Manchester City v Manchester United


DM at 2017-04-27 22:00:16

#MCFCMUFC Correct call by Martin Atkinson to dismiss Fellaini.  I suspect he may get more than a 3 game suspension following his antics after being dismissed by the referee.

DM at 2017-04-27 21:59:02


It was a game where the match officials escaped controversy and three big calls were judged correctly.  Martin Atkinson showed his experience and despite an indifferent first half, he reacted in the second half by correctly cautioning two players and dismissing Fellaini for violent conduct.  Both Assistants supported the referee well and AR Stuart Burt had a magnificent game, correctly judging MC33 offside in the closing stages after the ball hit the net.  This is the best game I have seen this Assistant have and I applaud his overall performance tonight.  The ever reliable Neil Swarbrick managed the technical areas well and supported Martin Atkinson with his duties.  This was not a classic game and it was a game of two halves for the referee, the first he was a little inconsistent and missed a caution for MC30, he also missed a number of careless challenges.  His approach in the second half changed completely and he was much improved and remained focused to the end.  Overall, a decent performance from one of our most experienced referees.

DM at 2017-04-27 21:53:54

Full Time



DM at 2017-04-27 21:52:24

It is imperative that the referee is aware when teams are tactially trying to run down the clock.  Rashford’s slow walk off the field and De Gea’s switching of the ball at the goal kick have not gone unnoticed.  I suspect we will end up with 7 minutes added time now.


DM at 2017-04-27 21:49:38

MUFC Sub 19 off, 18 on


DM at 2017-04-27 21:48:44

AR Burt indicates offside following a goal by MC33 – the decision is an excellent one and totally correct


DM at 2017-04-27 21:47:27

Minimum of 6 minutes added time


DM at 2017-04-27 21:46:05

Yellow CardMC33 Correctly cautioned for a reckless challenge.



DM at 2017-04-27 21:45:18

The two incidents within a minute concerning Fellaini show exactly why officials have to concentrate throughout a match and stay focused.  In a period where nothing was happening, the match suddenly came to life.  The tempo is sure to increase now.

DM at 2017-04-27 21:43:43

MUFC Sub 22 off, 24 on

DM at 2017-04-27 21:42:57

MCFC Sub 7 off, 33 on


DM at 2017-04-27 21:42:18

Red CardMUFC 27 correctly receives a straight red card for violent conduct as he headbutts an opponent.



DM at 2017-04-27 21:40:35

Yellow CardMUFC 27 correctly cautioned for a reckless challenge



DM at 2017-04-27 21:38:32

Not sure why the 4th official kept the outfield players waiting at the substitution.  Whilst the Manchester City goalkeeper was down injured, the outfield substitutions could have been done.

DM at 2017-04-27 21:37:16

CORRECTION MUFC Sub 11 off not 19


DM at 2017-04-27 21:36:32

MUFC Sub 19 off, 14 on.

MCFC Sub 1 off, 13 on

MCFC Sub 19 off, 15 on


DM at 2017-04-27 21:33:58

The Laws of the Game state that the referee should stop play if there is a serious injury.  There is no doubt that the injury to MC1 is not serious but the referee is wise to stop play as it is ‘safe refereeing’ to do so if the injury is to a goalkeeper.


DM at 2017-04-27 21:31:19

The game comes to life a little as the referee awards a free-kick to Manchester City for a foul by MU27.  Jose Mourinho expresses his frustration at the decision as does MU17.  The referee remains calm and manages the situation well.


DM at 2017-04-27 21:25:51

The referee stops play quickly as MU36 has a head injury.  The restart will be a dropped ball.


DM at 2017-04-27 21:23:47

Again Martin Atkinson uses his experience by speaking to MC30 and MU27 as they scuffle prior to the taking of the corner-kick.


DM at 2017-04-27 21:18:52

Good offside flag by AR Burt – tight but correct


DM at 2017-04-27 21:14:08

MC19 goes to ground following a challenge by MU21 – the referee correctly waves play on


DM at 2017-04-27 21:12:32

AR Burt indicates a foul following a challenge on MC7 by MU11, there didn’t look much contact and the Manchester City player went down easily and again the referee awards a free-kick.  Seems to be a change in approach for this second half.


DM at 2017-04-27 21:05:16

MU22 went down easily following a challenge on the halfway line, interestingly the referee awarded a free-kick.  Perhaps he is changing his approach?

DM at 2017-04-27 21:02:07

Martin Atkinson gets the second half underway

DM at 2017-04-27 20:58:32

Don’t forget to watch this week’s episode of @youaretheref Ref Show. @RefereeHalsey and David Hirst joined Alan Biggs to discuss the weekend’s action

DM at 2017-04-27 20:53:30

Don’t forget to join our referee academy and access a range of member benefits

DM at 2017-04-27 20:51:58


Martin Atkinson is a vastly experienced referee and he is trying to let the game breathe but his approach is a risky one.  He has not awarded several free-kicks where careless challenges have occurred and he has also in my opinion missed two ‘off the ball’ incidents when MC30 on both occasions has stopped a promising attack by stepping across and blocking his opponent.  The referee has excellent man-management skills and his decision to speak to both captains and MU21 following a minor skirmish was sensible officiating.  In the second half, the officials will be aware that MC30 (who in my opinion should have been cautioned) is starting to stand out as a serial offender and he may end up with a caution for persistently infringing the laws of the game.  The tempo of the game is sure to rise, especially as the game nears a close or if one of the teams score.  The officials will have to fully concentrate throughout.

DM at 2017-04-27 20:46:23

Half Time



DM at 2017-04-27 20:45:39

Minimum of 1 minute added time


DM at 2017-04-27 20:45:14

MC5 Zabaletta complains to the referee but there is no doubt that he carelessly tripped MU36.  The referee gets it right by awarding a direct free-kick.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:43:15

The referee has done well to calm down a minor melee following a foul challenge by MC42.  The referee took his time admonishing the players, using his experience to slow things down.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:41:50

I think that the MC30 once again blocked an opponent off the ball there but the referee judged the contact as fair


DM at 2017-04-27 20:39:31

MC42 goes to ground as the ball is played across the penalty area. The referee correctly waves play on.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:34:38

The game is starting to open up now, both teams are losing possession and space is opening up in front of the midfield.  The officials will need to remain vigilant and alert.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:28:52

AR Nunn correctly adjudged that MC7 was not fouled by MU36.  The Manchester City player overplayed the ball and went down knowing he was not going to get the ball.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:26:10

MC30 Otamendi correctly penalised for a foul on MU19.  The Manchester City Player cannot be far away from being judged to have persistently infringed the laws of the game.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:22:12

The referee’s approach in the opening 20 minutes has been to keep the game playing and to give the benefit of the doubt to the players and allow contact where possible.  This approach can lead to a fast free-flowing match which becomes a spectacle or it can lead to an increase in tempo and a loss of control.  I hope that it is not the latter and the referee’s approach pays off.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:19:27

Correct free-kick indicated by AR Nunn for a foul by MU21 but prior to this MU27 was charged off the ball by MC7.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:17:15

The referee is allowing the game to flow but I am a little concerned that there are a few obvious foul challenges he is not picking up.  MC4 clearly fouled an opponent on the halfway line and play was allowed to continue.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:15:16

As Manchester United try to break MC30 impedes the progress of an opponent by blocking MU19.  The referee allowed play to continue but in my opinion he should have awarded a free kick and cautioned the Manchester City player for unsporting behaviour.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:12:44

MC25 commits a careless challenge on MU22.  Martin Atkinson speaks to the Manchester City player.  It looked a lot worse at fast speed and the referee in my opinion judged the challenge correctly.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:09:55

Good offside flag by AR Burt and then the Assistant advised the referee that the resulting free-kick had not left the penalty area.  The referee correctly indicated a retake.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:08:26

Heavy challenge from the back by MC11 on MU25 was not penalised by the referee.  I think it was a careless foul and the referee missed it as he didn’t open up his body and adjust his position.


DM at 2017-04-27 20:06:28

A quiet first 5 minutes for the officials.  3 corner-kicks in this opening period, the referee is taking up very good positions and he is not remaining static, ensuring he is alert to the actions of players in the penalty area.

DM at 2017-04-27 20:00:21

Here we go, Martin Atkinson gets the match underway

DM at 2017-04-27 19:55:21

Pre-match the officials will be aware of the two contrasting styles of play.  Manchester City, at home, will play from the back and push forward, whilst Manchester United are sure to try and use the counter attack to catch out the home team.  The officials will need to be dynamic in their movement and ensure that they are not static.

DM at 2017-04-27 19:53:19

Stuart Burt is one of the Assistants who is infamous for his ability to not get involved and Adam Nunn is renowned for his offside flag at Tottenham a couple of seasons ago when the player was inside his own half (by about 8 yards!).  This is Adam Nunn’s first big match as a Premier League Assistant and I question how wise this appointment is. These two will need to step up and support the referee tonight, adjusting to Martin’s style throughout and not ducking the big decisions.

DM at 2017-04-27 19:51:27

There has been an issue this season throughout the Select Group with recognition of challenges.  Martin himself has had a couple of errors this season, cautioning players for offences that warranted a red card.  He will be hoping to judge these incidents correctly tonight in such a high profile game.

DM at 2017-04-27 19:49:51

Coming in to this match, Martin has refereed 36 matches this season, showing 125 yellow cards and dismissing 2 players.  The appointment of Martin Atkinson is a good one by PGMOL, he is a calm but authoritative figure and he will be able to use his vast experience to manage the game.  Martin will need to be focused throughout tonight and recognise challenges, ensuring he balances the need to allow the game to flow with managing the tempo so that his control is not in doubt.

DM at 2017-04-27 19:47:11

Tonight’s referee is the vastly experienced Martin Atkinson, who is one of England’s UEFA Elite referees.  He will be assisted by Stuart Burt and Adam Nunn, with the in-form Neil Swarbrick managing the technical areas in his role as 4th official.

DM at 2017-04-27 19:44:07

Welcome to tonight’s ref cam as Manchester City host Manchester United at the Ethiad Stadium.  The ‘Manchester Derby’ is the highlight fixture of the EPL season and it is sure to be played at high intensity with plenty of action for the officials.