Sunderland v Liverpool


Full Time

RCT at 2015-12-30 22:48:06

Full Time

Thanks for tuning in, and wherever you are in the world, a Happy New Year from the team here at You Are The Ref to you and yours.  Join us in 2016 (Saturday 2nd January to be exact) for two RefCam games, starting with West Ham v LIverpool, KO 12.45pm.

Full Time

RCT at 2015-12-30 22:41:38

Full Time

What struck me tonight was the respect that the players had for each other – no “Norman Hunter” type challenges (if you don’t know who he is, ask your Dad). The accuracy of Kevin Friend’s penal offence judgements certainly helped in this context as the player’s trusted him to make the correct decisions and he did not let them down.

Full Time

RCT at 2015-12-30 22:40:07

Full Time

What is often forgotten post-match is the contribution of the Assistant Referees.  One minor blip apart Andy Halliday and Simon Bennet both gave commendable displays to back up a sound and solid performance by Kevin Friend.


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:38:51

I love it when Keepers come up for corners …….


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:35:54

Mannone saves point blank from Benteke, another good non-give for offside.


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:34:09

4 minutes additional time, no arguments with that length of time ,,,,


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:31:35

Yellow CardAnother correct caution, this time for Lens, (good co-operation and teamwork with the referee visably checking with his Assistant), the challenge was reckless and, in my opinion did not endanger the safety of his opponent, and therefore no red card.


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:26:00

8 minutes to go, plus the additional time for the goal celebrations, substitutions etc, I reckon about 4 additional minutes to add so far ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:24:06

Best practice here would be for the referee to walk sideways to a ‘neutral’ area in between him and the player and invite the player to join him at the ‘3rd point of the triangle’.


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:22:20

Yellow CardMoreno correctly cautioned for his cynical challenge on Watmore, but I am not sure I like the referee’s instance that the player comes to him.  In law he is not obliged to do so, and what if Moreno refused to come to the referee and questioned his authority by doing so …..



RCT at 2015-12-30 22:18:56

Whilst ever the game just has one goal, it’s very open and the refereeing team need to stay ultra focused.  I sense a second Liverpool game wins the game, on the other hand an equaliser for Sunderland would raise the roof ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:11:54

Another good positive intervention by Andy Halliday on the far touchline ,,,,,,


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:08:26

In addition, the text-book refereeing took place in the technical area (aka the 3rd penalty area) in terms of key areas of the field of play) to impress the coaching staff !!


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:06:39

text-book refereeing, 10 meters from play, standing still, waiting until he was sure that no advantage accrued before awarding the free-kick …..


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:04:09

I sense an increase in temperature, as predicted, as the Black Cats press for an equaliser, I think more cards will be on the way inside the next 15 minutes …..


RCT at 2015-12-30 22:01:45

Yellow CardKevin Friend 100% correct in his decision to caution Can for his reckless challenge, the player can have no complaints (although I am sure he will !)


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:54:15

No mention from the host broadcaster with regard to the quality of Simon Bennett’s offside non-give in the build up to the Liverpool goal – great judgement as Lallana deflected the ball forward and Benteke was level, and therefore onside


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:51:04

Goals are often ‘trigger points’ for a change in the tempo of the game, let’s see what develops in the next 10/15 minutes ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:49:38

GOAL! Benteke cashes in on a minor deflection to open the scoring – that’s a blow to the Home Team ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:48:29

Here we go – the ‘easier’ half successfully negotiated …..

RCT at 2015-12-30 21:43:56

Half Time

So, who gets your vote for the Premiership referee of the year.  To my way of thinking we have 3 major candidates, Mark Clattenburg, Martin Atkinson and Craig Pawson and I want to give an honorable mention to Anthony Taylor.  Let us know your thoughts @youaretheref.


Half Time

RCT at 2015-12-30 21:35:25

Half Time

Refereeing at this level is a game of “risk and reward”, has the referee risked his match control by not cautioning Moreno, hoping to get the reward of retaining match control with minimal formal sanctions.  What are your thoughts on this – let us know by tweeting us @youaretheref.

Half Time

RCT at 2015-12-30 21:34:17

Half Time

Now, if you were refereeing this game, would you have cautioned for that challenge in the 41st minute by Moreno? My thoughts are probably yes, a good chance for the referee to assert his authority just before half-time.


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:28:05

Brilliant by Simon Bennett – literally (almost) eyes in the back of his head – that is first class awareness !!!


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:25:24

Hah – the vanishing spray is no longer invisible !!!!


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:24:37

Now, having praised Andy Halliday, should he have given handball against Coutinho? Just a thought, what was the ‘expected’ decision, and what was the ‘safe’ decision in terms of overall match control?


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:22:22

Although you may be mistaking this incident with Neil Swarbrick’s error which was last season …..


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:20:43

Thanks to Harry Chambers @hchambers13 for his enquiry re the referee’s mistaken identity case – Harry please visit for details.


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:16:14

This is not an untypical Premiership game – hard, fast, committed yet skillful, a good test for the match officials, no concerns as the clock ticks past the 30 minute mark ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:14:44

More good officiating from Andy Halliday – his ‘body shape’ said that’s offside if you play the ball Mr Attacker, the ball runs to the keeper, thumbs up from the ref – play continues – good stuff…..

RCT at 2015-12-30 21:12:41

Sorry post, thanks to Mannone’s finger tip save ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:12:00

That’s the closest anyone has come as Firmino rattles the bar.


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:09:29

That was a good supporting flag by Andy Halliday, he was well positioned and gave the decision with conviction.  In referee parlance, it was “his to give”.


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:07:48

Half-way through the 1st half and just 4 penal offences so far, the referee would settle for that ratio for the remainder of the match.


RCT at 2015-12-30 21:06:30

Yellow CardBenteke gets what he deserves for his petulance as the keeper attempted to clear the ball – that’s one of the two “ticked off”



RCT at 2015-12-30 21:03:36

Hey – no spray – or was it that vanishing I missed it !!!!!


RCT at 2015-12-30 20:59:32

One thing to notice is the good movement of Kevin Friend as play moves into the penalty area – he is on his toes, keeping around 10-15 meters from the ball, and standing still when he can as incidents occur to give him the best possible chance of accurate decision making.

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:57:08

Mistakes in play very much in evidence early on in this game, unusually for this level of the game, so far so good for Kev Friend as he retains his focus and concentration in the face of early pressures.


RCT at 2015-12-30 20:53:17

The game has still not settled, The Stadium of Light is a passionate place at the best of times, it’s all a bit tense and frenetic – keep focused refereeing team ….


RCT at 2015-12-30 20:47:38

So, does the predicament of the Home team, striving for badly needed points, effect the Match Officials approach to the game? Something to be aware of for the opening 10 minutes or so until the game settles down and patterns develop.


RCT at 2015-12-30 20:46:27

here we go – good luck to the refereeing team …..

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:45:59

A couple of characters in the line-ups to test to referee; Lee Cattermole can be a handful, as can Christian Benteke; as a former Premier League referee colleague used to say pre match – “already got those 2 written down, I tick them of as it get them!”

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:45:32

Respect ……

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:38:42

Leicester’s Kevin Friend gets the nod from the PGMO to look after this evening’s game, supported by Simon Bennett and Andy Halliday, Neil Swarbrick looks after the Technical Area. Kevin is probably best remembered for his mistaken identity case last season; there is little doubt that he is a talented referee, but he just needs to eliminate the occasional, costly mistake, because as we all know, 89 minutes of great work can be ruined by 1 minute of madness.

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:32:36

So, who gets your vote for the Premiership referee of the year.  To my way of thinking we have 3 major candidates, Mark Clattenburg, Martin Atkinson and Craig Pawson and I want to give an honorable mention to Anthony Taylor.  Let us know your thoughts @youaretheref

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:28:42

There has been some excellent  debate on our twitter feed today, some interesting views regarding sin-bins and yellow cards, why not visit us and let us know your thoughts @youaretheref

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:23:52

It would be remiss of me not to echo Mark Halsey’s words in tribute to Pavel Srnicek.  I too had the pleasure and privilege of his company on many occasions at St James’ Park on match day, and he was a complete gentleman on and off the field, always very respectful to the match officials – rest in peace Pav.


RCT at 2015-12-30 20:19:32

In this final Premier League game of the year, the spotlight is very much on Sam Alladyce’s team who are already deep in relegation trouble – they need at least a point, in not 3, from this game.

Pre Match

RCT at 2015-12-30 20:16:09

Welcome to our coverage of this evening’s Premier League fixture from The Stadium of Light