The FA Cup Final: Arsenal v Chelsea


GT at 2017-05-27 19:43:43

Stay with us here on YATR as we have yet more live commentary on Refcam.
It is that time of the year when finals come thick-and fast…
Tomorrow sees another huge clash as Blackpool and Exeter City meet in the League 2 Play-Off Final.
Later in the day we move over the pond to the USA for more MLS coverage of Atlanta United v New York City.
Then it’s back to the Wembley on Sunday for the Championship Play-Off Final between Reading and Huddersfield Town where, of course, a place at the lucrative top table of English football awaits the winners.
If you still crave more football then next Saturday we also bring the UEFA Champions League Final to you.
In between all of the action head over to our website where there are details of how you can join the unique Academy offered by YATR.
What an opportunity that is, giving you the chance to ask for help, coaching and guidance from match officials who have been there and done it – Mark Clattenburg, Mark Halsey, Keith Hackett, Roger Dilkes, Dean Mohareb, to name just a few.
The annual Youdan Trophy event will soon be with us too, and you will find full details on how and where to see the action on our website.
All of this, and much more, shows why YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.
Keep it here on

GT at 2017-05-27 19:42:51

Thank you once again everyone…that was a final to remember, and your contributions added hugely to the enjoyment…

GT at 2017-05-27 19:41:31

Before I leave you to enjoy the rest of your Bank Holiday weekend, here is a small selection of the messages pouring into us about referee Anthony Taylor.

Thank you again for all of your comments today…

Brooklyn Lloyd-Meek @Brooklyn_meek1 Anthony Taylor absolutely superb
Luke Jack Conlaund @ConlaundLuke A fantastic decision to penalise for clear simulation(dive) in the penalty area. Moses tried to deceive the ref but failed.
Ken Stephenson @RedStevaA top class performance from Anthony Taylor

GT at 2017-05-27 19:37:21

Yes, Chelsea may consider themselves unlucky in the handball by Sanchez going unpunished in the build-up to the opening goal, but there is no blame due to Anthony for that one.

He was where he could have been expected to be, whilst his assistant was focused upon and offside call, and I am afraid that occasionally something happens in a football match which no one can be expected to see.

Calls for VAR will be even louder following that goal, and it is my understanding that we shall see it in use in next season’s FA Cup. But it was not in use today, so people have to live with that (why has the PGMOL shied away from its introduction in the Premier League, by the way?)

Let us consider Anthony’s other massive call….to wave away Moses’ appeal for a penalty and to show the Chelsea man a second yellow card for attempting to deceive the referee.



And one which everyone in the game wants to see more.

Anthony Taylor…go and enjoy your evening, my friend.

Take the praise which you are due, have a lovely meal and a celebratory drink…then look back on your Cup Final performance with pride.

GT at 2017-05-27 19:30:10

In a week which has seen awful atrocity in his home city, the Manchester-based official put in a performance to raise everyone’s spirits.

From as early as the 4th minute when he bravely – and correctly – consulted with assistant referee Gary Beswick resulting in Arsenal’s opening goal being allowed to stand he was quite simply outstanding today.

GT at 2017-05-27 19:27:39

As much as Sanchez, Wenger, Per Mertesacker, et al deserve the plaudits, I shall save my praise for the man-in-the-middle…

Anthony Taylor, you were magnificent today

GT at 2017-05-27 19:26:06

And that is it…Arsenal are the 2017 FA Cup Final winners.

Congratulations to The Gunners from everyone at YATR…

Full Time

GT at 2017-05-27 19:24:53

Arsenal attempt to burn-up precious time by taking off the excellent Sanchez.

Elneny takes over…

GT at 2017-05-27 19:23:27

We are into the 4 added minutes at the end of this final

GT at 2017-05-27 19:22:57

Bellerin has four nibbles at his opponent but Anthony Taylor is so full of confidence he allows every one to go unpunished as Chelsea continue to press.

Excellent refereeing.

88 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:19:53

Costa off for Batshuyai as Chelsea make their final change

GT at 2017-05-27 19:19:08

…and as if there has not been enough action, Ozil strikes the post

GT at 2017-05-27 19:18:23

With just 5 of the regular 90 minutes to go thoughts start on the reflection of this game…

This is the exact same fixture as The FA Cup Final I officiated in in 2002, a game which I thought was superb.

But this one has topped that game – we have had everything.

What a great game…but how well has Anthony Taylor performed?

Absolutely brilliantly well, for me.

84 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:15:38

…and the substitute’s first contribution earns him a deserved caution for delaying the restart of play (he kicked the ball away after committing a foul)

Another good call by referee Anthony Taylor

Yellow Card

83 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:14:05

Arsenal make another change – Coquelin comes on for Oxlade-Chamberlain

81 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:13:10

Yellow Card for Xhaka for deliberately pulling back Willian.

Correct decision and very good to see the part Gary Beswick played in it.

GT at 2017-05-27 19:11:20

Chelsea were level for a matter of seconds before substitute Giroud pulled back a tremendous cross and Ramsey met hit full-on with an unstoppable header.

What a superb final this is…

78 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:10:09

But wait a moment…

GOAL! Arsenal !!

GT at 2017-05-27 19:09:33

Love him or loathe him…who wouldn’t want him in their side?

Diego Costa brings back Chelsea from the brink of defeat, as Olivier Giroud takes over from Danny Welbeck for Arsenal

76 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:07:49

GOAL! and it’s that man Costa…

GT at 2017-05-27 19:06:53

15 minutes to go of the regular 90.

Are these the final 15 minutes of Arsene Wenger’s reign as Arsenal manager, or would victory today mean a new deal for the Frenchman?

GT at 2017-05-27 19:05:12

brianstockport @brianstockport @youaretheref And, WOW, what a great decision – DIVE
William Triffitt @WRTriffitt21Quality decision by Anthony Taylor. Absolutely spot on to send Victor Moses off. Excellent refereeing @youaretheref
The praise is pouring in for Anthony Taylor…and deservedly so.
Here is just a small selection of the Tweets…

72 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 19:03:39

Chelsea have to change things around and do so as Willian takes over from Pedro

GT at 2017-05-27 19:02:17

Anthony Taylor…if I was wearing a hat, I would take it off to you.

GREAT DECISION to send off Moses.

GT at 2017-05-27 19:00:56

Massive call from Anthony Taylor…

Not only has he turned down Victor Moses’ appeal for a penalty but he has produced a second caution for the player.

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC piece of work by referee Anthony Taylor…take a bow.

The game has been crying out for that kind of action for years.

Yellow CardYellow CardRed Card

GT at 2017-05-27 18:57:09

This is going from end-to-end but Anthony still looks very comfortable, and is effortlessly staying with the pace of the game.

61 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 18:53:06

Change for Chelsea.

Fabregas takes over from Matic.

Can the former Arsenal favourite break Gunners’ hearts?

59 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 18:50:58

And another Chelsea caution as Kante is late in the challenge on Ramsey.

That is two for each side now.

Yellow Card

57 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 18:49:10

…and it is.

The Chelsea man pulled Welbeck to the ground as he was moving away.

Another correct call by Anthony Taylor.

Yellow Card

GT at 2017-05-27 18:48:06

That has to be a caution for Moses…

54 minutes

GT at 2017-05-27 18:45:30

Yellow Cardfor Holding of Arsenal.

A small foul on Costa but it stopped a promising attack so a caution is the correct decision.

Well done AGAIN Anthony


GT at 2017-05-27 18:44:02

As we all try to draw a breath in this frantic final…take a look at Anthony Taylor’s body language.

Whilst many around are losing their cool, he remains so calm.

This is as good as I have seen Anthony referee in a long time.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:41:44

And the Blues are indeed giving it a right go…

Poor Gary Beswick must be wondering when the action is going to switch to the other end of the field of play!!

GT at 2017-05-27 18:39:54

Chelsea have to turn up this half…they looked off the pace kin the opening 45 minutes.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:37:34

Here we go…

Time for the second half.

Arsenal get us going again

GT at 2017-05-27 18:37:01

Luke Jack Conlaund @ConlaundLukeGary Beswick has looked very nervous, not particularly confident in making his decisions in that 1st half
I agree 100% Luke…I know Gary well, and when I saw him in the tunnel pre-match I said to my daughter that he looked very nervous.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:35:23

Apologies for that lengthy half-time summing up!

But I hope it explains why the officials reached the decision they did?

Keep those comments flowing in…Twitter is alive today!

Let us know what you think and give us your views by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref

GT at 2017-05-27 18:32:38

Now for the second reason some people wanted the goal to be ruled out…

Did Sanchez handle the ball?

I am much more open to that argument…at the first viewing I called it as a good goal on both counts – as I try to be as fair as possible to the match officials and make a quick call just like they do.

The one view I had made me reach that decision….however, subsequent different camera angles show that Sanchez had his arms in an unnatural position and he could not have complained if the goal had been ruled out for handball.

But…remember where Anthony Taylor was when the Arsenal number 7 handled the ball…exactly where you would expect him to be.

So no criticism whatsoever for missing that one will come from me.

And remember also…Gary Beswick was flagging for offside so his concentration was on Ramsey, not Sanchez.

Did Arsenal get away with it then?

Yes, they probably did…but these things sometimes happen. It is not possible for match officials to always see everything.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:26:14

There is only one placed to start summing up that half…

The 4th minute when Arsenal took the lead.

Assistant Gary Beswick raised his flag for offside against Ramsey, but the Arsenal man was not involved in active play.

Sanchez raced forward and scored the goal (Sanchez was never in an offside position)

The goal should not be ruled out for offside, and Anthony Taylor was outstanding in the way he dealt with the situation.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:21:01

Half Time


GT at 2017-05-27 18:20:28

Excellent spot by Anthony again – Monreal pushes over his opponent despite neither being close to the ball.

Anthony does exceptionally well to see that one.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:19:08

Two added minutes to go on…

GT at 2017-05-27 18:18:04

Hazard goes down under a challenge from Ozil.

The Arsenal man is fortunate to avoid a caution for that one.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:16:28

Just a couple of minutes of the opening 45 to go…where has this half gone?

GT at 2017-05-27 18:14:51

Chris @thechrisbriddon Arsenal didn’t gain any advantage from Ramsey being stood there


@Daniel_Swfc  They were in the same position, no way has it impacted him. Courtouis doesn’t even appeala were at no disadvantage either

Two excellent tweets from a couple of YATR contributors (Chris and Daniel) which explain why Anthony Taylor was absolutely correct in awarding the goal.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:11:17

Foul by Azpliacueta on Xhaka.

Good call Anthony…free kick for Arsenal

GT at 2017-05-27 18:07:44

More good work from Anthony Taylor as he continues to spot the little fouls…

He has had an excellent game so far

GT at 2017-05-27 18:05:52

Whether everyone agrees it was a good goal, or believes it should have been ruled out for offside, the one thing most agree on is….

The offside law needs further clarification.

GT at 2017-05-27 18:03:58

There is a lot of debate amongst YATR Refcam followers on whether the goal should have stood or not…

Opinion is certainly divided!

keep your views coming in…we take every one of them onboard

GT at 2017-05-27 18:01:09

Anthony is working hard with the players, trying to offer them understanding in what a big occasion this is – Kante could have had no complaints if he had seen yellow for that foul on Welbeck, but Anthony is doing his best to keep his cards in his pocket.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:59:30

A quarter of the game has passed and we must pay testimony to Anthony Taylor.

Remember…he will have been nervous too, keen to impress, yet he had the calmness and capacity to recognise his AR’s mistake and was brave to go over and question Gary on why he raised his flag.

Some referees may have simply gone with the ARs decision and a ‘good’ goal would have been incorrectly ruled out.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:55:28

Ryan Eldred @ryan150602
Good decision in the end. Poor call to flag from AR Beswick!

Absolutely correct, Ryan…nerves maybe played a part with Gary as he went looking for that early decision.

I would like to bet he would have taken that fraction longer if this had been a League game.

That’s what nerves can do to you…especially in an FA Cup Final.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:53:09

…and now Arsenal hit the post – TWICE!

Will the real Chelsea please stand up.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:52:19

Gary Beswick looks like a man with a lot of worry on his mind.

Come on mate…clear your mind. It has gone, and the correct decision has been reached.

No harm done.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:50:01

I expected a great game..and the opening 15 minutes have not disappointed…

Now Arsenal have a second effort cleared off the line…Gary Cahill saved Chelsea going two behind, there.


GT at 2017-05-27 17:47:46


What drama…

…and now we have Monreal in the referee’s notebook for a block.

Another good decision by referee, Anthony Taylor

Yellow Card

GT at 2017-05-27 17:46:38

The ball was flicked over the top of the Chelsea defence and there was clearly an Arsenal player in an offside position (Ramsey).

BUT he did not make contact with the ball and Sanchez gave him a shout to leave it.

Sanchez was NOT in an offside position, he took the pass and slotted the ball home.

Two questions remain…did Ramsey make a movement towards the ball? – not enough in my opinion to warrant the goal being ruled out.

Did Snachez deliberately handle the ball – not for me.

Goal scored.

Goal should stand.

Very well done Anthony Taylor.

Gary Beswiick – you just need to delay your flag a moment longer, and you would have realised that Ramsey was not involved in active play.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:41:19

Anthony Taylor went over to discuss the situation with Gary Beswick…and the correct decision followed.

Goal for Arsenal, scored by Sanchez….

I’ll explain why that was the correct decision…

GT at 2017-05-27 17:39:45


the goal stands!

GT at 2017-05-27 17:39:16

But hang on…

Here is a moment of controversy as Arsenal have the ball in the net, and Gary Beswick raises his flag….wrongly in my opinion

GT at 2017-05-27 17:37:46

Early decision for assistant Gary Beswick.

Corner kick for Arsenal…good decision

GT at 2017-05-27 17:36:04

Typical opening to a cup final…both sides trying to make sure each player gets an early touch of the ball.

Anthony Taylor is, sensibly, not charging around after every pass.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:33:48

Here we go…

Chelsea take the kick-off and get us underway in the 2017 FA Cup Final…

GT at 2017-05-27 17:31:29

No commentary for a minute folks, as we all share a moment to remember the tragedy of this week.



GT at 2017-05-27 17:22:32

It’s almost time for kick-off at Wembley Stadium…

How will this one go?

What do you think of the match officials?

Let us know and give us your views by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref

GT at 2017-05-27 17:13:10

As for our officials…

Anthony Taylor is the man who has the pleasure of leading out the teams on to the hallowed Wembley turf.

Do not underestimate the enormity of that achievement.

I once heard a referee say, ‘For all his millions, Roman Abramovich will never lead out the teams into an FA Cup Final. But I have’.

That sums up perfectly how big an occasion this is for Anthony and his team.

Match officials are only ever appointed once to an FA Cup Final.

This is their one, big chance and FA Cup Final weekend is one which every match official who has been involved in will never forget.

From last night’s Eve of Final Rally, to the lovely hotel the whole team stays in; from the tickets and hospitality afforded to guests to standing on the field of play as the National Anthem is sung.
This truly is a lifelong experience which Anthony and his three colleagues must try to soak up whilst remembering they also have a job to do.

Talking of his colleagues, Anthony is supported by my assistant referee of the season in Gary Beswick, along with Marc Perry. Whilst Bobby Madley takes up his position in the technical area as fourth official.

As with the players, success will come to those who stand up to the pressure of expectation, and everyone at YATR hopes Anthony and his team contribute to a feast of exciting, attacking football without controversy.

Very best wishes to you all, boys, may the ball run kindly for you.

GT at 2017-05-27 17:10:37

Hi everyone, and welcome to one of the highlights of the season

It is FA Cup Final day, and YATR is delighted to bring to you live Refcam commentary.

Neither of today’s finalists have had too far to travel as Arsenal and Chelsea meet at Wembley Stadium in this showpiece event.

I am particularly delighted to be able to bring coverage of the action for this one as this was the exact same fixture that I did when appointed to The FA Cup Final in 2002.

That day Arsenal emerged victorious following one of the greatest ever Cup Final goals scored, by Gunners legend Ray Parlour.

Many experts and pundits predict an entirely different result today however, as League Champions Chelsea have the look of a side intent and capable of completing the double.

Do not write-off a wounded Arsenal squad, though.

This is exactly the platform which suits them as they look to wipe out the disappointment of failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in twenty years.

League form counts for nothing in a cup final. This is a one-off, winner-takes-all game and it will be all about which set of players copes better with the pressure, and which team takes its chances.

This is a tough one to call either way, but do let us know who you believe will be triumphant and what you think of the match officials by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref