Manchester City v Crystal Palace


GT at 2014-12-20 15:46:19

Thanks for joining us again today on YATR.

Stick with us here  for more live commentary on Refcam as we have the ‘derby’ match Newcastle United v Sunderland and Liverpool v Arsenal coming up tomorrow, followed by Stoke City v Chelsea the day after.

There is, of course, plenty of other great content on the website which is jam-packed with great material including coverage of training sessions we recently held with match officials and delegates from The Nigerian FA, a great interview with our own Alan Biggs and David Blunkett MP, ‘The Ref Show’, a superb feature called ‘Cards on the Table’ and, of course, the unmissable ‘Hackett’s Blog’.

Keep it here on

GT at 2014-12-20 15:42:43

As for our officials today:

4th official (Neil Swarbrick) – went about his duties in a quiet, efficient manner

Assistant Referee (Dave Bryan) – star of the team for me today. Some very tight calls, and he got every one spot on. Great work, well done Dave

Referee (Phil Dowd) – good game. The match suited him today and his laid back approach. He kept out of the way and let the players get on with it. Good foul recognition and cannot be blamed for the blind-side elbow in the second half by Palace’s Campbell.

Assistant Referee (Peter Kirkup) – poor game and an unacceptable performance. He had one big decision to make and blew it. With the game finely balanced he incorrectly chalked off a perfectly good goal for Palace’s James McArthur for offside, when he was yards onside. Another game, another controversy borne out of a match official’s poor performance.

Supporters the length and breadth of the country continue to ask when this is going to be addressed?

GT at 2014-12-20 15:35:02

And that’s it as City take the spoils, 3-0, to go level on points with Chelsea at the top of the Premier League

Full Time

GT at 2014-12-20 15:31:47

That’s the end of the 90 minutes, with a further 3 to be added…

GT at 2014-12-20 15:31:13

Final changes for both sides as Sinclair replaces Nasri for City, and Bannan comes on for Palace’s Ledley

GT at 2014-12-20 15:29:54

Palace’s Jedinak goes down holding his face.

It’s a tough call for Dowdy, but I believe he called it correctly. The City man was protecting his space and the ball, there was no intent in his arm making content with the Palace man’s face

GT at 2014-12-20 15:25:34

Change for Palace now as the winger Thomas comes on for Puncheon.

That removes yet another player who potentially faced a second yellow

GT at 2014-12-20 15:24:04

City go in search of a 4th goal which would see them top the table

GT at 2014-12-20 15:23:32

Change for City too and Milner makes way for Fernando.

That’s another player on a caution who leaves the action

GT at 2014-12-20 15:22:23

City break at lightning speed and Toure fires in their third

GT at 2014-12-20 15:21:49


GT at 2014-12-20 15:21:05

Sensible foul given by Phil there, as James Milner leaves a bit on his opponent and correctly sees yellow Yellow Card

GT at 2014-12-20 15:17:10

Offside correctly given by Dave Bryan.

More good work from the Stamford-based lino.

GT at 2014-12-20 15:16:20

Great advantage from Phil as Zabaleta is brought down heavily.

I hope he goes back and cautions the Palace man when play breaks down though…

GT at 2014-12-20 15:14:32

Come on, Peter – you need to step up your recognition and try to get close to the standard being set by your team mate, Dave Bryan, on the other line

GT at 2014-12-20 15:13:21

With 20 minutes to go, that poor decision from Kirkup is the kind which changes games.

at 2-1 Palace would fancy getting something from this. But still art 2-0, it’s a very tall order still.

GT at 2014-12-20 15:11:49

Easy foul to give there as Hangelaand goes over James Milner.

Correctly given by Phil.

GT at 2014-12-20 15:10:48

City bring on Frank Lampard for the mercurial Silva

GT at 2014-12-20 15:10:16

‘Goal’ chalked off for Palace.

And it’s a dreadful decision from Peter Kirkup.

There was a City player right in front of him (Fernandinho) who was clearly playing on the Palace scorer.

That isn’t acceptable, Peter.

GT at 2014-12-20 15:08:37

Palace make a change…

Zaha comes on for Campbell.

Dowdy will like that one, as that is one of his cautions removed from active play.

GT at 2014-12-20 15:07:47

Phil has ‘set him up’ now. One more from McArthur, and I’m sure he’ll see the card coming out

GT at 2014-12-20 15:06:04

Good foul recognition again from Dowdy as McArthur receives a telling off and is told to calm it down a bit

GT at 2014-12-20 15:04:39

City won’t be holding back though, as a couple more goals will see them top the table today

GT at 2014-12-20 15:03:19

Silva fires in again, and that could be game over for Palace

GT at 2014-12-20 15:02:24



GT at 2014-12-20 14:59:35

Excellent support again from Dave Bryan as Milner goes in late on his opponent.

Free kick to Palace but no caution

GT at 2014-12-20 14:57:52

Good advantage played as Palace break

GT at 2014-12-20 14:56:26

He tried to keep Bolasie going there, but one foul too many came in for Phil’s liking and he awarded the free kick to Palace

GT at 2014-12-20 14:55:12

Sensible movement from Dowdy.

He has dropped right off, and is allowing City to play their passing game without getting in their way

GT at 2014-12-20 14:52:33

Toure fires over his third great chance of the game

GT at 2014-12-20 14:51:20

City take the lead through Silva after some superb passing and movement

GT at 2014-12-20 14:50:34


GT at 2014-12-20 14:49:08

Campbell is a very fortunate man indeed.

If Phil Dowd had spotted his elbow into the back of Dimichelis there, I am sure he would have seen red…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:46:30

Time for the second half.

City gets us going…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:41:00

it should be no surprise, really, that City have made plenty of chances but failed to score today though.

Due to injuries their starting eleven only has 8 Premier League goals in it.

Any side would miss the likes of Aguero and Dzeko.

Don’t take anything away from Palace though. They have played very well and could easily have their noses in front.

Should be a great second half, this one.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:32:39

Palace had their chances, but City missed some golden ones.

Good half of football, well refereed and very good lining especially from Dave Bryan who is the star of the show so far.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:31:33

…and that’s the end of the first half Half Time

GT at 2014-12-20 14:30:52

Phil gives a ‘small’ foul for Palace.

It causes consternation amongst the City faithful, but he was correct again.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:28:55

Zabaleta misses a fantastic opportunity to take the lead…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:28:24

Puncheon receives a caution for the foul on Silva which Phil played advantage from Yellow Card

GT at 2014-12-20 14:27:34

Just check out Phil’s stride pattern.

It has got noticeably shorter as the half has worn on.

Question marks have been raised about his fitness and stamina. Let’s hope they don’t become a problem today.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:25:20

Advantage played, but not sure the City players wanted it.

Probably better to give them the foul they worked for, Phil..

GT at 2014-12-20 14:24:11

Phil has a bit of a wrestling match himself with Campbell as he tries to get up with play following a City break

GT at 2014-12-20 14:21:20

And Phil picks up on City’s team fouling at last, and it’s yellow to Kolarov Yellow Card

GT at 2014-12-20 14:18:57

Another good spot by Dave Bryan.

He helped out Phil there and told him to award another corner to Palace.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:17:31

Excellent foul recognition by Dowdy.

Turns down two appeals from City and immediately follows it up with a free kick to Palace.

All correct.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:14:32

More good work from Dave Bryan who correctly judges Campbell onside again, and then is right up with play to award a goal kick.

Well done, Dave.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:13:20

City are attacking at will now, this time Toure wastes the golden chance.

Dowdy is sitting back, letting them get on with it…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:11:23

25 minutes gone and City have a glorious chance to open the scoring but Silva miscues…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:07:44

City must be close to a caution…there is team-fouling taking place here today. One player fouls, then a different player commits one, and so on…

Phil needs to recognise that and take action.

GT at 2014-12-20 14:05:53

Great call by Dave Bryan there, no offside but Campbell doesn’t take advantage of DB’s work and fires wide.

Top lining Dave…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:04:56

Definite foul that time and the City man should have received a caution for that one

GT at 2014-12-20 14:03:44

Joe Hart flaps at a corner, but Palace don’t punish him…

GT at 2014-12-20 14:02:47

Definitely no foul there by either the City man and his Palace opponent as they both went for the ball, Phil spotted it well and allowed play to continue

GT at 2014-12-20 14:00:10

City turn up the heat on their visitors with a well worked free kick, which came as a result of another good decision by our ref.

GT at 2014-12-20 13:56:40

Excellent positioning and movement by Peter Kirkup to judge the ball did not go out of play for a corner.

Great stuff, Peter…

GT at 2014-12-20 13:54:25

Phil gave it every chance there, as Campbell fouled YaYa Toure, but eventually had to award the foul to the City man.

Well done, Dowdy.

GT at 2014-12-20 13:50:30

Phil and his colleagues will be enjoying this start.

Nice and low-key, both sides playing football.

GT at 2014-12-20 13:46:23

20 seconds in and the first free-kick goes to Palace.

Good spot, Phil…

GT at 2014-12-20 13:45:14

Palace take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2014-12-20 13:41:33

It’s almost time for kick-off at The Etihad Stadium on another exciting weekend of Premier League football.

Let’s hope this one turns out to be a Christmas cracker with a sack full of goals…

GT at 2014-12-20 13:29:00

As for our refereeing team …

Seasoned-campaigner Phil Dowd leads a team which includes two very experienced assistants in Peter Kirkup and Dave Bryan on the lines and Neil Swarbrick as his fourth official.

Dowd, or ‘Dowdy’ as he is known amongst the Select Group, celebrated his 51st birthday this year. A veteran of very nearly 300 Premier League games in which he has issues 1047 cautions and 65 dismissals should mean there is little to surprise the Staffordshire-born whistler out there today.

His main honours games include the 2010 League Cup Final between Aston Villa and Manchester United when he hit the headlines in the 5th minute for awarding a penalty kick to Villa as Vidic brought down Agbonlahor, but failed to issue the expected red card.

Dowdy’s other two notable appointments are the 2011 FA Community Shield between Man City and their neighbours United, along with the 2012 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and Chelsea.

His assistants today have interesting backgrounds too. Kirkup was, of course, sent home early from the last EURO Championships despite his English refereeing colleagues being kept on in the tournament. Whilst Dave Bryan is the longest serving assistant referee on the Select Group.

I wish you and the lads the very best of luck for this one, Dowdy, and hope the ball runs very kindly for you.

GT at 2014-12-20 13:15:00

Hi everyone and welcome to another live Refcam commentary on today’s Premier League fixture Manchester City v Crystal Palace.

This is a huge game for both sides who are chasing all three points for very different reasons.

City are right on the coat tails of league leaders Chelsea, and will be looking to keep the pressure on their rivals with another win at home today.

Standing in their way is a Crystal Palace side who currently sit in 16th place in the table, only one point above the relegation zone.

City have again been in scintillating form this season with 11 wins from a possible 16, averaging over 2 goals per game. Whilst Palace have only registered 3 wins all season and have been shipping goals at an alarming rate. Only QPR and bottom club Leicester have conceded more.

So everything points to a home win today, but as we know…football can throw up many surprises, and with the wily Neil Warnock in charge you can be sure that Palace will have a game plan based upon taking something from the Etihad Stadium today.

Let us know who you think will win today and give us your views by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at