UEFA Champions League: Group A: Arsenal v PFC Ludogorets Razgrad


GT at 2016-10-19 21:43:35

We promised you goals tonight, and you got six of the best!

Thanks again for joining me.

Hope to see you again very soon…

GT at 2016-10-19 21:42:10

Thank you all again for following us again tonight.

Your input and contributions are always very welcome.

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have lots more action coming up for you at the weekend.
First up will be Saturday’s game between Bournemouth and Spurs, followed later that day with Liverpool v West Brom.
The action keeps coming on Sunday as Manchester City host Southampton and then Chelsea v Man United.
If you still crave more football and refereeing insight head over to our website www.you-are-the-ref.com where you will find loads of top quality content from former top-whistler Mark Halsey, Keith Hackett’s views on how the men-in-the-middle are faring so far this season and, of course, the ever-popular Refshow.
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 www.you-are-the-ref.com

GT at 2016-10-19 21:39:57

In a game which offered no challenge whatsoever to referee Dias, it is easy to dissect every decision and look for criticisms.

Yes, he missed a clear caution on 11 minutes as Sanchez pulled the shirt of his opponent at the halfway line.

Dias didn’t issue a caution and was incorrect in Law…but it had no negative impact upon his match control, and he saw the game through to a successful conclusion.

So let’s stay on the positives…

Dias controlled the game from start to finish and made no key match errors.

His performance did not affect the scoreline or outcome, whilst he was well supported by two alert assistants.

So, well done the referees.

You will have many more challenging games but enjoy that one for what it was (Dias’ first Champions League match) and everyone at YATR trusts you enjoy your evening and have a safe journey back to Portugal.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:34:03

And that’s our lot as Arsenal thrash their Bulgarian visitors by six goals to nil

Full Time

GT at 2016-10-19 21:33:11

Excellent work from assistant Soares who shows he is still fully concentrating, as he gives a marginal corner kick decision.

Well spotted.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:32:02

That’s the end of the 90 minutes.

referee Dias decides upon just 2 added minutes…very sensible

GT at 2016-10-19 21:30:48

Is there time for another?!!?

GT at 2016-10-19 21:30:11

It’s a lovely strike by Özil, which gives him – believe it or not – his only ever hat-trick in the professional game

87 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 21:29:07

Hat-trick for Özil and SIX  for Arsenal


GT at 2016-10-19 21:27:45

Just five minutes to go.

A sensible referee will add on very little time as this one is over as a contest, so why invite potential problems by putting on 5, 6 or 7 additional minutes.

Get the sides off, enjoy your shower and the after match hospitality

83 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 21:25:45

It is a rout as Özil gets his second and Arsenal’s fifth.

That is something the Frenchman’s side has not done in a European competition since 2010.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:24:26

GOAL! Özil

GT at 2016-10-19 21:21:27

Ludogorets make a change as Wanderson makes way for Lukoki with just ten minutes to play

GT at 2016-10-19 21:20:13

The Sanchez substitution has helped Dias in a way.

There is now no chance of the Arsenal man getting a caution, which should have been a second one (as he committed a clear yellow card foul early in the game) – so our referee has been spared that potential difficulty.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:17:06

Just 15 minutes to go.

Don’t let standards fall now referee.

73 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 21:15:12

Arsenal make their third and final change as Sanchez leaves the action for Iwobi

GT at 2016-10-19 21:14:21

Tweet just in…

@youaretheref Caution to Sanchez should have been issued earlier by Dias; he missed the trick there. Will be too late now, after the 2nd

I agree with you, and said so at the time…but Dias chose not to caution it.

It hasn’t affected hi s game control but I don’t think the Referee Observer will be too pleased.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:10:06

Very good decision by referee Dias…no penalty.

Sanchez was clear and into the penalty area. He then applied the brakes and forced contact by Palamino, who was in pursuit., in an attempt to gain a penalty.

Dias is not fooled though, and waves away the appeal.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:07:58

Here is a stat which says it all…

65 minutes played and only 14 fouls committed….with none worthy of a caution.

That is LOW KEY!!

62 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 21:03:43

The changes continue as Walcott makes way for Pérez

GT at 2016-10-19 21:02:49

With an hour gone these final thirty minutes could feel like a lifetime for Ludogorets, as it looks like it is simply a matter of how many goals Arsenal are prepared to work for.

GT at 2016-10-19 21:00:52

Dyakov is pulled to ground and Dias correctly awards a free kick.

Nothing more needed…good refereeing

GT at 2016-10-19 20:59:24

Elneny takes over from Santi Cazorla as Arsenal look to rest a few players.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:58:34

…make that four goals, as Özil slots home an easy chance.


GT at 2016-10-19 20:57:37

Good to see Ludogorets have not lost their discipline in this one.

I can think of a few sides, home and abroad, who may not have done so well after going down by three goals so early.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:51:41

This really is a matter of concentration for our referees now.

The game is over as a contest, and they have it in the palm of their hands.

They can either press it home to the end, or take it too easy and miss something.

A lesson for all referees now in how to maintain your own standards, even if those of the teams is dwindling.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:49:49

What a start to the second half by the hosts.

Just seconds into the re-start, the Arsenal number 15 puts this game to bed with a third goal.

46 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 20:48:47

GOAL! Oxlade-Chamberlain

GT at 2016-10-19 20:48:04

Thoughts echoed by one of our regular contributors and YATR followers, Jack Conlaund in his Tweet…

@no1lino @youaretheref A quiet first half for Dias but he still had a job to do nevertheless and refereed well. More of the same please

GT at 2016-10-19 20:46:40

Here we go with the second half, and it’s the Bulgarian visitors Ludogorets who get us under way.

More of the same please, referee.

Nice and low-key…but don’t be fooled into thinking all of your Champions League games will be like this!

GT at 2016-10-19 20:37:28

If there has been an easier Champions League game to referee, then I don’t remember it!

Nonetheless, referee Dias is doing well.

Yes, we can talk about a couple of cautions that he could or should have taken, but he clearly has a game plan to take this one in a low-key manner, and so far it is working for him, so let’s not be over-critical.

This has the feel of a Matchday 3 game, and reminds me of a conversation I had with a certain Real Madrid defender as we left the field of play following a rare defeat for the Spanish giants.

“Well played, but you won’t be happy with the result” I said.

“It’s no problem” replied the superstar “We will still win the group”.

…..and they did!

That can be how Matchdays 3 and 4 sometimes play out in this competition!

GT at 2016-10-19 20:32:43

Half Time


GT at 2016-10-19 20:32:23

That’s the end of the regular 45 minutes.

….and nothing to add according to Mr Dias, despite the two goals.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:31:01

An absolute cracker from the Arsenal number 14.

He dropped out of the penalty area to receive a pass, then crashed the ball home from distance.

That looks like game over to me, but what do you think?

Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref to give us your thoughts and predictions..

42 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 20:28:33

GOAL! Walcott

GT at 2016-10-19 20:27:00

Dias is right on the spot to see another small foul by Arsenal in midfield.

Nothing except a free kick…good refereeing

GT at 2016-10-19 20:24:36

Assistant Soares supports Dias well, giving him the signal for a free kick to Ludogorets for a high-foot challenge.

Good team work.

35 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 20:22:00

Walcott is left all alone in the penalty area, but somehow fails to score.

Superb non-offside call from assistant Tavares which allowed the Arsenal man that golden chance.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:19:56

Wanderson hits the post with an effort which is deflected by an Arsenal defender.

That is the warning the Gunners need to take note of…they are that close to surrendering a lead in a game they should have put out-of-sight by now.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:17:42

Good awareness and a quick turn of speed from Dias as Arsenal break quickly

GT at 2016-10-19 20:14:45

Sanchez gets goal side of Palomino but then pulls back the Ludogorets defender.

Well spotted referee.

Free kick to the Bulgarians.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:13:30

Arsenal are ‘showboating’ with flicks and tricks.

But they need to be aware…they lead by just the one goal.

It may be a better idea to finish off Ludogorets before going for the Hollywood script!

GT at 2016-10-19 20:10:34

Advantage applied again by Dias as Ludogorets attack.

Good refereeing…it just needed a goal at the end of it to finish off an excellent piece of officiating.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:08:43

Cazorla goes to ground under a strong challenge, but Dias waves away Arsenal appeals for a free kick.

Correct decision,and well done referee for not giving in to the home crowd.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:04:56

Referee Dias is having a lovely stroll around, taking in the evening air in the capital.

There is nothing out there to overly concern him, he just needs to keep concentrating and make sure he stays in contact with play.

The players have come to play, not kick each other, so he doesn’t need to get over-fussy or start to close down the game.

GT at 2016-10-19 20:00:36

What a beauty from Sanchez for the hosts.

The chipped the ball over the Ludogorets goalkeeper to give the home side an early lead.

Will that open the floodgates for more goals?

12 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 19:59:19

GOAL! Sanchez

11 minutes

GT at 2016-10-19 19:58:40

Sanchez takes a big gamble by pulling back his opponent.

Dias applies the advantage – which was a smart move – but should have gone back and cautioned the Arsenal man once the ball went out of play.

Come on Mr Dias…keep it tight.

GT at 2016-10-19 19:54:53

Walcott got away with one there…having felt he was blocked-off earlier in the move he deliberately made contact with a Ludogorets defender, whose boot comes off.

Nothing given by referee Dias or his better-placed assistant, Tavares

GT at 2016-10-19 19:51:32

Arsenal almost carve out an early goal.

Four minutes in, and we have our first foul…well spotted by Dias and a reminder to the players that he is around and watching very carefully.

GT at 2016-10-19 19:48:59

Just the opening referee Dias would have been hoping for as a he makes his Champions League debut.

A quiet and uneventful couple of minutes to help him settle the nerves.

GT at 2016-10-19 19:46:44

Arsenal take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2016-10-19 19:37:01

It’s almost time for kick-off at The Emirates stadium.

GT at 2016-10-19 19:26:27

As for our officials …

It is an all-Portuguese line-up for this one.

Artur Soares Dias heads a team of fellow countrymen which sees Rui Tavares and Paulo Soares running the lines and Nuno Pereira as fourth official.

The additional assistant referees are Tiago Martins and Joao Pinheiro.

37-year-old Dias is an HR Manager when not operating on the football fields of Europe, so man-management should come as second nature to him!

Tonight sees Dias in his 46th UEFA appointment, and his 6th Champions League game, having made it on to the FIFA List in 2010.

Previous highlights include refereeing the 2013 UEFA Regions’ Cup Final where Italian side Veneto beat the Spaniards Catalonia 5-4 on penalties.

Tonight’s sides line-up against each other again in the next round in a fortnight’s time, so Dias will want to ensure he does not leave this one with any ill-feeling carried over for one of his colleagues to pick up at that match.

Everyone at YATR hopes the entire referee team is enjoying their stay in England and wishes them all the very best for a successful game.

Don’t go anywhere…follow the big match here on YATR.

This should have goals…

GT at 2016-10-19 19:21:14

Hi everyone, and welcome to our live Refcam commentary.

Tonight brings the UEFA Champions League, Group A, third round clash between Arsenal and PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.

These two clubs have never met before, indeed Arsenal have never previously lined up against Bulgarian opposition, so both will be looking to open up the record books with a win.

In their 19th successive UEFA Champions League group stage The Gunners started with a 1-1 draw away at PSG, followed up by a FC Basel 2-0 in a game also covered here on Refcam.

This time around, they will be looking to go further than the last 16, where in each of the past six campaigns they have been eliminated.

Just three days before his 67th birthday, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be hoping for an early birthday present…three valuable points.

Ludogorets are seldom seen in England, their only other visit ending in a 2-1 loss at the hands of Liverpool back in the 2014/15 Champions League competition.

This is the Bulgarians second foray in this competition where they opened up this year’s campaign with 1-1 draw in Basel and 3-1 home defeat to PSG.

Everything points towards a comfortable home win, but as we all know, football is not always so predictable.

So who will emerge victorious?

What do you think?

Let us know who you believe will be triumphant by contacting us on Twitter @youaretheref