Middlesbrough v Manchester United


Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-03-19 15:05:58


So the referee talking points in this game were:

  • Jon Moss kept out of the game as much as he could and just let the players get on with it, which was the correct tactic for this encounter.
  • An intervention from AR1 in the 23rd minute which led to the first caution of the game seemed a little over the top, but luckily did not have any effect on the game.
  • A petty skirmish in added time should have resulted in a couple of yellow cards for Unsporting Behaviour for adopting aggressive attitudes, but this being overlooked did little to detract from a sound performance from the officials.

Key match decisions going against Manchester United seem to be the order of the day this season, so it is nice to get through a game without another one!

Fitness and positioning have often been this referees Achilles heel, but to be fair, he has not been caught out too far behind much in this one, which undoubtedly must have had a positive effect on his recognition of fair and unfair challenges.

There was always the possibility that this game could turn out trickier than it normally would be, due to the respective goings on in the week building up to the fixture, but in the end it just went according to form and provided precious few talking points.

Jon Moss has had a habit in the past of making an easy game look difficult, but to be fair to him and his colleagues today, the officials have stuck to their tasks quietly and efficiently and kept a really low profile whilst always coming in to manage what little needed to be dealt with as and when it arose.

I mentioned at half time my reservations about the first yellow card and there was just one reckless challenge by Eric Bailly (MU3) which might have got away in the 63rd minute, but all-in-all, even with the handbags at the end, there really is little criticism which can be directed at the officials at the end of this game.

As for the commotion in the tunnel after the game, the officials are instructed to be the last people to leave the field of play and the best practice is for the 4th official to go down the tunnel first, so I would expect them to have had a good look at what went on and to include it in the referee’s report of the game.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:53:48

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More Ref Cam this weekend

GB at 2017-03-19 14:53:11


My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please stay tuned for Manchester City v Liverpool which will be coming up at 4.30pm today.

It’s an international break weekend next week, but RefCam will be back in April when we kick off with one of the most intense derbies in the EPL fixture list as we cover Liverpool v Everton 12.30 on 1st April.

Coverage continues with:

1st April Southampton v Bournemouth 5.30pm

2nd April Swansea v Middlesbrough 1.30pm

2nd April Arsenal v Manchester City 4.00pm

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:  http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2017-03-19 14:52:21

Full Time

Middlesbrough 1 v 3 Manchester United


GB at 2017-03-19 14:51:38

GOAL!  Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

Middlesbrough 1 v 3 Manchester United


GB at 2017-03-19 14:49:53

Minimum of 4 added minutes

The minor fracas looked more like handbags in the end, but I am sure if any of the officials had seen the whole thing then a couple of yellow cards for adopting aggressive behaviours would have been appropriate.



GB at 2017-03-19 14:47:44

There seems like there will be a talking point at the end of this one after all!


GB at 2017-03-19 14:46:00

That could have been the BIG call which the officials got right as the Middlesbrough player went down in the penalty area – Jon Moss did well to give himself an angle to judge that one correctly from where he was positioned.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:42:42


That free kick given by mistake as the Man Utd player kicks the boot of the Middlesbrough player, actually demonstrates the type of “safe” tempo management I would have expected the referee to display from now in.

That free kick was followed immediately by a couple more. When a game has gone this well for the officials, it is quite normal for them not to take any chances near to the end in order to try to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:38:23

Now the officials need to show their skill to close this game out without messing up a key match decision which could effect the final result. Concentration, Alertness and Awareness will be vital in these closing stages.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:35:05

GOAL!  Rudy Gestede (MID 29)

Middlesbrough 1 v 2 Manchester United



GB at 2017-03-19 14:33:12

Seeing the referee allow time for a player to tie his laces up is unusual in a Premier League game. It is also something which is a pet subject of mine, as I never held up the play for this. Under which part of the law should a referee allow this – apart from common sense of course!


GB at 2017-03-19 14:28:03

Good off side call then by AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area) – that just demonstrated excellent concentration to look across the line as the ball was kicked by the goalkeeper.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:22:47

Eric Bailly (MU3) looked to have committed a reckless challenge then with his boot way off the ground. Its OK managing the game when the temperature is as low as this one, but clear reckless challenges need to be punished appropriately.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:20:25

GOAL! Jesse Lingard (MU 14)

Middlesbrough 0 v 1 Manchester United


GB at 2017-03-19 14:17:49

The pace of this game clearly suits today’s referee as he has managed to get ahead of the play far more often than I have noticed him do before. It cannot be underestimated how important it is to be close in when the big call comes along.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:13:27


There was another credible sprint put in by the referee who certainly seems to be putting some effort in today. Unfortunately he still has that running style which looks like his legs are going like mad but he is not getting anywhere, but at least in this game it has been effective for him so far …….


GB at 2017-03-19 14:09:50

At least the competitive nature of the game has increased now so there is more for the officials to get involved with.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:07:56

Fair play to Jon Moss then for his public warning and management of Fabio Da Silva (MID 2) following his careless challenge which looked worst than it was. When looking back to the first caution in this game, thats what I meant by the referee’s tolerance level being affected by his AR. Moss has got this one where he wants it and is prepared to manage what he can.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:04:07

That would have been interesting if the player had deliberately gone to ground to head the ball back to his goalkeeper, as that would not have been allowed. As it was he slipped, so no offence was committed.


GB at 2017-03-19 14:02:02

Manchester United get the second half underway.

Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-03-19 13:58:33


All the officials would have settled for a first half like that, in which they have hardly been noticed at all. The first 22 minutes actually went by without a single free kick required and the teams playing like it was a training match. In games like that it would always be important for the officials to stay focussed for when the temperature suddenly went up. When the first free kick came along in the 23rd minute it was correctly signalled by AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area). But within seconds, the same AR was influencing the referee with another signal for a foul challenge which he deemed worthy of a yellow card for Phil Jones (MU 4). I hope that does not come back to bite the officials as that looked like a very cheap caution for me when the players merely seemed to run into each other.

The second caution of the game was a good example of the referee not lowering his standards even though this was such a low-key quiet game. You can take your choice in law as to whether the caution for Adam Clayton (MID 8) was for delaying the restart of play or failing to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in – but either way, he had it coming!

Movement wise, Jon Moss has not been caught out of position yet and has put in a few sort sprints to keep up with the players in what has not been exactly a frenetic end to end encounter yet.

GB at 2017-03-19 13:47:22

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GB at 2017-03-19 13:46:46

Half Time

Middlesbrough 0 v 1 Manchester United


GB at 2017-03-19 13:45:16

Another easy free kick for the referee to give with that push in the Man Utd penalty area. Did you also notice his good short sharp whistle tone. In a quiet game like this, thats all that is required not blowing too hard and too many times means that the whistle will work for you when you need it .


GB at 2017-03-19 13:40:57


There was another example of a “safe refereeing” style on show from Jon Moss today. There has been so little for him to get involved with, he is not taking any chances by not giving a simple free kick for a careless challenge so close to the interval.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:38:31

This game is not exactly being played at a frenetic pace which will suit this referee how has managed to generally stay in touch satisfactorily so far.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:35:56


Jon Moss raising his profile now with that second Yellow Card of the game for Adam Clayton (MID 8) for delaying the restart by not retreating 9.15 metres.

After such a quiet start to this game, I have to say that the referee has judged his involvement level well so far are not missed much. The first yellow must go against his AR’s door, and I will talk more about that at half time.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:32:14

GOAL! Marouane Fellaini (MU 27)

Middlesbrough 0 v 1 Manchester United

There was just a “little” advantage played by the referee in the build up to the first goal. Judging by the way the referee has kept this one going so far, that was actually not surprising.



GB at 2017-03-19 13:28:13

And AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area) plays a major part in the second free kick of the game in the same minute as he spots a coming together which results in a Yellow Card for Phil Jones (MU 4). Not sure that would have crossed the referee’s tolerance level today so the AR has put pressure on him now by telling him that was worthy of a yellow card.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:25:14

And relax ….

First free kick of the game, but Jon Moss still didn’t give it – that pleasure went to AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area)


GB at 2017-03-19 13:23:43

Concentration is the name of the game now. It will be important for the officials not to get lulled into a false sense of security and suddenly miss a foul challenge as they have not had a sniff of one yet.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:20:27


If this ones stays like this I expect Jon Moss to feel guilty about picking up his match fee at the end of the month. Has anyone heard him blow his whistle to stop the game yet, with 20 minutes gone?


GB at 2017-03-19 13:16:28

Games like this present the officials with other ways to impress when there is not aggression or real passion on display. It all come down to positioning, fitness and body language, without getting involved in the game unnecessarily.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:14:03

14 minutes gone and not a single free kick – I am sure the officials would have settled for that. The first one will be even more important now.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:10:33

When the players get into that opposite corner from the AR, the referee really needs to squeeze the play just in case something happens in there.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:08:09


Jon Moss gets his first big call to make as the Middlesbrough player goes down inside the Man Utd penalty area. At least he was a credible distance away and had a decent view which helped him sell his decision.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:04:47

Good teamwork between the officials then as the AR did not jump in with a signal when it was clearly the referee’s call for that corner.


GB at 2017-03-19 13:03:28

With such a strong wind affecting this game, it is important for the referee to adapt his positioning accordingly. There is no point being a slave to your diagonal if the ball is constantly in the opposite channel.

Kick Off

GB at 2017-03-19 13:00:17

Manchester United won the toss so it will be Middlesbrough v  to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at  info@you-are-the-ref.com

GB at 2017-03-19 12:56:57

If you spot something in today’s game which you feel would be worthy of a detailed analysis, contact me on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com  and I will include the item in our very own  “The Verdict” section in the new Academy section of our website.

GB at 2017-03-19 12:56:16

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel

GB at 2017-03-19 12:49:45

@youaretheref I thought Mike Dean had a good game at yesterday

Thanks for your Tweet Rob – The RefCam Team thought Mike Dean did well yesterday too:

Bournemouth v Swansea City


GB at 2017-03-19 12:46:53

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GB at 2017-03-19 12:43:57


Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Jonathon Moss

AR1: Simon Bennett (Technical Area)

AR2: Eddie Smart

4th Official: Robert Madley

Jon Moss has his work cut out today if he hopes to walk off the field of play without the cameras focused on him and his team.

Jose Mourinho has his tail up after the effect the referee had on his Team’s exit from the FA Cup on Monday, but there is a school of thought that he should also take a look inward at the tactics he presumably instructed his players to use against Chelsea. The United Manager sidestepped the second yellow card incident as best he could after the game, whilst still making it clear he was not impressed, and it has to be said he was in good company. Ref Cam’s Mark Halsey came out immediately at the time and assessed that Oliver could have displayed better tempo management in the game, which would have allowed him to manage the decisive Herrera’s challenge on Hazard, whilst still maintaining his control and authority. Alan Biggs subsequently consolidated the concerted opinions of the You Are The Ref team about the way the hectic Quarter Final was orchestrated here:  Flagship Game Failure

On paper, this does not have the makings of another “battle at the bridge”, but with time running out to secure that converted last ECL place as we enter the business end of the season, I predict a few more “win at any cost” scenarios over the next few weeks. With that in mind, I expect today’s referee to be very supportive of his 4th Official and not stand for any histrionics from either technical area. Jon Moss has been criticised for his decision making and movement in the past, but the one thing he is never guilty of, is shirking his responsibilities when it comes to responding appropriately to poor behaviour in the technical areas. So whatever kicks off on the field of play, watch out for a tight rein to be kept on what goes on off it!

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-03-19 12:42:48


26     Víctor Valdés (MID 26)

2       Fabio Da Silva (MID 2)

5       Espinosa Bernardo (MID 5)

6       Ben Gibson (MID 6)

7       Grant Leadbitter (MID 7)

8       Adam Clayton (MID 8)

10     Álvaro Negredo (MID 10)

14     Marten de Roon (MID 14)

17     Antonio Barragán (MID 17)

19     Stewart Downing (MID 19)

21     Gastón Ramírez (MID 21)


12     Brad Guzan (MID 12)

18     Christian Stuani (MID 18)

22     Deal Fry (MID 22)

27     Adlene Guedioura (MID 27)

29     Rudy Gestede (MID 29)

34     Adam Forshaw (MID 34)

37     Adama Traore (MID 37)

Manchester United

1       David De Gea (MU 1)

3       Eric Bailly (MU3)

4       Phil Jones (MU 4)

8       Juan Mata (MU 8)

12     Chris Smalling (MU 12)

14     Jesse Lingard MU 14)

16     Michael Carrick (MU 16)

18     Ashley Young (MU 18)

19     Marcus Rashford (MU 19)

25     Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

27     Marouane Fellaini (MU 27)


5       Marcos Rojo (MU 5)

11     Anthony Martial (MU 11)

20     Sergio Romero (MU 20)

22     Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MU 22)

23     Luke Shaw (MU 23)

24     Timothy Fosu-Mensah (MU 24)

36     Matteo Darmian (MU 36)


GB at 2017-03-19 12:39:13


Manchester United rock up in the North East without three of their big names on the team sheet today. The suspended Ander Herrera and injured midfielder Paul Pogba will be on the side-lines along with their start sticker, who serves his final ban of the three matches he received for his deliberate elbow in the game against Bournemouth. They may be fortunate not to be another man down as well, following the FAs decision not to take retrospective action against Marcos Rojo, for what looked to all the world as intentional a stamp as that made by Tyrone Mings, which provoked Ibrahimovic into his violent conduct – read Keith Hackett’ s views on this here: Hackett’s verdict – stamp inconsistency

The sacking of the Middlesbrough manager this week brings caretaker Steve Agnew to the helm, who will be desperate to replicate what has happened at Leicester City since they rang the changes recently. It is well known how a change at the top can often motivate the players to greater heights, so this should add a little bit of extra spice to the game, along with more pressure on the visitors to fulfil their potential. Referees at all levels need to do their homework before every game, so there can be no excuses for today’s officials not to be prepared for the added burden this could put on them to keep the lid screwed down on this one.


GB at 2017-03-19 12:36:31


Welcome to this RefCam coverage of the Premier League game between Middlesbrough and Manchester United.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com .