Manchester United v Manchester City


RH at 2016-09-10 15:02:48


So the Refereeing talking points in this game were

  • An extremely demanding and pressurised game that needed the best man for the job, and that’s exactly what we got!
  • Demanding both mentally because of the immense pressure of the occasion and physically because of the pattern of play also!
  • A superb performance that achieved a finely tuned balance between penalising infringements and allowing the game to breathe. A master class in involvement level, application of Law 12 and not becoming the centre of attention
  • Impact, control and Authority delivered in the most testing of games
  • Only blemish being the failure to award a penalty for Bravo’s challenge on Rooney
  • Movement and positioning were exemplary

I have attempted to sum up the overall excellence of Mark Clattenburg’s performance today, I have hopefully covered many of the elements of his contribution that were in overall terms a Master class in the art of Refereeing. Believe me it is so hard to judge your involvement level to such an extent that you have complete control, authority and Impact and yet still be able to take the pressure off yourself by allowing the focus of he game to centre on the players. Even during periods of high tempo and crowd frustration  Mark Clattenburg never became the pantomime villain! Movement and positioning were as always of a high standard such that decision making accuracy was of a high order. But unfortunately there was one blemish that being Bravo’s challenge on Rooney as the City goalkeeper got himself in trouble in his own penalty area. For me the challenge was reckless and should have resulted in a penalty to United. I also feel that the Referee had the right to have expected his active Assistant Simon Bennett to have intervened given his side on view of the challenge from an ideal viewing range. I can’t lay the blame on the failure to penalise the challenge on the Referee as he was not well placed as the challenge was very much on the Referees right side of the penalty area where his view would have been looking at the challenge from a fundamentally end on position. I felt that penalty appeal for handball on Otamendi would have been very harsh so the decision was correct in my view. That apart both Assistants did well on offside decision making especially Jake Collins first half flag on Mkhitaryan and Simon Bennett’s second half decision to rule Ibrahimovic offside as the ball entered the net. A mention also to Mike Dean who did well in managing the Technical Areas. Overall a fantastic game that really did have everything, a wonderful advertisement for Premier League Football!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:24:12

Full Time

Summary to follow

RH at 2016-09-10 14:23:26

Yellow CardFrenandinho picks up a late caution for a midfield Reckless challenge!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:22:07

United still press forward and Ibrahimovic forces a late corner, but play is halted after the restart with a Pogba push on Bravo, quite right

RH at 2016-09-10 14:19:21

A minimum of 5 minutes additional time to be played!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:17:13

Valencia concedes a free kick and City through De Bruyne counter attack to stretch the legs some more!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:15:51

There are plenty of tired legs out there, but Mark Clattenburg looks remarkably composed and mobile which underlines his credentials as one of the world’s top Referee’s!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:13:48

There is more Premier League action coming your way over the next eight days, tomorrow we’ve got a fascinating game to view when another of this seasons strong openers Chelsea take the trip to South Wales to face Swansea at 4.00pm. Next weekend we feature Saturday tea time action as Everton who’ve also started well face new boys Middlesbrough on Merseyside at 5.30. Two cracking games to follow on Sunday as Man United feature again this time at Watford with a 12.00 kick off. We then round off the weekend action as David Moyes takes his Sunderland side to Tottenham for a 4.00 kick off

RH at 2016-09-10 14:13:11

Its been fierce and competitive but never out of control, both Managers look completely immersed in the game but overall composed, these factors reflect well the contribution of the Referee and Fourth Official

RH at 2016-09-10 14:11:11

Yellow CardRooney finally gets that caution with a trip on Bravo

RH at 2016-09-10 14:08:02

Another careless challenge by Rooney, whilst accepting that he Referee has much on his plate, the United player has been fortunate to escape a caution today!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:06:47

Its such a fine to decide in a game such as this when and when not to penalise despite such pressure, the point being here is that when he does blow his whistle he delivers impact and authority, that’s an art so hard to master!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:05:04

Just before that penalty call the tackles were flying in but the Referee looks calm and assured in allowing the game to continue, Clattenburg’s ability to remain focused  and in control in such demanding circumstances does him much credit!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:03:04

No United penalty as the Referee decides rightly in my view no penalty, ball to chest!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:01:38

United counter attack and the Referee has no option but to deliver an explosive sprint box to box!

RH at 2016-09-10 14:00:23

Otamendi is in the wars again as Bailly crashes in to concede a City corner

RH at 2016-09-10 13:59:05

A great call from Simon Bennett as he rightly judges that Ibrahimovic gets a touch on the Rashford goal bound shot and is offside!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:57:50

City continue to pass their way out of trouble and as a result the tempo lulls for the time being, but expect things to hot up for sure later!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:56:49

Its certainly a much more even game now with both Assistants getting an even spread of play!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:54:36

One thing you can’t say about this game is that its dull!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:53:18

I’ve only had the one look at the Bravo/Rooney incident, whilst I feel that it should have been a penalty and was reckless, I feel that assistant Simon Bennett could have supported the Referee better with his side on view

RH at 2016-09-10 13:49:40

So was that Bravo challenge on Rooney fair or should he have been cautioned? Well for me it was reckless and should have been a penalty!

or should it have been a red card for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity taking in to account the players positions?

What are your thoughts? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

RH at 2016-09-10 13:45:28

Bravo gets self in a mess and goes 50/50 with Rooney who goes to ground!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:43:36

Its high octane stuff at the moment as both teams sense there is something in this game for them, the next goal is going to be pivotal! This is Refereeing focus at its upmost!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:41:11

As expected the second half has started high tempo and Fellaini gets the fourth caution of the game for Reckless use of an arm on Kolarov Yellow Card

RH at 2016-09-10 13:39:41

Yellow CardIbrahimovic cautioned for a rash tackle on Otamendi

RH at 2016-09-10 13:37:53

Rooney just needs to be careful here, that another careless challenge and they are mounting up!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:37:07

Such was the quantity of action In the first half that I didn’t mention the trademark Clattenburg movement and positioning much , but rest assured its been much in evidence!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:34:16

As we suspected, United ring the changes with two substitutions as Rashford and Herrera are on!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:33:16

The second half has started!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:26:20

This game is beautifully poised for the second half but none of the headline grabbing  action so far has centered on the Match Officials. Mark Clattenburg has demonstrated textbook tempo management and involvement level so as to only involve himself when necessary and deliver impact and authority when he’s intervened, the result being that he is not the centre of attention, which is just as well as the second half looks like its going to be epic!  Jake Collin and Simon Bennett look to be on their game too so there is no baggage for the match officials to be taking into the second half. A word of praise too for Mike Dean he’s stepped in well twice to calm nerves. De Bruyne looks total class, I expect he won’t get so much space in the second half, and United must surely change their game plan? Don’t go away!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:17:46

Half Time

Wow! what a close to the half!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:17:01

That caution of course should have read ‘halting’ a promising City attack!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:16:22

two minutes minimum of additional time to be played

RH at 2016-09-10 13:15:59

Yellow CardBailly cautioned for hating a promising City attack

RH at 2016-09-10 13:14:55

Just commenting further about the caution incident, Mike Dean moved in well to calm both managers and Otamendi was lucky that the Referee’s focus was not on him with a stupid challenge in the later part of the incident

RH at 2016-09-10 13:13:13

GOAL!United back in it  through Ibrahimovic 2-1


RH at 2016-09-10 13:12:04

Yellow CardStraight forward caution as Silva recklessly challenges Valencia


RH at 2016-09-10 13:10:46

Rooney lives and dies by sword there loosing the ball, the Referee moves in though just to be safe, great stuff!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:09:26

The Referee’s involvement level is superb at the moment, he’s not being over cautious and trying to strangle the game and as a result he’s not becoming the focus of United frustration!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:07:27

There is more Premier League action coming your way over the next eight days, tomorrow we’ve got a fascinating game to view when another of this seasons strong openers Chelsea take the trip to South Wales to face Swansea at 4.00pm. Next weekend we feature Saturday tea time action as Everton who’ve also started well face new boys Middlesbrough on Merseyside at 5.30. Two cracking games to follow on Sunday as Man United feature again this time at Watford with a 12.00 kick off. We then round off the weekend action as David Moyes takes his Sunderland side to Tottenham for a 4.00 kick off

RH at 2016-09-10 13:06:44

Great non offside call from Simon Bennett as Iheanacho scores!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:05:54

City show their current domination as they pass around the penalty area and build an attack that results in a GOAL! 2-0 City!

RH at 2016-09-10 13:03:21

The Referee will need to keep an eye on the Fellaini Nolito situation, the City player not happy with some pulling pushing when they last competed for the ball, Clattenburg moved in quickly to defuse it

RH at 2016-09-10 13:00:45

I expect City to move the ball around even more now as the confidence of the lead will enable them to play their natural game

RH at 2016-09-10 12:59:12

Jake Collin spot on there as a marginal offside decision halts Mkhitaryan in that last United attack!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:57:35

The Referee just calming down Rooney for a careless challenge as he pursued a second phase ball, the match tempo is not high and the Referee is correct to manage the challenge, well done!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:56:12

Worth mentioning the great depth of the Referees diagonal earlier to monitor a ball in/out of play, superb!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:54:52

A confrontation there between Guardiola and Rooney at a throw in, both Referee and fourth official keeping low key, fair enough!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:52:05

Handball Lingard, free kick to City, correct!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:50:17

A good tip for any aspiring Referee is Mark Clattenburg’s upright stance when he’s moving around the field of play, be that walking or sprinting, this ensures that he keeps a complete head to toe viewing of any competing players!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:47:22

Will the frustration of the crowd filter down through to the players? this could be an important phase of the game for the Referee

RH at 2016-09-10 12:45:23

GOAL!De Bruyne strikes first for City

RH at 2016-09-10 12:44:37

In terms of United attacking play its fitness and being quick off the mark to get those all important viewing angles on the counter attack!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:42:41

Important that Mark Clattenburg moves around the final third as City attack wide ensuring that 1) he creates good viewing angles and 2) that he keeps play at a good viewing distance between himself and his active Assistant!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:41:09

Great advantage from the Referee as City break from midfield!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:39:36

Bailly careless on De Bruyne, free kick!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:38:52

So its City with possession looking to stretch United wide and create gaps, with United counter attacking, so Simon Bennett must look long across the field of play to track play whereas Jake Collin is coming into the game suddenly as United attack with that pace!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:36:01

Nice advantage in that last City attack was Fernandinho was pushed

RH at 2016-09-10 12:34:55

Not too much in the way of grappling!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:34:18

First corner so what can we expect?

RH at 2016-09-10 12:33:22

For the second Premier League game that I’ve bogged in succession the Referee and Assistants are wearing the same colour shirt as one of the goalkeepers

RH at 2016-09-10 12:30:54

If you are watching the game on TV, Simon Bennett is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Jake Collin is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2016-09-10 12:30:12

Our match Referee Mark Clattenburg gets us underway!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:27:27

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

RH at 2016-09-10 12:25:46

As far as the tactical aspect of this game goes I expected City to play a possession game and move the ball around as they build from the back and go forward, United are not playing Mata and have brought in Lingard so its obvious Mourinho is looking for more pace on the counter attack. So what does this mean for the Referee and his team? Will City attack wide through wing backs? Or will they slowly build with possession looking for that all important final ball into the penalty area? Either way player challenges and offside calls will feature, as for United’s attacking play, yes offside and challenges will feature but will they occur through the channels at pace? Almost two games in one, fascinating!

RH at 2016-09-10 12:20:59

The following is an extract from Jason Pettigroves excellent ‘Runners and Riders’ piece that can be found on the ‘You are the Ref’ website ahead of each weekend’s Premier League action!


‘’ Mark Clattenburg: Manchester United v Manchester City The biggest game of the weekend gets exactly the right appointment.


Fireworks are almost guaranteed at Old Trafford, and Mike Dean will have just as busy a time on the touchline as Mark Clattenburg will on the pitch.


There’s a real sense of unfinished business between Messrs. Guardiola and Mourinho and although whoever wins this won’t get much more than just the three points on offer at this stage, top spot could be available outright if Chelsea don’t do the business at Swansea.


It’s the fifth time that Clattenburg has been handed this fixture and in the previous four he’s handed out 19 yellow cards and one red.


City supporters won’t be happy to note that in the five times he took charge of a United game last season, they remained unbeaten. Not that superstition in football means anything of course!


We should fully expect the same levels of professionalism and application from ‘Clatts’ that saw him as arguably Europe’s best in 2015/16.

Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know

Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV) Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0 Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0 ‘’

RH at 2016-09-10 12:14:07

Today’s Match Referee is Mark Clattenburg. His Assistant Referees are Jake Collin and Simon Bennett. The Fourth Official is Mike Dean

RH at 2016-09-10 12:05:16

They don’t come much bigger than this! Refcam resumes its coverage after the international break with a massive game that pitches Jose Mourinho against Pep Guardiola for their first ever Premier League head to head, Its the Manchester derby, United verses City!