Manchester City v Chelsea


GB at 2018-03-04 19:00:27

Thanks for all the Tweets in this game – please keep them coming!

Good night until the next time.

Full Time Summary

GB at 2018-03-04 18:58:31

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

I made my opinion clear about the only talking point in the game surrounding a yellow card which some thought should be red at half time so I will not repeat them again now.

Take that incident out and there is actually nothing even slightly critical to write about that performance as Michael Oliver came out and nailed the biggest game of the weekend from start to finish.

You can only referee what is put in front of you as we often say, but then you can also have an effect on a game as a referee if you do not maintain 100% concentration, alertness and awareness.

Yes I admit that it looked easy, but as I have said many times before, that’s because the best referees “make it look easy”.  Everytime there was even the slightest pinch point in that game Oliver looked like he was ready for it and dealt with it appropriately.

One of the best performances I have seen all season, albeit in one of the least competitive games of the season.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2018-03-04 18:53:54

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage this weekend. We will be back tomorrow for Crystal Palace v Manchester United KO 20.00 pm.

Then we have 4 games lined up for next weekend:

10.03.18 Manchester United v Liverpool KO 12.30 pm

11.03.18 Arsenal v Watford KO 13.30 pm

11.03.18 Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur KO 16.00 pm

12.03.18 Stoke City v Manchester City KO 20.00 pm

Hope to have your company again for these games.

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2018-03-04 18:52:58

Full Time

Manchester City 1 v 0 Chelsea


GB at 2018-03-04 18:50:14

Oliver showing his professionalism to the end as he tries to speed the players up and not allow ant time wasting even in a game as low key as this, the result is by no means sure with only one goal in it.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:48:02

Minimum of 4 added minutes


GB at 2018-03-04 18:46:33

23 minutes gone by and there is an offence for the referee to penalise!

GB at 2018-03-04 18:39:36

There have been no free kicks awarded for the past 15 minutes as Oliver and his team stay out of this one as much as they can as Manchester City treat it like a train session for passing practice.

Manchester City Passes 930

Chelsea passes 290


GB at 2018-03-04 18:37:06

10 minutes to go and the officials start thinking about see the game out to preserve what they have got and bring the game to a safe conclusion. Any lack of concentration now and a poor challenge not penalised or a penalty not given and everything else about their performances is forgotten if there is a major talking point to do with the referee.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:33:27

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

Some of my colleagues have contacted me to say that the best team out there in this game are the Officials.

do you agree?

Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2018-03-04 18:29:37

Oliver demonstrates his speed off the mark again then as play quickly switches from one end to the other. He even throw in a “one handed” advantage signal. I quite like his option for referees to signal advantage like that now, but I do wish they would stick to one way or the other for the whole game so that those not so familiar with the subtleties of refereeing signals know what is going on.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:23:58

A quick check of the stats shows that there has only been 13 free kicks awarded so far and 3 yellow cards. It has not been a “dirty” game, but the fact that the referee has picked out the reckless from the careless along with the persistent offender, is very significant in why he has maintained 100% control of this game so far


GB at 2018-03-04 18:18:45

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

Its not rocket science again is it? Another classic example of good refereeing as Michael Oliver set up Antonio Rudiger (C 2) in the first half with “That’s your last one player”, then steams in with the yellow card Yellow Cardfor persistently infringing the laws of the game for his next foul challenge. The most important lesson from this one is that if you say you are going to do it, then you must carry it out.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:14:11

Oliver’s fitness shown then as he sprints across in a sharp diagonal movement as Chelsea get inside the City penalty area. When the shot went in the referee was just entering the right side of the penalty area. It is one thing being extremely fit as a referee, but then you need to know what to do with that fitness to get you into the right positions.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:08:48

Ilkay Gundgan (MC 8) picks up the second Yellow Cardof the game which looked like a classic case of Oliver making sure he lets everyone know what his intentions are for the second half. Not really reckless, but the expectation was for the referee to be strong – so he obliged and issued a yellow for the challenge on Hazard who has had a few tackles on him iin the game.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:06:00

GOAL! Bernardo Silva (MC 20)

Now Chelsea will have to think about raising their game.


GB at 2018-03-04 18:03:48

Second half underway

Half time Summary

GB at 2018-03-04 18:00:31

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

A very tactfully savvy first half by a very confident referee in top form. If Oliver had a game plan then this would have been it to a tee.

First challenge to his authority came with a very reckless challenge by Oleksandr Zinchenko (MC 35) in the 23rd minute. That looked a bit orange in supper slow-motion, but if you see it in real time you can understand why a yellow card was the correct sanction. When going for a red, the referee needs to consider the force, and speed of the challenge as well as the case of endangering the safety of the opponent. Don’t get me wrong, this was not a “good” tackle at all, but the force and speed were not intense enough for me to make that a nailed on red card.

Parking that one, from that point in the game you could see the referee working hard not to allow that game to get away from him. This is a skill which some of his colleagues do not demonstrate at times which is what makes the likes of Oliver, Taylor, Atkinson and Marriner stand out from the crowd. Even Jon Moss seemed to have improved in that aspect of his game this season. As I have said several times, good refereeing is not rocket science, all you need is an ablity to read the game and be pro-active as the temperature rises and stay ahead of it.

The skill will be for Oliver to come out and hit the ground running again straight from the start of the second half now.

GB at 2018-03-04 17:50:07

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

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GB at 2018-03-04 17:49:29

Half Time

Manchester City 0 v 0 Chelsea


GB at 2018-03-04 17:48:16

Both Oliver and Burt had opposite views of that coming together and did well not to get duped by the Chelsea player reacting like he had been caught by a sniper’s bullet!


GB at 2018-03-04 17:44:51

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

This time he raises his profile and moves in quickly and literally pushes his chest out to firm up his body language then explain to the player that he was stacking the fouls up on his card! All great basic referee characteristics which it is great to see demonstrated at the highest level.

Good offside decision by AR1 Simon Bennett from the resulting free kick.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:40:58

First example of Oliver “thinking” about putting his foot on this one. So obvious when you know what to look for. Gave himself a second to think about playing on after that careless challenge then thought better of it and stopped play. Next tactic was to not allow the quick free kick from the wrong place – excellent example all round of managing the tempo. Simple in’t it?


GB at 2018-03-04 17:36:28

The signs are already there that this game is coming to life. Oliver will do well to lt these players compete for a while longer but he needs to be spot on as to when to apply the breaks and manage the tempo as the intensity of the challenges start to increase.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:33:55

There was AR2 Stuart Burt’s chance to step up and give the referee a free kick then and he failed to assist the man in the middle. Seconds later Oliver stops play for another careless challenge. the officials need to be on the same wavelength and spot when the temperature rises since that yellow card and work as a team to keep things where they had them earlier.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:30:56

There is such a stark difference in this referee’s body language than that of Stuart Atwell earlier this afternoon. Oliver always looks like he is right “on it” and not going to allow himself to be swayed bythe players.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:27:44

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

Excellent advantage played but even better first  yellow card Yellow Card for Oleksandr Zinchenko (MC 35) for that reckless challenge. Experience of Oliver showing then in a game with just 3 careless challenge until that point there was no way he could manage that one. In fact, that could very easily have been a red card as the player was not in control. Probably the speed of the challenge was what saved him from the ultimate sanction – but that was very close.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:20:59

Another “little” careless foul. But as I said a few minutes ago, those are the type of offences the officials need to keep giving. Miss a few of those easy ones and all of a sudden the players start to increase the intensity of their challenges and the referee is responsible for letting an easy game get away from them.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:18:13

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

When games start as quietly as this the officials need to remain alert at all times and be ready for the unexpected. Everything looks pretty mundane right now, but it only takes one lack of concentration by the officials to turn the players against they if they are not careful.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:15:32

No hand ball decision to make (the ball hit the Chelsea player in the face anyway), as there was an offside call at the same time. Simon Bennett gets his first offside decision right.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:13:33

Manchester City have had 84% of possession in the first 10 minutes which has obviously had a lot to do with the referees positioning in the left channel for the opening minutes


GB at 2018-03-04 17:10:35

Apart from a couple of “routine” careless challenges, no signs yet of the fire I expect right from the start n this one


GB at 2018-03-04 17:07:54

4 minutes in and the first foul is an easy one for Oliver to set his tolerance level with – expected stoppage by everyone


GB at 2018-03-04 17:05:22

One of the referees I coach was picked up the other day by an Observer for signalling too high with his arm for throw-ins. Any new referee would do well to study this referee’s signals to see how best to do it.


GB at 2018-03-04 17:03:42

Oliver has already dropped into his usual routine of staying ahead of play in the left channel as Man City build their attacking moves

kick off

GB at 2018-03-04 17:00:55

Manchester City won the toss so it will be Chelsea to kick off.

Good luck to all! 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

GB at 2018-03-04 16:55:05

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2018-03-04 16:51:48

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

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GB at 2018-03-04 16:49:01

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Michael Oliver

AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area)

AR2: Stuart Burt

4th Official:  Jon Moss

I am sure Michael Oliver will be pleased that he can just go out and do what comes naturally to him this afternoon, without all the fuss and distractions of a VAR twittering away in his ear.

This is another classic encounter for one of England’s finest officials to showcase how good he is again today and demonstrate how to manage a game between two teams of different styles and deliver everyone’s expectations. There is likely to be no shortage of theatrics in the Technical Areas, but Michael will do well to leave that to the experienced Jon Moss to deal with, so the centre Referee can control the tempo of this one from the start and be consistent with disciplinary sanctions, along-side his other man-management options so the players quickly gain confidence in his decisions so they can concentrate on entertaining the masses.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2018-03-04 16:45:54

Manchester City

31   Ederson (MC 31)

2     Kyle Walker (MC 2)

8     Ilkay Gundgan (MC 8)

10   Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

14   Wilfred Bony (MC14)

17   Kevin De Bruyne (MC 17)

19   Leroy Sané (MC 19)

20   Bernardo Silva (MC 20)

21   David Silva (MC 21)

30   Nicolás Otamendi (MC 30)

35   Oleksandr Zinchenko (MC 35)


1     Claudio Bravo (MC 1)

3     Danilo (MC 3)

4     Vincent Kompany (MC 4)

5     John Stones (MC 5)

33   Gabriel Jesus (MC 33)

42   Yaya Touré (MC 42)

47   Phil Foden (MC 47)


13   Thibaut Courtois (C 13)

2     Antonio Rudiger (C 2)

3     Marcos Alonso (C 3)

4     Cesc Fàbregas (C 4)

6     Danny Drinkwater(C 6)

10   Eden Hazard (C 10)

11   Pedro (C 11)

15   Victor Moses (C 15)

22   Willian (C 22)

27   Andreas Christensen (C 27)

28   César Azpilicueta (C 28)


1     Will Carballero (C 1)

9     Alvaro Morata (C 9)

18   Oliveier Giroud (C 18)

21   Davide Zappacosta (C 21)

23   Michy Batshuayi (C 23)

33   Emerson (C 33)

50   Trevoh Chalobah (C 50)


GB at 2018-03-04 16:41:08

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

It may be winter outside, but inside this stadium there’s love for the way City are playing at the moment.

As Arsenal’s players seem to be struggling to find any form at all at the moment, and are in danger of losing their right to be included in the “Top 6”, maybe today’s game will be a better benchmark as to just how much better the Sky Blues are playing than all the other Champions League places contenders at the moment. Just 5 more wins are required from their 10 remaining fixtures for them to be crowned Champions. And with only the games at Home to United and Away to Spurs looking difficult on paper, they could be forgiven for hitting the cruise control button pretty soon.

I expect Chelsea to throw the kitchen sink at this one as they won’t want to start slipping out of the Top 4 places race like the Gunners, who looked like there were going to be lucky to finish second against Brighton earlier for the first 30 minutes. Expect some fireworks in this one!


GB at 2018-03-04 16:39:11

#MCFC #CFC #cityvcfc

Welcome to this evening’s RefCam coverage of the EPL game between Manchester City and Chelsea. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

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