Manchester City v Chelsea


good night

GB at 2015-08-16 18:22:30

I hope you enjoyed RefCam today. That’s it for me until next week.

Bye for now.

full time summary

GB at 2015-08-16 18:20:32

Step forwards Martin Atkinson and take a bow. That was a tough game which the referee kept a tight grip on right from the opening stages all the way to the end.


Sure there will be a few talking points from this game – was that challenge in the first half a red card when Fernandinho (MC 25) led with his elbow and caught the Chelsea player in the head, but the counter argument will be that there was no “closed fist” or movement of the arm “back into the opponent’s face”. Reckless yes – but violent conduct? It was not exactly black and white for me.



This game needed expert tempo management and above all a consistent approach towards foul play and misconduct by the players. For me Martin Atkinson proved himself worthy of this appointment and did not let himself down one bit. All the attributes mentioned above were supplemented with excellent fitness and positioning in this game.



As for the Assistants, I was generally impressed by the way they both pitched their level of involvement well and did not intervene unnecessarily by demonstrating a strong empathy with the referee’s tolerance level throughout.



The only real blot on the landscape for me was the offside call by Mike Mullarkey in the second half when for me the Chelsea player was level with the second rearmost defender and therefore should not have been penalised. Believe me, I have been there and the margin for error at the top is incredibly tight, but at the end of the day a player cannot be a “little bit” onside or offside – they are either in an offside position or not, long before all the other criteria for whether they are penalised for being in that position needs to be considered.

Mike showed his professionalism after this decision though and put it behind him to finish the game in his normal faultless style for that point on without letting his concentration dwell on the earlier decision.



But hey – I need to finish on a positive note following that game which must have been watched by millions of people all over the world and could not have done the standing of our top flight officials any harm at all. More of the same from our referees is what is required for the rest of the season.

the ref show

GB at 2015-08-16 17:56:37

The first edition of The Ref Show for this season had plenty to discuss across both the EPL and the Football League, and it was most welcome that the tone was able to be refreshingly positive overall when reflecting on the refereeing performances in the opening fixtures. That said, there was also heathy debate and honest opinions shared in respect to the major talking points in the games at Norwich and Chelsea.


Our NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD section of the website included a few new regular features as well as topical articles and is rapidly becoming an extensive achieve of news and views of interest to referees at all levels.


As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

full time

GB at 2015-08-16 17:56:15

My final summary will follow in a few minutes.


I trust you have enjoyed today’s RefCam coverage so far and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


The expert analysis continues tonight with the action from the MLS game Seattle Sounders v Orlando City KO 21:00


Then we are aback again on Monday night for the EPL game Liverpool v Bournemouth KO 20:00


Next weekend’s coverage kicks off at Saturday lunch time with Manchester United v Newcastle United KO 12.45


Followed by two more games on Sunday:

EPL Everton v Man City KO 16.00

And the much awaited

MLS LA Galaxy v NY City KO 22.00


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:


GB at 2015-08-16 17:55:11

Full Time

Manchester City 3 – 0 Chelsea


GB at 2015-08-16 17:54:03

Yellow Card

Eliaquim Mangala (MC 20)


That’s the difference between the good referees and the very good referees – once again Martin Atkinson carrying out his duties to the end with another mandatory caution – consistent and no surprises!


GB at 2015-08-16 17:52:03

minimum of 3 minutes to be added on


GB at 2015-08-16 17:51:39

Great example there of the referee “closing the game out” with another “safe” free kick in the corner


GB at 2015-08-16 17:50:32

correction – “note” the different position” was what I meant to say in my last post!


GB at 2015-08-16 17:49:36

not the different position of the referee for that free kick as he dropped back to see the bigger picture – I expect he was expecting a shot at goal


GB at 2015-08-16 17:48:34

Safe free kick for MA to give there from the optimum position again


GB at 2015-08-16 17:46:58

GOAL! Fernandinho (MC 25)

Manchester City 3 – 0 Chelsea

Game over – and relax MM, that offside goal would have made no difference to the result now!



GB at 2015-08-16 17:43:40

Yellow Card Eden Hazard (C 10)


Another mandatory caution for holding – clear act of unsporting behaviour. Martin Atkinson has not shirked his responsibilities at all, all afternoon


GB at 2015-08-16 17:41:40

That sets up the last 10 minutes for the officials – Chelsea have probably lost the battle now, but so they still want to win the war?


GB at 2015-08-16 17:40:40

GOAL! Vincent Kompany (MC 4)

Manchester City 2 – 0 Chelsea


GB at 2015-08-16 17:37:38

MA was right there again when the challenge came in after making up his ground well following a press into the penalty area. His fitness and positioning have been impressive in this game


GB at 2015-08-16 17:35:54

All credit to both teams they have settled down to playing football and not giving away silly fouls at the moment so MA is able to just take his foot off the pedal for a moment for the first real time in the game


GB at 2015-08-16 17:32:41

it remains to be seen just how much effect that offside decision my MM which ruled out a Chelsea goal will have on this game?

Another good decision that time, but I have a feeling we have not heard the last of the VERY CLOSE call in which the Chelsea player looked level with the second rearmost defender to me – so he was not in an offside position.


GB at 2015-08-16 17:28:52

MM gets that offside correct this time – not that he will be dwelling on the earlier one – that would have been parked and moved on from in a nano-second


GB at 2015-08-16 17:25:42

interesting throw-in on the half way line – did the Chelsea Manager outwit both referee and Assistant? the Throw-in was curtained taken by the wrong team.


GB at 2015-08-16 17:24:25

a very rare quiet period in the game but I don’t expect the officials to be lulled into a false sense of security!


GB at 2015-08-16 17:21:53

two opinions on Twitter seems pole apart in respect to Martin Atkinson – sorry Christopher but I have to agree with Ian!

Christopher @CMcLaughlin14

For crying out loud Atkinson!! Why have you not booked Silva yet? Clearly spitting the dummy and showing dissent!!

Ian Miller @miller409

M. A having a near perfect game



GB at 2015-08-16 17:19:10

This is where the top referees earn their bread – when the going gets tough, the tough get going


GB at 2015-08-16 17:16:52

SC gets his second offside and all of a sudden both Assistants know they are part of this team keeping the lid on the pressure cooker of a game


GB at 2015-08-16 17:15:47

Temperature rising and SC felt it was correct to mirror the referee’s tolerance level with that free kick.


GB at 2015-08-16 17:14:29

over 20 free kicks given already and there will be a lot more I am sure. MA has got the tempo under control still though


GB at 2015-08-16 17:13:22

Yellow Card Yaya Touré (MC 42)

Advantage played then the referee goes back to issue yellow card for reckless challenge


GB at 2015-08-16 17:12:33

big call for MM to chalk off a Chelsea goal for offside. I mentioned at half time that neither assistant had much to do in the first half now that looked like the decision was incorrect


GB at 2015-08-16 17:10:25

MA well placed for that foul by Branislav Ivanovi? (C 2) on Raheem Sterling (MC 7) as he was perfectly positioned to see if the contact was inside the penalty area


GB at 2015-08-16 17:09:17

Yellow Card Branislav Ivanovi? (C 2)


No doubt about that yellow card either – clear reckless challenge


GB at 2015-08-16 17:07:32

1st offside of the game – once again this demonstrates how important it is to get switched on again early after the half time break.


GB at 2015-08-16 17:06:37

Game on again


interesting substitution for Chelsea as Terry sits out second half

half time

GB at 2015-08-16 17:04:18

Any thoughts on the big decisions so far? Do you think the officials got them right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

half time summary

GB at 2015-08-16 16:59:13

Well I did predict that this was going to be a feisty affair, and the last few minutes of the first half certainly demonstrated what I expected was going to happen the longer the game went on


To his credit though, Martin Atkinson has showed considerable maturity and has appeared to be one step ahead of the players actions and has dealt strongly with the two clear acts of unsporting behaviour.


From the opening exchanges this was never going to be a game for a faint hearted referee and Martin has proved himself up to the challenge SO FAR. I have to put that in capitals because I have a feeling there could be a lot more to come in this game yet for our officials to deal with.


The challenges are coming in so strongly by all the players, it is not easy to pick out the ones which need to be picked to stop the game, otherwise a weak referee could completely spoil the event.


Keep it up Martin, this is going to be a tough second half!


The Assistants have hardly been in the game – no problem with that. Sometimes less is more. They look sharp and fit, which is all which is required so far.

half time

GB at 2015-08-16 16:51:44

Half time summary to follow in a few minutes


Keith Hackett has covered numerous subjects in his Blogs this week including his views on the way the PGMOL have thrown a couple sacrificial lambs to the slaughter in the first two fixture lists, as well as highlighting this season’s initiative announced by the Football Association to start to tackle those players who cause others to be punished due to a deliberate act designed to deceive the referee.


In his most recent Blog, Hackett voices his full support to both the referee and the doctor involved in the incident at Stamform Bridge last weekend.


All of the regular blogs compiled by the former Head of Premier League Referees in England are still available to read now at Hackett’s Blog


The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at


Let us know what you think about the views of our experts published in any of this media on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2015-08-16 16:50:38

Full Time


Manchester City 1 – 0 Chelsea


GB at 2015-08-16 16:50:02

good spot right at the end there by MA – clear foul from behind on the Chelsea player


GB at 2015-08-16 16:49:10

This is why we always tried to get the announcer to say “minimum” time to be added on – as there is obviously a lot more than 47 minutes on the clock now


GB at 2015-08-16 16:48:06

Yellow CardFernandinho (MC 25)


Mandatory yellow card again there for that illegal use of the arm in a reckless manner. Clearly unsporting behaviour.  The two yellow cards in this game have stodd out and both been dealt with correctly.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:46:12

minimum of 2 minutes to be played


GB at 2015-08-16 16:45:47

Blood injuries obviously need very strict supervision and the player cannot come back on the field of play with any signs of blood on any of his kit. The 4th official will help the referee to check this


GB at 2015-08-16 16:40:54

good lining there by SC on the far side. There looked to be a Chelsea player offside as soon as the free kick was taken but he held his flag down to see if the goalkeeper collected the ball there was no need to stop the game – good “wait and see” technique.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:39:00

Good refereeing again there to spot that foul in the centre. That’s what we mean by keeping a “trailing eye” on the players to spot the late contact some times.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:37:22

MA has continued to keep himself close to the play in the fast flowing game.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:33:49

Yellow CardVincent Kompany (MC 4)


Very good yellow card for that reckless challenge – well done Martin, you cant mange those.


The first yellow card in a game like this needed to be a nailed on one which that was.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:32:16

GOAL!Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Manchester City 1 – 0 Chelsea


GB at 2015-08-16 16:30:14

It has been a very quiet game for but Assistants so far. The art of good lining though is often in knowing when “not” to get involved


GB at 2015-08-16 16:27:16

There is no let up in this game as the players are generally happy with the referee’s recognition of foul play but just want to get the game started again as quickly as possible.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:23:57

MA has done the hard work in the opening 20 minutes so now he can try to play the advantage. He was correct to bring that one back though.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:22:36

MA was “playing the percentages” then at that free kick as he turned his back to the kicker completely so he could focus on all the players in the penalty area where the ball was going to be played. This works for the top referees at this level with all the coms kit available so that one of the other officials can tell the referee if the ball is moved or there is a “problem” with the kicker – but without that luxury it is best practice to try and keep a trailing eye on EVERYTHING at the taking of an attacking free kick.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:18:52

MA demonstrating a basic attribute of a good referee then – when the ball is inthe air, you are moving


GB at 2015-08-16 16:17:35

with the standard of the football so high, it is even more important that the standard of officiating is equally as proficient.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:16:21

15 gone and MA is looking calm and comfortable. I hope he can carry this through


GB at 2015-08-16 16:14:36

MA used his “presence” well then at that corner by just nudging into the penalty area to physically show the players he was alert to any push and holding.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:12:59

the reactions of the players towards the referee also signals that MA is going to need all his experience in this game


GB at 2015-08-16 16:11:52

MA is doing well so far though in the opening 10 minutes to keep control of things and not try to be too clever in keeping the game moving when a “safe” free kick is the better option.


GB at 2015-08-16 16:10:23

the shape of this game is developing already with so many cheap free kicks being given away. Often these big games can go one way or the other – sometimes they are very tame affairs and sometimes they can be feisty. I have to say I have a feeling this is not going to be an easy game for the officials judging by how it has started


GB at 2015-08-16 16:08:11

the replays show how important it is to have the optimum angle as the players challenge each other so fast at this level


GB at 2015-08-16 16:07:03

MA well placed to see what happened just inside of the Man City penalty area


GB at 2015-08-16 16:05:51

inside 5 minutes and MA setting his stall out in respect to grappling in the penalty area – it is not difficult!


GB at 2015-08-16 16:04:51

MA really powering through the centre of the field of play then


GB at 2015-08-16 16:04:10

MA has been very close to those first two fouls. Good refereeing to get in close at the start of the game to get the confidence of the players


GB at 2015-08-16 16:02:54

good to see MA so far out on his diagonal as City raced down the touchline then


GB at 2015-08-16 16:01:36

Those opening seconds prove how important it is for all the officials to hit the ground running!


GB at 2015-08-16 16:00:48

AR1: Mike Mullarkey (MM) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.

kick off

GB at 2015-08-16 16:00:10

Manchester City won the toss so it will be Chelsea 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

keep those tweets coming

GB at 2015-08-16 15:57:21

We have already had a few Tweets regarding the earlier games today. I hope you are still with us Christopher and you make a really good point Jamie. I wish the referees at the top would be strict on player’s equipment as is makes is so much harder for our colleagues at the grass roots of the game.


GB at 2015-08-16 15:52:48

Before the controversial goings on at the Palace this afternoon when Mr Mason reminded us of what we became used to seeing last season, there was precious little controversy surrounding the officials in the Premier League this weekend.


That said, Anthony Taylor has certainly given the panel something to discuss on the Ref Show tomorrow night for failing to give a penalty when Schmeichel appeared to “cloths-line” Sakho as he raced into the area, and then issued a straight red for Adrian in the last minute for Serious foul play when he made contact with his boot in an opponent’s chest..


There was also a similar sending off at Bristol City by Keith Stroud, when once again a player was deemed guilty of serious foul play which endangered the safety of an opponent when he recklessly jumped for the ball but made contact with his boot in the player’s face.


If you have any views on those incidents let me know on @youaretheref


GB at 2015-08-16 15:49:22

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Martin Atkinson (MA)

AR1: Stephen Child (SC)

AR2: Mike Mullarkey (MM)

4th Official: Johnathon Moss (JM)


It did not take a slide rule to work out that the first meeting of last season’s two best teams would be given to the only one of last season’s two best referee’s available this weekend, to oversee the proceedings.


These are the games which all officials want to be involved in of course, but from the moment the appointment is made public, if truth be known, all you are looking forward to is the walk down the tunnel at the end having contributed to an entertaining event which was managed without any controversial incidents.


Martin never set foot on the Etihad Stadium’s turf for a Premier League game last season (he refereed the Sky Blues 3 times away from Home), and he will be only too aware that the last time he took charge of a Chelsea game back in February, his performance attracted some of the most stinging criticism dished out all season (Atkinson display appalling) .


As with all the best referee’s in the world, I am sure that far from having any reservations about shaking hands with José Mourinho again today, Martin can’t wait to get out into the middle to bury a ghost by showing everyone what a good referee he really is!

starting lineups

GB at 2015-08-16 15:45:02

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:



Joe Hart (MC 1)

Bacary Sagna (MC 3)

Vincent Kompany (MC 4)

Raheem Sterling (MC 7)

Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Aleksandar Kolarov (MC 11)

Jesús Navas (MC 15)

Eliaquim Mangala (MC 20)

David Silva (MC 21)

Fernandinho (MC 25)

Yaya Touré (MC 42)


Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5)

Samir Nasri (MC 8)

Wilfredo Caballero (MC 13)

Wilfred Bony (MC14)

Gaël Clichy (MC 22)

Martin Demichelis (MC 26)

Kelechi Iheanacho (MC 72)




Asmir Begovic (C 1)

Branislav Ivanovi? (C 2)

Cesc Fàbregas (C 4)

Ramires (C 7)

Eden Hazard (C 10)

Diego Costa (C 19)

Nemanja Mati? (C 21)

Willian (C 22)

Gary Cahill (C 24)

John Terry (C 26)

César Azpilicueta (C 28)


Kurt Zouma (C 5)

Radamel Falcao García (C 9)

Juan Cuadrado (C 11)

Mikel John Obi (C 12)

Loïc Rémy (C 18)

Jamal Blackman (C 27)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C 36)


GB at 2015-08-16 15:41:25

So now the grass is cut, and the lunch is over, let’s hope that these two teams can serve us up a feast of football!



GB at 2015-08-16 15:39:59

Manuel Pellegrini’s team shot out of the blocks last week with a walk in the park against WBA who had no answers to their clinical passing and finishing, but it will be a different ball game today, as Chelsea have all the assets and knowhow to provide worthy opposition.


I am sure that José Mourinho will be keen to get the press talking about his playing staff again after all the fuss this week following his well-publicized reaction to the way his medical staff went about their duties in the 2 – 2 draw with Swansea on the opening day of the season (doctor and referee only doing their jobs) . That game also saw the dismissal of the first choice keeper which means that he is not available for selection today.


GB at 2015-08-16 15:37:43

Welcome to the first RefCam coverage today of one of the showcase fixtures of the season as Manchester City play host to the bookies favourites to retain the Premier League in the shape of Chelsea.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at