Manchester United v Chelsea


DM at 2017-04-16 18:03:22

Don’t forget to tune in to the @youaretheref Ref Show tomorrow, where @no1lino and @Paulmcg8 join @AlanBiggs1 to discuss the weekend’s action

DM at 2017-04-16 18:01:32



The game had two big decisions for the referee to make and in my opinion he unfortunately got them both wrong.  The decision not to penalise Herrera for handball and then the caution of Cahill early in the second half, for a challenge that warranted a red card were key match incident errors.

Poor positioning and a lack of alertness and awareness from the referee were key features of his game today and issues that led to these two big calls being judged incorrectly.  There was almost a complacency in the style of the referee, he appeared far too relaxed at times and then in other periods of the game, he showed his inexperience refereeing games of this standard by displaying hesitancy and a lack of confidence in his decisions.

The game always looked as though it was simmering and at times the heating was allowed to rise rather than cool down as the referee did not tempo manage effectively and slow the game down, giving the clear free-kicks and reducing the amount of advantages in these phases are techniques officials should use to ensure control is maintained.

Both Assistants and the 4th official gave a good level of support. There is no doubt that AR Beswick was the shining star of the team and he is in my opinion a future ‘major tournament’ Assistant Referee.

I applaud PGMOL for appointing a ‘different referee’ to the game and there is no doubt that Madley was in-form coming in to this.  Today will prove good experience for his development and the major points to build on are:

  • Positioning, movement and fitness
  • Alertness and Awareness
  • Tempo Management

Thank you for tuning in to ref cam.

DM at 2017-04-16 17:53:39

Full Time Summary to follow…

DM at 2017-04-16 17:53:00

Full Time



DM at 2017-04-16 17:51:55

MUFC Sub 18 off, 24 on


DM at 2017-04-16 17:50:37

Yellow CardMUFC 9 Cautioned for delaying the restart of play



DM at 2017-04-16 17:49:53

Minimum of 4 minutes added time


DM at 2017-04-16 17:48:35

Yellow CardChelsea 4 Fabregas for unsporting behaviour


DM at 2017-04-16 17:43:56

AR Beswick gives a Manchester United throw-in with confidence, excellent body language and sold the decision well.  He is an Assistant to take in to the trenches with you, always supporting the referee.

DM at 2017-04-16 17:42:36

@mortenag think Madley needs to be more proactive overall, just being there and discouraging Pogba from standing on the ball and having a presence avoids it getting to the stage where he has to caution


DM at 2017-04-16 17:41:02

Chelsea sub 5 off, 14 on


DM at 2017-04-16 17:40:37

MUFC Sub 19 off, 9 on


DM at 2017-04-16 17:36:30

The referee is taking too many unnecessary risks.  The Manchester United defender was fouled deep in his own half.  Manchester United are winning 2-0 – give the free-kick to maintain control.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:33:25

Yellow CardMUFC 5 Rojo cautioned for unsporting behaviour.  Good to see the referee alert to that one on this occasion.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:31:28

Yellow CardMUFC 21 Herrera cautioned – I would suspect that was persistently infringing the laws of the game – very harsh


DM at 2017-04-16 17:29:35

You feel that this game is constantly ready to boil and spill over.  The referee has to slow it down and ensure he remains fully in control.  He is missing lots of little things and showing signs of hesitancy and a lack of confidence.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:26:46

Offside indication by AR Beswick, the referee hesitated then blew up and awarded the free-kick as Fellaini moved deep in to the Chelsea half.  I know the player was out wide but an advantage clearly accrued there and the referee should have played it.  The hesitancy is showing a clear lack of confidence from the referee.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:24:34

Chelsea Sub 21 off, 22 on


DM at 2017-04-16 17:23:42

Bobby Madley ‘s movement is poor in the opening stages of this second half, he is static at set-pieces and central and detached during open play.  He needs to be more dynamic and create a viewing angle.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:18:13

MUFC Sub 14 off, 16 on


DM at 2017-04-16 17:17:02

The referee stops play for Rashford but it was not a serious injury, why?  If he judges the challenge as fair he should play on.  This shows a lack of confidence in his decision.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:15:53

Cahill charges in to Rashford and catches the back of his leg, close to the touchline.  It is a careless challenge and the referee does not award a free-kick.  Again Bobby Madley is a long way from play and very central.  He is missing quite a bit now.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:14:35

Good flag by AR Beswick for a foul by Costa, again the referee is very central and detached from play

DM at 2017-04-16 17:13:25

Bobby Madley has had a major issue today in tempo managing this game.  His alertness and awareness is not what it should be and his decision not to dismiss Cahill results from a complacency in his style and poor positioning.


DM at 2017-04-16 17:12:06

Chelsea Sub 15 off, 4 on

DM at 2017-04-16 17:10:02

#MUFCCFC Gary Cahill is in my opinion lucky to escape with just a yellow card.  The challenge was made at speed, with a straight leg of the ground and he made contact with his opponent, clearly endangering his safety.  In my opinion this was serious foul play and a red card.

DM at 2017-04-16 17:08:42

GOAL! MUFC 21 Herrera


DM at 2017-04-16 17:08:01

#MUFCCFC I think that Gary Cahill should have been dismissed for serious foul play, as the challenge endangered the safety of an opponent.  More to follow…


DM at 2017-04-16 17:07:06

Yellow CardChelsea 24 Cahill for a reckless chalenge.

DM at 2017-04-16 17:03:14

Bobby Madley gets the second half underway

DM at 2017-04-16 17:00:08

Don’t forget to tune in to the @youaretheref Ref Show tomorrow, where @no1lino and @Paulmcg8 join @AlanBiggs1 to discuss the weekend’s action

DM at 2017-04-16 16:57:05

When will somebody stand up for referees?  Keith Stroud and his colleagues have been harshly treated in comparison to those players who have put their hands on referees, who have seen a 50% reduction in their suspensions since those imposed on Di Canio and Prutton.  Have a read of Hackett’s Blog to see what he thinks HERE

DM at 2017-04-16 16:55:25

Crossing hands is a bad habit that many officials do to communicate that they are not stopping play to make a decision, in effect they are playing on.  In these instances the referee should on the majority of occasions do absolutely nothing.  In this incident Bobby Madley crosses his hands which suggests he has seen the incident and it is not a handball. This is clearly not the case.

DM at 2017-04-16 16:49:01


Half-Time Summary

The main talking point of the first half is the decision by Bobby Madley not to penalise Herrera for handball.  Manchester United then went to the other end of the field and Rashford scored goal.  In my opinion, the decision the referee made was incorrect as the handball was intentional.

  • The ball was played from distance
  • Herrera’s hands were both outstretched and in an unnatural position

So why did the referee not penalise Herrera?

In my opinion, the opening few minutes had not caused him any issues, he became very relaxed and perhaps complacent.  Bobby was not aware of the scenario that was unfolding and his positioning was too narrow and detached.  He ended up with a player in between him and the incident so did not see Herrera’s actions fully.  This has been mirrored later in the half in the referee’s awareness of the clash between Costa and Rojo.

The second half is likely to be a sterner test for the referee as Chelsea search for an equaliser.  He will need to increase his alertness and awareness and ensure that he remains fully in control.  Recognition of challenges and choosing when and when not to card will be key.

DM at 2017-04-16 16:47:43

Half Time



DM at 2017-04-16 16:47:25

Good work by AR Beswick to move back from the touchline when the players are on top of him.  This opened up his viewing angle so he was able to correctly call a throw-in to MUFC.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:45:35

Minimum of 2 minutes added time


DM at 2017-04-16 16:40:33

In a game like this where it is simmering a couple of players are standing out as potential targets or problems, the referee has to be fully aware of what is going on.  It is clear that Rojo and Costa could threaten his control so he has to be fully alert as to what is going on.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:37:43

Rojo and Costa clash and then demonstrate performances worthy of an Oscar.  Bobby Madley correctly tells them to get up and get on with the game.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:34:59

Good flag from AR Kirkup as Pedro is fouled on the touchline


DM at 2017-04-16 16:33:56

Yellow CardCHE 19 Costa cautioned for Unsporting Behaviour for a late challenge.  The referee allowed the player to turn his back on him and he is obviously still wound up.  I would advise officials to take their time in such circumstances and make sure you speak to the player and slow things down, ensure he is calm before you restart.



DM at 2017-04-16 16:31:20

Referee stops play following a head injury to Lingard.  Restart is a dropped ball.  An easier decision would have been to have given the free-kick as it was a careless challenge.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:29:00

Costa unhappy as AR Kirkup does not flag for a challenge on him by an opponent.  In the aftermath, Costa regains possession and is fouled, Bobby Madley plays an advantage.  May have been better to have given the free-kick under these circumstances.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:25:35

As two Chelsea players are fouled near the technical areas, the game is spicing up a little.  Fellaini spoken to by Bobby Madley.  You can sense that a caution for a reckless challenge is not too far away.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:23:42

Bobby Madley in an excellent position following a Chelsea Counter attack to firstly recognise Pogba’s challenge on Costa as fair and then Kante’s challenge on young as a foul.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:20:41

Costa is certainly on the Manchester United hit list today.  Rojo correctly penalised for a push on the Chelsea player.  The referee is going to have to have a physical presence and not be too far away from any incidents today to stop them escalating.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:14:41

Diego Costa pushes Bailly in the penalty area.  The crowd and Manchester United players tried to persuade the referee that the Chelsea player should receive a card.  Bobby Madley correctly and calmly speaks to Costa and awards a free-kick only.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:12:55

Bobby Madley is going to have to remain fully focused here and not allow the previous incident to stay on his mind.  An important skill for a referee is to be able to ‘park a decision’ and move on.  More mistakes happen when officials do not do this.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:10:20

A very quiet opening few minutes and then a Key Match Incident.  The ball was played by a Chelsea player and clearly struck the hand of MUFC 21 Herrera.  His arms were outstretched, the ball was played from a reasonable distance and in my opinion the referee should have awarded a free-kick to Chelsea.  The referee played on and Manchester United then scored at the other end.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:08:05

GOAL! MU19 Rashford



DM at 2017-04-16 16:07:20

First free-kick of the game as Pedro fouls Young.  Good flag by AR.


DM at 2017-04-16 16:06:06

Not a lot for Bobby Madley to do so far in the first 5 minutes.  Manchester United are intent on keeping possession and a lot of the game has been played around midfield.

DM at 2017-04-16 16:00:33

Bobby Madley gets the match underway

DM at 2017-04-16 16:00:06

As well as the Laws of the Game, match officials have to also know the Competition rules.

Alonso has been injured in the warm-up.  As the team-sheets have been submitted, Chelsea have replaced him with a named substitute (Zouma) and that player can also be replaced and has been by Ake who was not initially listed as a substitute.  The referee will then report the change to the competition.  The change is not classed as a substitution.

DM at 2017-04-16 15:52:03

Coming in to this match, Bobby has refereed 29 matches this season, showing 120 yellow cards and dismissing 3 players.  Bobby will be assisted by the excellent Gary Beswick and the experienced Peter Kirkup.  Unfortunately, Peter has a reputation for not getting involved when he should do, so let’s hope that he is very strong and supportive this afternoon.  Andre Marriner is the 4th official and I could not think of a better suited official to be in that role this afternoon.  He has a calming influence and is a real team player so he will have the referee’s back.

DM at 2017-04-16 15:47:54

It will be very interesting to see United’s formation without Ibrahimovic starting.  Tactical awareness is key for match officials and they will need to respond to the change in style and be aware of it in their positioning and movement.

DM at 2017-04-16 15:42:13

After a widely-applauded display last week Bobby Madley takes charge of this match in what is sure to be a stern test of his refereeing ability.  One thing is for sure, the players are bound to test him this afternoon and he must balance good management with displaying authority.  He cannot afford to be perceived as weak or over officious, getting the balance will be key.  Effectively recognising challenges is key this afternoon.

DM at 2017-04-16 15:40:13

Welcome to this afternoon’s EPL fixture on ref cam as Manchester United host Chelsea at Old Trafford.