Manchester United v Chelsea


GT at 2015-12-28 20:26:45

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have a week packed with top quality action for you.

Coming up tomorrow is the clash between two high-flying sides, Leicester City and Manchester City.

The day after, the 30th, we bring you struggling Sunderland versus a resurgent Liverpool.

That is followed by another away clash for the Merseyside giants on January 2nd as they travel to West Ham United.

Later that day we cover one of the surprise packages of the season so far, Watford, as they entertain Manchester City.

Then the day after that we have two more top games for you in Crystal Palace v Chelsea and Everton v Tottenham Hotpsur.

And, if all of that isn’t enough, there is more great content on our website including the really popular ‘Ref Show’ where experts from within the game review the weekend’s action.

Add to that an informed look into the move towards the use of video referees, coupled with the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’ where the former top referee and General Manager of the PGMOL continues to offer imaginative opinions on refereeing matters here and overseas, and it is clear why YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.

Keep it here on

GT at 2015-12-28 20:25:23

As for our referees today…

Martin Atkinson made the schoolboy error of cautioning for small fouls then being afraid to caution the same players again when they deserved it.

Too many obvious cautionable offences were missed or ignored, and that is simply not good enough.

He also showed little understanding of the game as he failed to pick up on United’s team-fouling of Eden Hazard.

A clearer angle of the Willian handball offence (second half) also showed that a penalty should have been awarded to United…a case for the introduction of video refereeing, perhaps?

At times Atkinson looked desperate – the lack of advantage for Chelsea when he cautioned Schweinsteiger being an obvious example – and lacked confidence.

Then…he topped off a dreadful display of refereeing by failing to send off Wayne Rooney for the clearest of red card fouls late in the game.

A big game, which was not met with a big refereeing performance, I’m afraid.

You were very, very poor again tonight Atkinson.

A referee who has been selected for the EURO Championship should not be making those basic errors. His tournament will be a short-lived one if he does not sort out those big mistakes.

He was not helped by his assistants today either, both of whom need to re-visit the offside law and Steve Child is partly to blame for the missed penalty to United.

All round…a quite awful team performance, capped off by Atkinson’s dreadful showing.

GT at 2015-12-28 20:22:41

To sum up the two playing teams…it ends all square which helps neither of them, really.

And certainly does not decrease the pressure on United’s under-fire manager.

That means 8 games without a win…


GT at 2015-12-28 20:21:08

Full Time

GT at 2015-12-28 20:18:42

A very nasty challenge by Rooney sees only a caution.

That was a nailed-on RED CARD

Awful refereeing again Atkinson

Yellow Card

GT at 2015-12-28 20:17:15

That is the end of the regular 90 minutes…3 additional minutes to go on

GT at 2015-12-28 20:12:11

5 minutes of regular time to go now…

GT at 2015-12-28 20:10:50

Jones comes on for United in their final throw of the dice.

81 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 20:08:35

Dreadful lack of awareness by Atkinson as he stops play to caution Schweinsteiger.

Chelsea were breaking away there…why did he not apply advantage then go back for the caution later?

Schoolboy refereeing

Yellow Card

GT at 2015-12-28 20:05:56

Will there be a winner in this one?

Let us know what you think and give us your views by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

GT at 2015-12-28 20:03:44

…is replaced by Memphis

76 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 20:03:16

United make another change Chelsea man, Juan Mata

GT at 2015-12-28 20:02:09

15 minutes to go…

72 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 20:00:18

…and Hazard’s frustration finally boils over and he takes out his own form of justice on Ashley Young, for which he is cautioned.

The referee is partly responsible for that caution though, having missed so many fouls on the Chelsea 10

Yellow Card

GT at 2015-12-28 19:57:29

And United follow suit as Darmian is replaced by Cameron Borthwick-Jackson

69 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:56:10

Chelsea make their first change as Ramires takes over from Willian

GT at 2015-12-28 19:54:52

Replays of that Willian handball claim show that a penalty should have been given to United.

There was a really good angle of the offence shown which defines it as a penalty kick.

Atkinson and Steve Child will be disappointed when they see that one again.

GT at 2015-12-28 19:49:54

How on earth did Matic not score there?

Clean through on goal, only De Gea to beat, and he fires over the bar

61 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:48:22

This is getting ridiculous now…Oscar is brought down right under Atkinson’s nose, yet the referee wags a finger at the Chelsea man and tells him to get up!!

GT at 2015-12-28 19:47:04

Ivanovic looks disbelievingly at Atkinson as he fails to award a free kick to him after Martial had slid into the Chelsea man

GT at 2015-12-28 19:44:14

Handball claim by United as Willian makes contact with the ball in his own penalty area.

For me, it’s a correct decision…no penalty.

55 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:43:01

What an incredible save by Courtois!

GT at 2015-12-28 19:41:03

Matic was having his shirt pulled off his back by Schneiderlin there, but again Atkinson fails to spot the foul

49 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:36:30

Yet again Hazard is clattered off-the-ball and yet again it goes unnoticed by the officials.

How much longer will the Chelsea number 10 be able to hold his frustration?

47 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:35:01

Double save by De Gea prevents United going a goal behind

GT at 2015-12-28 19:34:18

Mike Mullarkey joins the party at last as he leads his referee into a free kick to Chelsea following a foul by Schweinsteiger

GT at 2015-12-28 19:32:10

Time for the second half, and let’s hope our officials have all re-focussed.

United get the game under way…

GT at 2015-12-28 19:19:45

It was all going very well for the referee in that first half then, for the final fifteen minutes he started to unravel.

Fouls were missed.

Cautions not applied.

And his two assistants both made poor offside calls.

Time to get back in that dressing room boys, have a word with yourselves and come back out stronger and better

GT at 2015-12-28 19:17:28

Half Time


GT at 2015-12-28 19:17:16

At least no one can say Atkinson is not consistent….as he takes no action following a foul on Herrrera

GT at 2015-12-28 19:16:15

Hazard is getting ‘team fouled’ by United, and Atko doesn’t look like her has picked up what is happening.

The Chelsea man is becoming increasingly frustrated by the referee’s lack of action.

1 minute of added time to go on

GT at 2015-12-28 19:14:41

Blind puts in a heavy challenge on Hazard from behind but escapes a caution

GT at 2015-12-28 19:13:07

Good advantage played by Atko after Martial is fouled.

He should now be going back to the Chelsea man…but misses the opportunity

39 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:09:43

Very poor challenge by Smalling who is correctly cautioned for it

Yellow Card

GT at 2015-12-28 19:07:17

And now a poor one is given by Mullarkey on the other line.

Martial was level when that pass was played to him but the assistant still raised his flag.

Good work by the referee so far….not so sparkling from both assistants

35 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:05:36

How Steve Child did not see that offside offence by Zouma is beyond belief.

The Chelsea man was yards offside when that free kick was played up to him.

33 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:03:47

Superb positioning by Atko sees him right on top of a great challenge by Terry on Rooney.

Well done again referee

29 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 19:00:37

Schneiderlin sees yellow for a poor challenge.

Correct decision.

Yellow Card

GT at 2015-12-28 18:59:55

This is becoming a real end-to-end game and Atko is showing his fitness by keeping up with play

28 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 18:58:46

Atko misses a clear foul on Zouma and his error is immediately compounded as he cautions Obi Mikel for a foul in the resulting break

Yellow Card

27 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 18:57:05

Ashley Young cynically pulls back Hazard and is very fortunate to get away with only a ticking off by Atkinson.

That was a cautionable offence.

GT at 2015-12-28 18:55:23

Atko is moving well this evening…he stays with United as they break quickly again.

Well done, referee.

GT at 2015-12-28 18:53:10

Atko makes his first call of the game, and it is a good one.

Martial goes to ground far too easily in the Chelsea penalty area.

He ran into Zouma…definitely NO PENALTY

GT at 2015-12-28 18:50:13

For a United v Chelsea game, this is a really easy one to referee.

Both sides look like they are out to play rather than kick each other.

On that matter…Atko will not have been disappointed to see Costa suspended for this one!

16 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 18:47:13

United stroke the woodwork again!

This time it’s Martial hitting the post with a low drive

GT at 2015-12-28 18:44:18

Atko had to work hard to get back into position there, as he had anticipated a long goal kick by Chelsea but the ‘keeper played a short one meaning our ref was a little stranded.

He put in another good sprint though and got back in contact with play.

GT at 2015-12-28 18:40:14

10 minutes have gone and it has been a good start from all of our officials.

Everything credible and correct.

Keep up the good work…

GT at 2015-12-28 18:37:23

Good sprinting by Atko as United break quickly.

That’s an area of his game which has improved noticeably this season.

GT at 2015-12-28 18:35:58

Atko is doing what all sensible referees should do in these circumstances…let the players get on with it and only intervene if you must

GT at 2015-12-28 18:35:13

The game is opening up now though…Blind falls over and Hazard is close to setting up the opener for Chelsea.

From the resulting corner, de Gea makes a sensational save to deny John Terry

2 minutes

GT at 2015-12-28 18:32:52

Mata smashes one against the crossbar when he should really have hit the target

GT at 2015-12-28 18:32:11

Neither side has settled yet and it’s all a bit ragged.

Not easy for the referee in these circumstances as he will be trying to establish a pattern of play to follow.

GT at 2015-12-28 18:30:13

Chelsea take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2015-12-28 18:26:06

It’s almost time for kick-off at Old Trafford…


GT at 2015-12-28 18:17:40

As for our referees today…

Despite a poor showing in the recent Refcam match Norwich City v Everton, it is no surprise to see PGMOL ‘favourite’ Martin Atkinson handed another big game.

Having had his position amongst the top referees at EURO 2016 confirmed, we all hope Atko gets his mind back on the job at hand, and takes control of this potentially fiery encounter.

Certainly, heading into the EURO Championship year Atko will be acutely aware that the UEFA Referees’ Committee will be keeping a close eye on his ability to handle tough games as they begin to think about who will take charge of which games in the summer. There have, after all, been five players sent off in the last six League meetings of these two teams.

So, Martin needs to step up the plate today and show everyone he deserves a place at the ‘top table’ by refereeing this one in a firm and accurate manner.

Everyone at YATR hopes he can do that, as we all wish to see English referees climb to the top of the world and European ladder.

He has with him his usual duo of assistants in Mike Mullarkey and Steve Child, with Mike Dean making up the quartet as fourth official.

GT at 2015-12-28 18:10:16

Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s live Refcam commentary…

…and what a game we have for you in this final round of fixtures before we all say goodbye to 2015.

Manchester United host Chelsea in a clash which few would have believed would be prefixed with the comment, 6th versus 15th in the Premier League!

Both of these sides are struggling for form, and would be grateful to end the season in one of the European qualifying places, when they really should be challenging for the tile itself.

Louis van Gaal’s promised ‘philosophy’ has turned out to be a rather damp squib, and defeat again today will surely add more weight to the cries for his departure from the Old Trafford hot seat.

Ironically, should LVG lose see his reign end prematurely, he may well be replaced by the recently departed former Chelsea boss, the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’, Jose Mourinho, although I’m not convinced that selling Manchester United scarves outside the ground bearing his name reflects well upon the club.

This fixture has usually provided goals, with only two 0-0 draws in the past decade.

However, despite having spent over £200 million Louis van Gaal cannot buy a goal at the moment. And, away from home, Chelsea may be happy to settle for a draw. They would do well to remember they have won at Old Trafford more times than any other Premier League side though, and another win today would not be a huge shock.

There should be more than enough talent on show to produce a spark of magic, so let us all hope this proves to be the spectacle it should be and we see a game of open, attacking and attractive football.

Who do you think will take the spoils at Old Trafford today?

Let us know by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at