Manchester City v Sunderland


RH at 2016-08-13 19:49:15

So the Refereeing talking points in this game were

  • A correct early key match incident settles nerves
  • Well judged cautions, especially the first one
  • Astute reading of play to avoid getting in the way, despite the home team having 77% possession
  • Differing fortunes for each Assistant who after being out of the game, were required to come into the game as the away team counter attacked
  • The match tempo remained largely unchanged for the duration

A good first game for Bobby Madley, to be fair a combination of the new code of conduct on players challenging match officials and  the positive spirit in which the game was played ensured that he never came under any undue pressure. An early corner/goal kick mix up was forgotten as the Referee correctly awarded a penalty kick as Van Aanholt grounded Sterling with a careless challenge. All of the cautions were well judged especially the first as a good advantage was played and after DeBruyne had shot wide the Referee showed the card to Gooch. The only question I would pose being the first half shove by Kolarov on Whatmore which looked cautionable to me especially given that the same player was eventually cautioned late in the game  for a similar challenge on the touch line. Another strong feature of the Referees game was his reading of play, with City enjoying so much possession from sustained passages of attacking play, he did well to get out of the way whilst achieving good viewing angles in and around the penalty area. The only point I would make here is that Bobby doesn’t always follow through in some counter attacking situations, an example being Cabellero’s fist half clearance as Defoe closed in, otherwise his positioning and movement was good. Staying focused is so important especially when you’re out of the game for long periods, In the first half Assistant Marc Perry failed to spot Kolarov’s arguably cautionable challenge on Whatmore, as he anticipated play and turned away at the moment the challenge was made, despite only being a few metres away, would a confident flag have convinced the Referee to caution the offender? Compare that to Peter Kirkup’s sound reading of Defoe’s goal where the player timed his run well to be onside. The match tempo remained largely unchanged despite the score being close and the result being in doubt right up to the final whistle. Bobby Madley will be pleased with this game, it was a good game to open your season with and overall it was a promising start to his season

RH at 2016-08-13 19:21:14

Full Time

Summary to follow

RH at 2016-08-13 19:19:09

We’re into a minimum of 4 minutes additional time

RH at 2016-08-13 19:18:45

Yellow CardKolarov earns a caution as he takes out the Sunderland 44 on the half way line to break up a promising Sunderland attack


RH at 2016-08-13 19:17:11

The Referee closing in well there to be on hand as Iheanacho went close

RH at 2016-08-13 19:13:54

GOAL!An own goal from McNair breaks Sunderland hearts!

RH at 2016-08-13 19:12:04

We’ve got more Premier League action coming your way over the next eight days, tomorrow we’ve got another fascinating opener for two of our top sides when Arsenal host Liverpool, that one kicks off at 4.00pm. We stay in London for the first Monday night live game of the season as Chelsea play at home to West Ham in a mouthwatering Capital derby encounter with an 8.00 pm start there. Next weekend we’ve got two more Premier League games for you as Leicester host Arsenal on Saturday 20th August at 5.30pm, with memories of how the two fixtures between those teams got us talking last season! Then we round the weekend off on Sunday 21st August at 1.30pm, with a big North East derby clash between Sunderland and newly promoted Middlesbrough, what a start to the season!

RH at 2016-08-13 19:11:35

Bobby Madley still working well to stay being the attacking line as the ball is played across the field of play during attacking play!

RH at 2016-08-13 19:09:51

Good to see so far the overall absence of players challenging the Match Officials and just getting on with it!

RH at 2016-08-13 19:08:07

Kone flagged offside, Bobby Madley a little late picking up the Flag

RH at 2016-08-13 19:06:55

Despite the visitors levelling the match tempo has remained unchanged, this is one aspect of the game that has not caused the Referee any problems so far, its all about positioning and movement at the moment

RH at 2016-08-13 19:03:03

Delph brings down Borini with a careless challenge, easy free kick!

RH at 2016-08-13 19:02:01

A great example of the need to stay focused, despite City enjoying 76% possession, Assistant Peter Kirkup is suddenly called on to make a big onside call as Defoe scores, despite being largely out of the action for long periods this half!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:59:26

Peter Kirkup rightly judging that Defoe was onside as he timed his run to latch onto Rodwells pass!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:58:08


Well they say a one goal lead is never enough, Defoe levels it for Sunderland!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:56:49

Corner to City as we’re into one of those intense spell of City possession, the name of the game is focus for the Assistant and final third positioning and viewing angles for the Referee

RH at 2016-08-13 18:53:39

Yellow CardLove earns a caution for bringing down Sterling and stopping a promising City attack just outside the penalty area on the left

RH at 2016-08-13 18:51:32

Fernandinho and Borini go for a 50/50 ball both with feet raised, Borini comes off worse but no free kick awarded, good decision

RH at 2016-08-13 18:49:27

Another good advantage played as Kolarov was fouled by Borini in that last City attack

RH at 2016-08-13 18:48:08

Bobby Madley did well there as Sterling attacked wide left, as the defender closed in for a penalty area challenge, the Referee went wide to get an angle should the City player have gone to ground under pressure from the defender, good Refereeing!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:44:55

Aguero flagged offside by Marc Perry, close but he was right!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:41:56

Bobby Madley squeezing play well there as the ball moved out wide near to Assistant Marc Perry

RH at 2016-08-13 18:40:37

74% by one team does present the problem of not getting in the way of play, the Referee has done well overall his reading of City’s attacking play has been astute, you can she him adjusting his position to get behind the line of play as the ball is played across the field of play in the final third

RH at 2016-08-13 18:38:55

Borini rightly pulled up for grounding De Bruyne with a push

RH at 2016-08-13 18:35:55

De Bruyne pulled up for a careless midfield challenge on Rodwell

RH at 2016-08-13 18:34:06

City enjoyed 74% possession in the first half which gives an indication on where the action was!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:33:16

Peter Kirkup flags a Watmore foul on Kolarov

RH at 2016-08-13 18:31:40

The second half has started!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:26:59

A good first half from Bobby Madley, a sound early penalty award to steady the nerves,  thereby getting  a correct key match incident decision under his belt. Great caution also for Sunderland’s Gooch after his midfield felling of Sterling resulted in an advantage being played before a delayed caution. The Referee is getting around well, a couple of rusty moments being an early corner kick missed and I thought that Borini should have been penalised for an aerial challenge on Sagna, also Kolarov could have seen yellow for breaking up a promising Sunderland attack for a shove on Watmore but other than that its an ideal game to start a season with and the Referee looks comfortable overall. The only other talking point being Assistant Marc Perry who didn’t offer the Referee any lead for the early corner/goal kick mix up and his anticipating play and turning away from the Kolarov/Watmore  challenge which occurred close to him, fortunately Bobby Madley gave the free kick. But no baggage being taken into the second half

RH at 2016-08-13 18:16:30

Half Time

RH at 2016-08-13 18:15:37

A minimum of  one additional minute to be played!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:14:09

Yellow CardGood Refereeing as Gooch brings down Sterling, the Referee plays a good advantage and cautions the offender as De Bruyne shoots wide, great stuff!


RH at 2016-08-13 18:12:13

Marc Perry doing better there as Defoe was not flagged offside as he made an attempt on goal being played on by Sagna

RH at 2016-08-13 18:11:03

We’ve got more Premier League action coming your way over the next eight days, tomorrow we’ve got another fascinating opener for two of our top sides when Arsenal host Liverpool, that one kicks off at 4.00pm. We stay in London for the first Monday night live game of the season as Chelsea play at home to West Ham in a mouthwatering Capital derby encounter with an 8.00 pm start there. Next weekend we’ve got two more Premier League games for you as Leicester host Arsenal on Saturday 20th August at 5.30pm, with memories of how the two fixtures between those teams got us talking last season! Then we round the weekend off on Sunday 21st August at 1.30pm, with a big North East derby clash between Sunderland and newly promoted Middlesbrough, what a start to the season!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:10:12

Kolarov shoves Watmore off the ball, with Assistant Marc Perry only a couple of metres away, the Assistant had anticipated play and was not facing the action at that moment the careless challenge came in, also as it broke down a promising attack a caution could have been considered?

RH at 2016-08-13 18:06:48

Bobby Madley doing much better there as he moved in well during that last City forage into the Sunderland penalty area!

RH at 2016-08-13 18:05:18

Good to see the Referee managing the players well with quiet words off the ball to Defoe and De Bruyne for separate incidents

RH at 2016-08-13 18:03:28

Marc Perry flags confidently for a Defoe handball as he challenges Stones

RH at 2016-08-13 18:02:43

Caballlero comes out of his area to clear with Defoe closing in, the Referee continued to cruise in towards the action, given what could have happened, I would have preferred a dynamic sprint from the Referee as we saw at the Euro’s to get in closer

RH at 2016-08-13 17:59:23

Silva is shoved but the Referee signals advantage, even though he got a bit too close to play

RH at 2016-08-13 17:57:57

Defoe manhandles Stones and an obvious City free kick is given

RH at 2016-08-13 17:57:15

Sterling goes to ground but quite rightly Assistant Peter Kirkup does feel tempted and instead flags a Sunderland throw

RH at 2016-08-13 17:55:24

City with 82% of the possession at present so the involvement of each Assistant is imbalanced, Marc Perry needs to work hard with his concentration for that moment when he needs to make a big call from a counter attack

RH at 2016-08-13 17:52:36

Peter Kirkup with a good flag as De Bruyne is brought down by Gooch

RH at 2016-08-13 17:51:30

Sagna not happy with an aerial challenge from Borini who used an arm, looked careless to me but no more than a free kick, which wasn’t given

RH at 2016-08-13 17:49:46

most of City’s attacking play is coming down the left hand side at the moment, the Referee is reading this well and is viewing the action from a left hand channel position

RH at 2016-08-13 17:47:27

Good advantage played as Defoe is grounded by Kolarov in midfield

RH at 2016-08-13 17:45:51

That penalty award from the Referee will have settled the mind especially coming so soon after the mistake with the goal kick/Corner mix up, just what was needed!

RH at 2016-08-13 17:44:08

Interesting that the Match Officials are in black which is the same colour as the Sunderland goalkeepers shirt

RH at 2016-08-13 17:41:27

Good to see the Referee adjusting his penalty area viewing from the initial corner kick to view Aguero shot on goal from within the penalty area

RH at 2016-08-13 17:39:10

Watmore concedes a midfield free kick for careless trip

RH at 2016-08-13 17:38:13

Just before the goal Bobby Madley was looking to Marc Perry for help with Caballero’s save but the Assistant offered no lead so the goal kick was given

RH at 2016-08-13 17:36:30

Rodwell forces Aguero to ground for a free kick on the City left wide of the penalty area

RH at 2016-08-13 17:35:50

If you are watching the game on TV, Marc Perry is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Peter Kirkup is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2016-08-13 17:35:18

GOAL!Aguero opens the scoring from the spot for City!


RH at 2016-08-13 17:34:39

Van Aanholt grounds Sterling for an obvious City Penalty!

RH at 2016-08-13 17:33:39

Referee and Assistant not fully in tune there as City win a goal kick when it looked a corner

RH at 2016-08-13 17:32:10

Fernandinho late on Defoe for the second free kick again to Sunderland

RH at 2016-08-13 17:31:11

First free kick to Sunderland for a careless tackle

RH at 2016-08-13 17:30:18

Our match Referee Bobby Madley gets us underway!

RH at 2016-08-13 17:26:49

The teams and Match Officials have entered the field of play!

RH at 2016-08-13 17:20:02

The following is an extract from the Premier League website, it will clearly have an effect on the Referee’s management of today’s game

Premier League, EFL and FA to ask match officials to take stronger position towards players and managers

Premier League football, and the wider game in England, is known for being competitive and compelling, but also for its fairness and for being played in the right spirit.

However, the English football authorities have noticed over the past four seasons that intolerable behaviour by players and managers in their competitions have reached unacceptable levels in certain areas.

Therefore the Premier League, EFL and The FA have announced a collective undertaking to improve behaviour across the game.

Their undertaking will task the Professional Game Match Officials (PGMO) to take a stronger position and action towards unacceptable participant conduct.

This will focus on behaviour towards match officials, with the aim of reducing disrespectful conduct such as aggressively challenging decisions or running from distance to confront an official.

The PGMO will apply the Laws of the Game to manage rigorously the following incidents of bad behaviour with the following sanctions

Dissent towards match officials

Yellow cards will be issued to players who:

  • Show visibly disrespectful behaviour to any match official
  • Respond aggressively to decisions
  • Confront an official face to face
  • Run towards an official to contest a decision

Offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards match officials

Red cards will be issued to players who confront match officials and use offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures towards them.

Physical contact with match officials

  • A yellow card for physical contact with any match official in a non-aggressive manner (e.g. an inquisitive approach to grab the official’s attention).
  • A red card for physical contact with match officials in an aggressive or confrontational manner.

Surrounding match officials

  • A yellow card for at least one player when two or more from a team surround a match official.
  • The FA will continue to sanction teams when they surround match officials.

Conduct in the technical area 

Behaviour by players and club staff in the technical area will be more rigorously enforced

  • The requirements of the Technical Area Code of Conduct will be more rigorously enforced for players and club staff.
  • Additionally, match officials will be required to retain professional detachment from players and club staff at all times.

We and our clubs have been discussing for some time concerns that certain elements of player behaviour are overstepping the mark and it is our collective position that these types of behaviour should no longer be tolerated,” Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman, the Premier League said.

“Things happen in the heat of the moment during fast and highly competitive football; we still want to see the passion fans enjoy and demand, but players and managers have to be aware there are lines that should not be crossed.”

RH at 2016-08-13 17:16:32

Interestingly this will be the first time Madley has taken charge of a game involving either manager so a strong and decisive performance is required here

RH at 2016-08-13 17:12:52

Today’s Match Referee is Bobby Madley. His Assistant Referees are Peter Kirkup and Marc Perry. The Fourth Official is Neil Swarbrick

RH at 2016-08-13 17:08:26

Welcomed to Refcam’s coverage of the 2016/17 Premier League season! What an opener we have for you as we herald a new era for both teams as Guardiola and Moyes take charge for this exciting fixture as Manchester City host Sunderland!