Southampton -v- Liverpool


TS at 2015-02-22 19:13:19

Join us next time on You Are The Ref and visit the website for the up to the minute discussions of all refereeing matters. The Ref Show with Alan Biggs, Keith Hackett and Mark Halsey this week will be interesting as it has been a bad weekend for some of our top referees. Tune in for that – Thanks for your company today – adios until the next time.

TS at 2015-02-22 19:09:51

In summary the issues of the first half where incorrect awards were made in the penalty area set the tone of referee incompetence in this game. These are ‘result changing decisions’ that need to be adjudicated correctly. They were not correct today and there is no hiding place for a while we’re who does not deliver decision to expectation and the perception of players, managers and spectators. Judgement is the name of the game in refereeing and if judgement is suspect then the whole issue of credibility is questioned. Despite having a much better second half the issues of the first 45 minutes will be the talking points and Kevin Friend will need a massive amount of support and encouragement from the organisation to recover from this game. How different the result might have been if the penalty awards-and the DOGSO – had been correctly awarded. Thanks for your company as Liverpool move to 6th just a point behind the Saints. Full Time

TS at 2015-02-22 19:05:04

Corner Liverpool – in no hurry! Played short to win a throw. Saints clear their lines as Liverpool are almost home and wet! Yellow Card Caution Elia in the dying minutes.

TS at 2015-02-22 19:02:55

Saints’ fans head for the exits as Liverpool coast into,added time with a two goal lead and that all important  ‘clean sheet’. You’ll never walk alone resounds around the ground as 4 minutes of time allowed are displayed.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:59:29

A much better second half for referee Friend as he has delivered most of his decision to expectation and with good work rate been able to position himself closer to a play. Good chance for Stirling to extend the lead but the keeper saves well. 3 minute to go plus time allowed.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:56:53

Johnson down hurt near the touch line and receiving treatment. Could the referee have enforced his removal to the touch line to keep,the game on the move. Frustration is mounting. Caution fornHenderson to illustrate just that. Yellow Card

TS at 2015-02-22 18:54:38

Liverpool will use every trick in the book to absorbe time to see out the game. The officials need to be aware and negate these instances when they arise. Goalkeepers are past ,asters of the art and throw in restarts are also something to raise awareness for the officials.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:50:34

Thanks to Guy Bealenfor his message of support as AlbertmMoreno receives a caution for a reckless challenge. Yellow Card

TS at 2015-02-22 18:48:36

Double substitutes as both teams make changes. Substitutions for injured players do not normally sound alarm bells for the referee to raise their game, unlike tactical changes which can cause a temporary threat to control. The player entering the field of play, in Law, must not enter until his team mate has left and a good ploy for officials is to slow down the change over when the tempo has increased.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:46:12

GOAL! Stirling nets for Liverpool to,double the lead.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:44:26

The game could go either way with 20 minutes to go. Vital that the officials teamwork and decision making is spot on as we move into the final stages.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:42:31

Good position from Referee Friend to judge no offence in the penalty area. He came across deep into his Assistant’s patrol area to make the decision in ‘coffin corner’ as I called it during my days on the league! Get it wrong and youRe dead!

TS at 2015-02-22 18:37:41

The caution was issued despite Wanyana playing the ball but yet on the Stirling penalty appeal,in the first half there was no penalty and no caution! Where is the consistency?

TS at 2015-02-22 18:36:21

Caution for Wanyana for SaintsYellow Card

TS at 2015-02-22 18:35:26

Subs about to enter are for Liverpool are Lallana of for Sturridge.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:32:29

The playing conditions are difficult with the heavy rain quickening the pace of the ball in ff the surface. Cold and rain also have to be taken in the stride by officials as the requirement of maintaining concentration is a must. Signs of a lack of these assets normally show through signalling and not running that extra few yards to gain the best viewing position. Watch for that in the final 30 minutes as we have reached the hour mark.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:22:53

Corner for the Saints. – not fully cleared but Liverpool work rate effective in sending the ball back to Saints’ keeper. 50 minutes gone.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:20:54

Good offside judgement by Darren Cann – the first close award of the game. The first offside decision for each assistant is important to establish early credibility of their judgement for everybody on the field of play. What are your views on the standards of decision making by assistant referees since the start of this season? There are feelings within the game that standards have slipped in recent times and that the PGMOL have not made any public appointment for someone of the quality of Paul Rejier to continue the wonderful work he did in the past. Let us have your views on Twitter @youaretheref or email to

TS at 2015-02-22 18:17:31

The Sky half time ‘pundits’ we’re at 6s and 7s about the penalty awards showing how difficult the job is for the referee but I stand by my first viewing of the three incidents and say ‘Penalty’ on all three. All this about ‘going down to easy’ is not an issue if a player is being held. It is up to the referee to get a good view and make a judgement. The view has been there but the judgement has not in my opinion. The handling offence by the Liverpool goalkeeper was ‘hand ball’ and should have earned a card.  Second half about to start. The whistle blows and we’re underway. Please let us have your thoughts on throughout the game. Davis on for the Saints.

TS at 2015-02-22 18:05:27

During half time – Check out that wonderful article on the You Are the Ref website by Jason Pettigrove with the headline – ‘Riley – the referee chief who hears nothing and says nothing’. An excellent piece of writing that factually spells out the problems of the PGMOL and in particular points a finger of suspicion towards the inept leader of the pack!

TS at 2015-02-22 18:04:29

A handling offence by Liverpool keeper was undetected by Assistant McDonough before a ‘ball to hand incident’ was the decision when Saints wanted another penalty! It has been the most difficult 46 minutes for any referee that I have seen this season. Cries of ‘you’re not fit to referee’ resound around the stadium as the half time whistle blows. This referee needs serious help from the coaching staff at PGMOL and on this first half performance may well not receive an appointment next week! Why was he on this game today after the disaster at Bradford las weekend. Half Time

TS at 2015-02-22 17:59:09

caution for Lovren for a reckless challenge earns applause from the home fans Yellow Card

TS at 2015-02-22 17:56:56

Foul rightly awarded by Assistant Cann gives Liverpoll,a free kick but it comes to nothing. 41 minutes played.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:52:47

No penalty awarded to Liverpool when the referee was in an excellent viewing position in worrying! Perhaps his failure at the opposite end was a factor in his ‘bottling’ the latest clear penalty award! If that is the case – it is deeply disturbing!

TS at 2015-02-22 17:49:37

It’s important that the first cautionable, reckless challenge is punished with the appropriate sanction as players see any less action as a weakness of the referee. Correct decision making from simple awards to the major ‘big five’ is a vital skill for a referee. Breaking down decision making into three clear categories helps to simplify the thought process and is something that should be coached into referees at every level. Not sure that it’s happening at Select Group level!!

TS at 2015-02-22 17:48:39

Stirling flattened in the penalty area for another clear reckless challenge that should have resulted in a caution and a penalty kick. Is the fact that Referee Friend failed at Bradford with decisions in the penalty area last week, becoming a factor today?

TS at 2015-02-22 17:46:31

The wet and windy day is making playing conditions difficult as Lallana wins a freekick and player dissent is evident.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:44:23

Another contentious decision in front of Assistant McDonough but nothing given before Saints get a freekick awarded by the Assistant. 28 minutes gone.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:38:51

Courtinho wins a free kick on half way and a firm word by the referee to the offender.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:37:09

20 minutes gone and Liverpool are passing the ball confidently when they are in possession.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:35:23

After a wobbly start Referee Friend is working hard with his fitness and displaying good movement through the midfield areas.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:33:56

Liverpool working hard to close down their opponents when they have lost possession. That is something the referee should be aware about as it can lead to acts of retaliation if the pressure becomes more physical.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:31:38

Corner to the Saints and ball. Or rectory placed. There has been a spate of instances where inches have been gained with the ball outside the quadrant. Why do players do this? Is it to undermine the referee’s authority?

TS at 2015-02-22 17:29:28

Push by Henderson on half way rightly awarded. Lovren getting boos from the crowd! Let’s hope he doesn’t react!

TS at 2015-02-22 17:27:03

Foul awarded to Saints outside the penalty area. Excessive spray cleared before the kick taken but the cross is long and Liverpool have a throw.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:24:28

Referee Friend of course is not on the current FIFA list – sorry for the slip! With decisions like these, FIFA are good judges!

TS at 2015-02-22 17:23:04

Referee Friend needs to use all his international experience today as he hopes to progress within the Premier League and enhance his reputation. He will be very aware that he needs to maintain his focus on all his domestic games and to perform consistently well throughout the current season and into the next to retain his FIFA place in the light of competition from the younger referees who are pushing for places. His inability to communicate effectively is one of his greatest problems in my opinion and his body language never seems to inspire player confidence. In the FA Cup at Bradford City last week, he missed the award of a blatant penalty kick and the decision should also have resulted in the dismissal of the defender. Incorrect major decision frustrate everyone and you can ask Mr Jose Mourinho about that after the game at Chelsea yesterday. Two big decisions in the first 5 minutes and both wrong in my opinion!

TS at 2015-02-22 17:21:04

Second penalty appeal by the Saints but nothing given.  Another questionable decision as referee Friend becomes the focus of displeasure by Southampton.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:19:12

Goal Liverpool GOAL! Coutinho

TS at 2015-02-22 17:17:41

Immediate penalty area decision for Referee a friend to make! My first thought was ‘penalty’ as the defender held back the attacker. Penslty for me and a sending off for the DOGSO! Not a good start for referee Fruend!

TS at 2015-02-22 17:15:35

The whistle blows and we’re underway. Please let us have your thoughts on throughout the game.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:11:17

Fourth Official Lee Proberts might have to work extra hard in the technical area today in maintaining the balance of control due to the issues of the transfer of players between the two clubs. It should be interesting!

The teams are in the tunnel ready to enter the field of play for the game.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:10:05

Saints’ manager Ronald Koeman is decidedly cool about ex-players Lallana, Lovren and Lambert returning to St Mary’s and let’s hope the Liverpool alliteration doesn’t give him ‘L’ before the end of the game! The trio parted company with his club last summer and it will be interesting to hear the crowd reaction when they appear today. In the press conference on Friday, Koeman lost his cool with reporters asking about the return of the former prodigal sons. Liverpool will select a team to try and win the game but whether any of the ‘L’ factor are in the starting line-up will be interesting. In fact only Lambert of the Triple L Factor is not in the starting line-up. After the issues of ‘who takes the penalties’ which arose on Thursday, Brendan Rodgers will have had issues of his own in maintaining a happy dressing room. All these issues could become factors in today’s game and let’s hope that the referee has designed a ‘game plan’ of his own to deal with all eventualities.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:08:43

Thanks to Stuart Martin for his work on the Everton -v- Leicester City game where he rightly pointed out the physical inadequacies of Referee Dowd who continually was behind play and in the way of play. I loved the Tweet by Rick Ellinger who correctly identified that Ref Dowd was ‘frequently in the passing lanes used by the players’ – a very astute observation Rick.

TS at 2015-02-22 17:07:25

Southampton – v- Liverpool
Sunday February 22nd 2015 – kick off 4.15 (GMT)
Referee – Kevin Friend
AR 1 – M. McDonough
AR 2 – D. Cann
Fourth Official – Lee Proberts

Good afternoon and welcome to You Are The Ref which features the last of three Premier League games today. This potentially exciting class between two teams, in need of the points, to push onwards and upwards to challenge for European places. Let us hope Kevin Friend, an under-achieving referee in my opinion, displays the skills today that are required to established himself as one of the ‘safer pair of hands’ of the referees on the Premier League. It has all the makings of a very close and competitive game and is rightly billed as ‘The clash of the High Flyers’.