hero, the next questioned by many.

Onwards Viktor will go, and I am sure he will reflect upon a lower than his usual standard performance.

GT at 2016-11-01 22:38:57

That is how most people want to see football played..plenty of goals with attacking play from both teams.

City deserved the three points and will believe they can still top the Group with two games to go.

Now for the refereeing team…

GT at 2016-11-01 22:37:14

What a truly fabulous game of football from two sides intent on attacking.

A joy to watch.

City were good value for their win which sees them open up a three points gap on third placed Borussia Mönchengladbach.

GT at 2016-11-01 22:35:15

Full Time


GT at 2016-11-01 22:34:54

..and KassaI ends his night with a good call.

No penalty as Aguero goes down

GT at 2016-11-01 22:33:57

We are inside the 93rd minute…

GT at 2016-11-01 22:33:04

Better teamwork as assistant Toth leads his referee into a free kick to City for a trip.

Well done assistant referee

GT at 2016-11-01 22:31:41

That’s the end of the regular ninety minutes.

Kassai adds just three more…

88 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 22:29:50

Final change for City as goalscorer De Bruyne is replaced by Nolito

GT at 2016-11-01 22:27:27

Just five of the regular ninety minutes to go…

Gayle Hope @bmb_afcb
@Jackson_S_D @no1lino @youaretheref Had Sterling gone down naturally I think it would have been given. Sterling created the doubt, imo.

Tweet from Gayle…but I cannot agree.

I’m afraid Kassai hasn’t been his usual self tonight and would have missed the penalty however Sterling went down.

He has been in unusual positions, missed a clear caution for a shirt pull in the opening minutes and let Busquets get away with far too much before finally cautioning him.

GT at 2016-11-01 22:22:33

Lots of discussion on Twitter about the way Sterling went to ground when he was refused the penalty kick.

I understand the point being raised but when players don’t have full confidence in a referee they will exaggerate a fall to try to make it clear.

My belief is that was why Sterling went over the way he did.

Bottom line is…however you look at it…Kassai got it wrong and compounded his error with a caution to Sterling.

GT at 2016-11-01 22:19:39

Rafinha on for Gomes as Barca try to get back into this

75 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 22:18:24

Foul by Neymar – correct by Kassai…

Whilst the goal celebrations were taking place Busquets got the caution he deserved in the first half

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-11-01 22:16:57

What a night these City stars are having.

They deserve their lead and are totally dominating Barcelona.

74 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 22:15:50

GOAL! Gündo?an again!

GT at 2016-11-01 22:13:03

wow,,,there are only 20 minutes of this pulsating game left.

Where has the time gone?

70 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 22:11:40

City make a second change as Jesús Navas replaces the unlucky Sterling

GT at 2016-11-01 22:09:14

Better positioning in the last ten minutes from referee Kassai, who has recognised the shift in session and dropped into the Barca half.

Good awareness, referee

GT at 2016-11-01 22:07:26

…then City go up the other end and De Bruyne hits the post.


GT at 2016-11-01 22:06:34

Gomes smashes the crossbar as Barca counter attack swiftly

GT at 2016-11-01 22:05:20

Substitution by Barca.

Rakiti? leaves for Turan to take over

GT at 2016-11-01 22:03:19

Yellow Cardfor Kolaraov after the City captain uses his arm in a challenge.

I can accept Kassai’s call but where was the team work?

Assistant Gyorgy Ring was perfectly placed to support his referee with a flag but gave nothing, and instead ran away from the decision.

The Hungarians are not on top of their game tonight, I’m afraid

60 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 22:01:10

First change of the game as City take off the injured Fernandinho, who is replaced by Fernando

GT at 2016-11-01 21:59:14

…and another one.

Come on Viktor…liven up.

You should be picking up this by the Barca number 5

GT at 2016-11-01 21:58:14

Busquets has to be getting close to a caution for persistent infringement as he commits yet another foul

GT at 2016-11-01 21:56:56

Viktor is still sitting deep inside the City half…someone have a word in his ear…City are doing most of the attacking this half, so he needs to adjust before he gets caught out of position

GT at 2016-11-01 21:54:06

Now we have a game on our hands.

How will the world’s best side respond to falling behind after taking the lead…and Viktor and his men will be aware this one has just gone up several gears

51 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 21:52:41

…and WHAT A FREE KICK from De Bruyne who scortes directly

Massive goal in Group C


GT at 2016-11-01 21:51:37

Barca are rattled…

Busquets bundles over Silva on the edge of the Barca penalty area, and his team mates surround Kassai in a futile protest.

Free kick to City in a dangerous position

GT at 2016-11-01 21:50:13

Viktor is quite forwards of active play, preferring to hang around in the City half.

He may need to adjust that thinking if the home side continues to press hard

GT at 2016-11-01 21:48:49

And what a start we almost had as Barca play around with the ball and lose it across their own penalty area but Sterling’s first touch is poor and the chance goes begging

GT at 2016-11-01 21:46:42

Time for the second half…City get us going and will, no doubt, be reminding referee Kassai that he ‘owes them one’

Viktor won’t take any notice of that however, and I don’t expect him to go looking for a penalty to level things up…two wrongs don’t make a right, and he is bigger and better than that.

How will this one go?

Let us know what you think and give us your views by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref

GT at 2016-11-01 21:36:37

…and that is a problem for usually top-performing officials.

We become so used to them getting the big decisions correct that when they miss one we are all perplexed.

Viktor will know at half time that he has made a big mistake there, but will come out stronger in the second half because that’s what the best referees do.

You find out just how good people are not through all of the ones they call correctly, but how they come back after dropping a clanger.

GT at 2016-11-01 21:33:57

John Stones leads the protests with KassaI as they leave for half time.

The City defender is clearly aggrieved at the double error in the 10th minute when the Hungarian referee failed to award a penalty kick to City for a trip on Sterling, then compounded his error by cautioning the City winger for simulation.

Not your finest 45 minutes of football that one Viktor.

GT at 2016-11-01 21:31:13

Half Time

GT at 2016-11-01 21:30:47

Free kick to City as Kolarov is squeezed out by Rakitic

43 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 21:29:06

That was a good call, Viktor.

No penalty as Messi goes down in the penalty area.

…and no card for simulation either.

Correct on both counts.

GT at 2016-11-01 21:27:18

…and City almost follow it up with a second.

The game is fizzing

GT at 2016-11-01 21:26:27

A rare, collectors’ piece as Barca make a schoolboy error in passing the ball across their own penalty area.

Great work from Aguero ses him linch possession, feed the ball to Sterling whose first time cross is passed into the net by the City number 8.


39 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 21:24:47

GOAL! Gündo?an


GT at 2016-11-01 21:23:51

It’s all Barca now as they go for the killer second goal.

Referee KassaI has adjusted his positioning well, and has dropped 10 metres deeper into the City half

GT at 2016-11-01 21:21:14

Otamendi is being given the run around by the Barcelona forwards.

Firstly, Neymar puts him on his backside with trickery in the penalty area, then the City defender clatters into Suarez from behind.

Kassai needs to work the blues man and keep him calm before he sees a card.

GT at 2016-11-01 21:17:37

Strange decision by Kassai to award a foul by Messi.

The world player of the year seemed to steal the ball cleanly.

Come on Viktor…you are not up to your usual high standards tonight

29 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 21:15:32

…and the Hungarian doesn’t miss that one.

Caution for a deliberate trip by the Barca number 11

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-11-01 21:14:18

That has to be a caution for Neymar!

GT at 2016-11-01 21:13:19

City will need to take the play to Barca now as they are in danger of losing this one and surrendering any chance of winning this Group.

Barca are content to pass the ball around, probing for an opening, whilst running down the clock.

Kassai has settled again after that flurry of big decisions

21 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 21:07:52

GOAL! and from the City free kick, Barcelona counter attack with a move started and finished by the magician, Messi.

Great move.

Excellent finish


GT at 2016-11-01 21:06:38

Yellow Cardfor Rakiti? for a late challenge on Gündo?an

Good decision

GT at 2016-11-01 21:05:10

Have twenty minutes of this game really gone already?

They have flown by…you cannot take your eyes off this one

GT at 2016-11-01 21:02:15

Who would be a referee, eh?

One man’s penalty kick is another man’s dive as my views contrast those of Simon Jackson in his tweet…

Simon Jackson @Jackson_S_D
@youaretheref horrible by Sterling. No tripping contact, jump up over and flop over to the ground. UK Diving Board would b proud. Disgusting

GT at 2016-11-01 21:00:25

This is getting really tasty now as captain Zabaleta leaves his mark on Messi.

City players and supporters are clearly frustrated at KassaI’s refusal of the penalty kick.

My view…Viktor got it wrong. That should have been a penalty kick for City

10 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 20:58:01

HUGE  call by Kassai, who had a great view of the challenge on Sterling inside the penalty area.

There was contact by Umtiti but Kassai calls no penalty and issues a caution to the City number 7 for simulation

Yellow Card

9 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 20:56:06

That is one each now as Fernandinho concedes nothing more than a free kick despite going into a challenge with all of his studs showing.

Another missed caution by the Hungarian referee

7 minutes

GT at 2016-11-01 20:54:17

Very, very surprised to see KassaI allow Digne to get away with a clear shirt pull with nothing more than a public rebuke.

That should have been a caution for the Barcelona man…come on Viktor, you’re better than that

GT at 2016-11-01 20:52:27

The game is like a tactical chess match, both teams looking for that opportunity to strike quickly and decisively but willing to pass the ball around in doing so

GT at 2016-11-01 20:49:29

Excellent early offside call against Aguero by assistant Gyorgy Ring, showing everyone that he is fully concentrated n his duties from minute one.

Good lining.

GT at 2016-11-01 20:47:40

Possession and attack from the outset from the visitors, and referee Kassai is tuned-in early with good positional work

GT at 2016-11-01 20:45:37

Here goes…

Barcelona take the kick-off and get us underway

GT at 2016-11-01 20:32:50

It’s almost time for kick-off at The City of Manchester Stadium.

Is anyone else really excited for this one to begin?

I cannot wait…

GT at 2016-11-01 20:26:46

As for our officials today…

The man with the huge honour of leading out the teams at The City of Manchester Stadium tonight is Hungary’s top whistler, Viktor Kassai.

This is the very experienced and highly respected Kassai’s 95th UEFA appointment, and his 43rd in this competition.

Already the focus of previous Refcam coverage Viktor never fails to impress, and we have no reason to believe tonight should be any different.

He leads a team of fellow countrymen which includes Gyorgy Ring And Vencel Toth as his trusted assistant referees and Peter Berettyan as fourth official.

The additional assistant referees behind each goal are Tamas Bognar and Adam Farkas.

Kassai and his team will have been looking forward to this one just as much as the rest of us, so sit back, relax and enjoy our Refcam coverage, not forgetting to send in your thoughts and comments through Twitter @youaretheref

This should be a fascinating clash.

GT at 2016-11-01 20:14:02

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first of the today’s live Refcam commentary games.

And what a game we have…
We bring for you the eagerly anticipated clash between Manchester City and Barcelona, being played at The City of Manchester Stadium.

This is matchday 4 of the UEFA Champions League, Group C, and will go a long way in determining who will go through to the knock-out phase as Group winners.

Having lost 4-0 at the Nou Camp in the reverse fixture two weeks ago City boss Pep Guardiola knows that nothing less than a win tonight is good enough if his side is to progress as table-toppers.

The return of their goal machine, Sergio Aguero, is a massive boost for the Manchester giants who will be hopeful he can continue where he left off at the weekend when his two strikes steered his team towards the rout of fellow Premier League side, West Bromwich Albion.

However this is not West Brom standing in their way tonight.

Arguably the best side in world club football, Barcelona, are formidable opponents whose stars need no introduction…

Five-times winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or, Lionel Messi, is capable of destroying most teams single-handedly. Then add to the mix, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Pique, Mascherano…the list goes on, and it is clear to see why the Catalan club are once again amongst the favourites to lift this trophy.

These are two clubs who like to play football as most fans like to watch it…fast-flowing, accurate passing and attach-minded, and it should be an absolute cracker, but how will it go?

What do you think?

Let us know who you believe will be triumphant by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref