Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

Commentary By: Rob Harris

FINAL SCORE: 2 - 2



RH at 2016-03-05 16:02:40

So the Refereeing talking points in this game were

  • Great first half cautions of Lamela and Coquelin
  • Correct sending off of Coquelin on 54 minutes to change the face of the game
  • Dier should have been sent off for pulling down Giroud in midfield having already received a caution five minutes before
  • Bellerin also pulled back Alli having already received a caution earlier in the game
  • Goal line technology proves it worth as Ospina saves

So much to talk about in what was a pulsating game that lived up to the pre-match publicity!

For so much of this game Michael Oliver demonstrated so much quality and great judgement until the Dier/Giroud incident this was a ‘big match’ performance which set high standards. It is regrettable therefore that those standards were not maintained as Dier pulled back Giroud in full view of the Referee. Its moments like this which separate Referees who are at the pinnacle of our game as opposed to those who seek that accolade. I know that Michael Oliver possesses the ability and potential to be there, but at the moment his game is work in progress. It could well be argued that had he dismissed the Spurs midfielder, that Arsenal’s Bellerin may not have chanced his luck by also pulling back Alli shortly after when he was also on an earlier caution. Not as obvious as the Dier offence but one which a top Referee would have punished with a sending off. For the first 75 minutes of this game Michael Oliver showed us what a great Referee he can be. The first half cautions of Lamela and Coquelin were superb, his sending off of Coquelin equally commendable. Lets not forget the textbook management of the Sanchez/Lamela incident, a great example of coolness and focus as he consulted with Assistant Stephen Child and then called over the Arsenal captain before cautioning his team mate, great stuff! So why with everything in his favour and in such a commanding position did he not send off Dier for an incident that happened right under his nose? Michael will of course reflect on that incident, the hurt that he will feel will make him a more determined and mentally stronger Referee. Moments such as that will come his way again on a similar stage, he’ll have the opportunity to make up for this and be the better for it. Both Assistants looked good, a particular mention of Stephen Child for his call not to signal Alli offside in the build up to Spurs second goal and his teamwork with Michael Oliver at the Lamela/Sanchez incident. Finally a word of praise for goal-line technology which worked brilliantly at the second half Ospina goal line save, what a fantastic game!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:36:02

Full Time

Summary to follow

 


RH at 2016-03-05 15:35:37

Its end to end as both teams press for the winner!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:33:20

a minimum of three minutes added time


RH at 2016-03-05 15:32:21

If Michael Oliver had cautioned and sent off Dier, would Bellerin have chanced his luck, well he did and he got away with it!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:31:24

Bellerin pulls back Alli in sight of Referee Oliver, not as blatant as the Dier offence, but clearly cautionable?


RH at 2016-03-05 15:29:05

We’ve got lots more action for you from this weekend’s programme, coming up after this game at 5.30 join Refcam’s Andy Martin for another game that everyone will be following as leaders Leicester travel to Watford who won’t make life easy for the title contenders. Tomorrow Refcam will be featuring the Crystal Palace v Liverpool game at 1.30 where the home team will be looking to half their slide down the table. I would love to have you aboard again when I cover the game at the Hawthorns where West Bromwich Albion host Manchester United, will Louis van Gaal trust in the youngsters again? Then at 9.30 Refcam’s Guy Beale covers the game stateside where Portland Timbers host Columbus crew as we commence our Refcam coverage of the 2016 MLS season!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:28:31

Wimmer careless on Gibbs, a dangerous free kick position for Arsenal


RH at 2016-03-05 15:27:40

The Referee showing a good variation and shrewdness regarding his set piece positioning in this game


RH at 2016-03-05 15:24:05

That Dier challenge was a key decision, unfortunately the Referee got it wrong with Girouds shirt being clearly held, that’s a pity because the Referee was  at the top of his game up to that point, but he has to remove any lingering doubts from his mind, we’ve got a massive ten minutes left!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:21:42

Another big moment as Dier (who was cautioned earlier not Wimmer) pulls back Giroud for what was a nailed on caution, it should be 10 against 10


RH at 2016-03-05 15:20:24

Walker careless on Gibbs as they both slide in to challenge in the rain, the Referee keeps his cool to award a free kick


RH at 2016-03-05 15:19:05

A big final 15 minutes or so for the match officials, Michael Oliver looks very much in control here, he just needs keep focus and maintain the high standards that he has set so far in this game!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:17:27

GOAL!Sanchez makes it all square at 2-2


RH at 2016-03-05 15:15:04

Yellow CardWimmer pulls back Welbeck to halt a promising Arsenal attack, sound caution!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:14:01

We’ve got lots more action for you from this weekend’s programme, coming up after this game at 5.30 join Refcam’s Andy Martin for another game that everyone will be following as leaders Leicester travel to Watford who won’t make life easy for the title contenders. Tomorrow Refcam will be featuring the Crystal Palace v Liverpool game at 1.30 where the home team will be looking to half their slide down the table. I would love to have you aboard again when I cover the game at the Hawthorns where West Bromwich Albion host Manchester United, will Louis van Gaal trust in the youngsters again? Then at 9.30 Refcam’s Guy Beale covers the game stateside where Portland Timbers host Columbus crew as we commence our Refcam coverage of the 2016 MLS season!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:13:42

Following Lamela’s exaggerated loss of balance in that incident with Sanchez, and bearing in mind his earlier caution, Spurs manger Mauricio Pochettino wisely substitutes his player


RH at 2016-03-05 15:11:32

TV replays confirming that Gibbs played Alli on in the build up to Spurs second goal, a great call by Assistant Stephen Child, well done!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:10:34

Yellow CardGood Refereeing and team work as Sanchez pushes Lamela with two hands, the Spurs players laughably collapses near Assistant Stephen Child, Referee and Assistant talk, the Referee calls over Arsenal skipper Mertesacker and a caution is the correct outcome, great team work!


RH at 2016-03-05 15:03:25

GOAL!Kane scores a wonder goal! 2-1 Spurs!

 


RH at 2016-03-05 15:02:44

That sending off definitely gave Spurs added momentum, why on earth did Coquelin make that challenge?


RH at 2016-03-05 15:01:23

GOAL!Lamela draws Spurs level 1-1


RH at 2016-03-05 15:00:26

Another big moment as Ospina saves on the goal line, Michael Oliver looks to his watch to check the goal line technology, no goal, what a massive moment that could turn out to be! A great example of technology contributing to a pulsating occasion!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:58:09

Yellow CardRed CardCoquelin produces a game changing moment as he trips Kane to break up a promising Spurs attack down the left side, Referee Michael Oliver spot on the Send off the offender for a Second caution!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:54:16

Stephen Child signalling Harry Kane offside in that Spurs attack, TV replays suggested that he was level out wide on the left


RH at 2016-03-05 14:53:08

Michael Oliver takes up a good left hand channel position during sustained periods of attacking play, it offers him great proximity to play and the opportunity to sell any throw or free kick decision, it also allow the Assistant operating along the left hand attacking touch line a strong lead at throw ins which always makes the teamwork look good


RH at 2016-03-05 14:48:53

Elneny careless on Alli providing us with the first free kick of the second half


RH at 2016-03-05 14:46:38

The second half has begun!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:40:04

A strong first half performance from Michael Oliver and his team. Some superb moments on show with the highlights being the cautions of Lamella  and Coquelin, where the Referee demonstrated his awareness and fine judgement to punish Lamela’s off the ball challenge on Welbeck and Coquelin’s attempt to brake up a Spurs attack with a crafty handball, great Refereeing. Michaels tolerance level has been good in allowing a well judged level of player contact but punishing anything that has challenge his control, add that to a sound recognition of offences and you have a platform for good match management. In terms of positioning I like his overall mobility and he adopts good positions at set pieces, he just needs to be careful not to overdo the box to box patrol path which left him out of position at an Arsenal counter attack late in the first half. Both Assistants look sharp so there is everything to play for in the second half!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:31:20

Half Time


RH at 2016-03-05 14:30:25

A minimum of 1 minute additional time to be played


RH at 2016-03-05 14:29:26

Looking at replays of that last Arsenal attack, it was noticeable that the Referee was too central as the Gunners attacked the penalty are, he had to work hard to move left to seek a good viewing angle, this is a disadvantage if you operate in a box to box patrol path when team attack in the channels or across the penalty area from a counter attack


RH at 2016-03-05 14:26:48

We’ve got lots more action for you from this weekend’s programme, coming up after this game at 5.30 join Refcam’s Andy Martin for another game that everyone will be following as leaders Leicester travel to Watford who won’t make life easy for the title contenders. Tomorrow I would love to have you aboard again when I cover the game at the Hawthorns where West Bromwich Albion host Manchester United at 4.00, will Louis van Gaal trust in the youngsters again? Then at 9.30 Refcam’s Guy Beale covers the game stateside where Portland Timbers host Columbus crew as we commence our Refcam coverage of the 2016 MLS season!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:25:12

So will that goal affect the tempo of this game?


RH at 2016-03-05 14:23:55

GOAL!The deadlock is broken Aaron Ramsey!

 


RH at 2016-03-05 14:22:09

One of the main factors in the high tempo of this game being Spurs high pressing that is giving Arsenal so little time on the ball, this in turn increases the number of potential decisions that the Referee is having to make, proof that games such as this tax match officials mentally as well as physically!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:19:59

The Referee insisting that an Arsenal midfield throw in is taken from the right place, just buying himself some time and a breathing space, taking a little heat out of the game, that’s good


RH at 2016-03-05 14:18:10

Michael Oliver showing really good awareness at this stage of the game, this will boost his confidence and earn the respect of the players, a good foundation for a strong performance is being built at the moment!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:16:24

Yellow CardAnother example of great Refereeing as Coquelin is cautioned for handling the ball on the ground in an attempt to prevent Dier mounting an attack, not only was it a great spot but the Referee allowed for any possible advantage to Spurs before bringing the game back, well done!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:13:40

Yellow CardGreat spot by Michael Oliver as Lamela pulls Welbeck to the ground off the ball as Arsenal counter attacked, superb Refereeing!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:12:09

Yellow CardBellerin hauls down Danny Rose for the first caution as Spurs mounted a promising attack left side of the penalty area!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:09:38

Walker picked up for nudging Gibbs, looked a tight call that!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:08:40

Michael Oliver apologises to Elneny for getting to close to ball in that Arsenal attack,


RH at 2016-03-05 14:07:30

Mike Mullarkey signals Harry Kane offside as he pursued the ball from an offside position


RH at 2016-03-05 14:06:24

As Danny Rose attacked the Arsenal penalty area, it was good to see the Referee move into position to view any potential left hand channel goal line challenges


RH at 2016-03-05 14:04:51

The Referee is choosing to operate up and down the middle in a ‘box  to box’ patrol path, given the high tempo counter attacking nature of this game at present, this is the right thing to do


RH at 2016-03-05 14:03:15

Good advantage played by Michael Oliver as Danny Rose broke in that last Spurs attack!


RH at 2016-03-05 14:02:26

Eriksen takes Spurs third free kick, but as with the second the opportunity was wasted


RH at 2016-03-05 14:01:34

Good positioning by Michael Oliver on the far side of the penalty area as the ball was swept in from the Right hand channel at that last free kick, he had most of the competing players in view


RH at 2016-03-05 13:59:39

Careless trip by Gibbs on Kane, both free kicks have been for challenges on our Harry!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:57:39

Ali goes to ground near the Arsenal penalty area, Referee superbly placed to wave play on after Ramey’s challenge, good Refereeing!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:55:50

First free kick of the game to Spurs for a careless challenge by Coquelin, Michael Oliver having words with the offender, all in the name of game management, keeping his powder dry at this early stage, I’ll go with that!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:53:46

Welbeck clearing the third corner with a header after he went to ground at the near post on the corner at the second corner moments before, he looked to the Referee, was he pushed?


RH at 2016-03-05 13:51:35

Second corner to Spurs!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:50:19

As one would have expected, a high tempo start to the game in the opening five minutes!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:49:20

First corner of the game to Spurs, good to see no grappling!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:47:23

Light rain in the North London area has added moisture to the playing surface so the ball will be moving quicker!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:45:57

If you are watching the game on TV, Mike Mullarkey is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Stephen Child is running the nearside touch line.


RH at 2016-03-05 13:45:13

Our match Referee Michael Oliver gets us underway!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:42:09

The Players and Officials have entered the Field of play!


RH at 2016-03-05 13:40:26

Michael Oliver – all you need to know Matches in 2015/16: 17 (8 on TV) Fourth official appointments in 2015/16: 8 Football League appointments in 2015/16: 25 Last refereed Tottenham Hotspur: 3 January 2016 Last refereed Arsenal: 24 August 2015 Honours: 4th official – 2013 League Cup Final, 2014 Community Shield, Assistant 2014 UEFA Super Cup, 2015 FA Trophy Final, 2015 U17 World Cup Final, 2016 League Cup Final


RH at 2016-03-05 13:38:10

Today’s Match Referee is Michael Oliver. His Assistant Referees are Mike Mullarkey and Stephen Child, The Fourth Official is Roger East


RH at 2016-03-05 13:30:04

They really don’t come any bigger than this one! In any season Tottenham verses Arsenal is a massive game, add into the mix that little matter of the Premiership title being at stake, what we have today is a contest where so much is at stake, it’s not just local bragging rights that are up for grabs here, it’s also the right to challenge leaders Leicester!