Watford v Manchester United


GT at 2016-09-18 14:08:11

Thanks for joining me for this one…and especially to everyone who tweeted in.

It’s great to receive your thoughts, and I try to reply to as many as I can…but apologies if I couldn’t get back to you – it’s not always possible when commentating!

Stick with us for the Spurs/Sunderland game…it should be another good one.

GT at 2016-09-18 14:06:11

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have more action for you coming up with Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland.

Guest Columnist Neil Warnock talks about backing for referees whilst the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’ continues to pull no punches in the drive for improved refereeing standards.

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 2016-09-18 14:05:39

Oliver moved around the field of play with ease.

He kept close to play and that paid dividends for him as he correctly waved play-on for Watford’s opening goal.

Michael went a long time without a card being shown, but showed he was not afraid to show them when needed, and ended up with 7 cautions (3 Watford, 4 United). Every single one was justified and correct.

Team work amongst the officials was top drawer, and I should like to give special mention to Mick McDonough who had the best 90 minutes I have seen from him. Well done, lino.

All in…a very, very good game from our referees coupled with a deserved win for the home team

GT at 2016-09-18 14:00:05

Michael Oliver was excellent.

Yes, he missed a shirt pull by Fellaini after 10 minutes, which should have resulted in a penalty to Watford. But let’s get that out of the way and look at all of the very positive aspects of his game

GT at 2016-09-18 13:58:38

As for our referees…

It was an afternoon full of positives…

GT at 2016-09-18 13:58:07

And that is the last of the action as Watford deservedly beat United in a comfortable afternoon for the Hornets.

The pressure piles upon Mourinho and his club as they suffer their third consecutive defeat.

GT at 2016-09-18 13:56:38

Full Time


94 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:56:19

Fellaini had endured another awful afternoon, and he is the guilty party as he brings down his opponent in the penalty area.

Troy Deeney smashes the ball down the centre of the goal. No chance for De Gea.

Victory is Watford’s

GT at 2016-09-18 13:54:37

PENALTY to Watford

GT at 2016-09-18 13:54:12

That is a very naughty challenge by Rooney, who looks like he has lost his cool.

Correctly cautioned…and he may wish to keep his thoughts to himself to avoid a red card, as he whispers sweet-nothings into the ear of the assistant referee

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-09-18 13:52:16

That’s the end of the regular 90 minutes.

4 additional minutes to go on

89 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:51:41

Watford make another change, as Ighalo is replaced by the perhaps-appropriately-named Success

GT at 2016-09-18 13:50:52

…and he is followed into the book by team mate Memphis.

Not quite the impact that Zunagi had for Watford, as United players lose their discipline

Yellow Card

88 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:49:27

Fellaini gets a deserved caution too for yet another foul

Yellow Card

87 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:48:46

A tactical, team foul by Troy Deeney…

He knew Mata was away and about to mount a dangerous attack.

So the Watford man took one for his team and brought down the United substitute.

You don’t get away with those though, Mr Deeney, and referee Oliver correctly cautions him

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-09-18 13:46:33

Just six minutes of regular time to go.

Mourinho takes off Luke Shaw for Memphis.

Can he have the same impact as Zuniga?

GT at 2016-09-18 13:45:39

That’s how to make an impact as a substitute..

Zuniga comes off the bench, takes the free kick…then goes into the penalty area and scores.

All of that took 50 seconds!

83 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:44:32

GOAL! Zuniga !!

82 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:43:31

Here comes the Watford change as Capoue makes way for Zuniga

GT at 2016-09-18 13:42:56

Superb movement again by Michael means he is right on top of the latest Britos foul on Rashford.

Free kick to United.

The Watford man needs to be careful, he is already on a caution

GT at 2016-09-18 13:40:19

That’s three Yellow Card in quick succession.

Michael has tried to keep his cards in his pocket but the last 2 minutes show he isn’t afraid to use them if needed.

77 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:39:17

…and the cautions keep coming as his team mate Holebas joins him in Oliver’s notebook.

77 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:38:22

Yellow Cardfor Britos who pulls down his man…good decision again, Michael Oliver

75 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:36:36

One too many from Pogba, who looks like man who is angry with the world!

Correctly cautioned by referee Oliver for pushing away his marker.

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-09-18 13:35:22

Michael is working well in this end-to-end second half.

He is clearly a very fit lad and is using that to his advantage.

Well done again, referee

GT at 2016-09-18 13:33:46

Pogba fould Pereyra right under the assistant’s nose…and a flag is raised correctly.

Free kick to Watford

70 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:32:17

Excellent advantage applied by Michael as Watford attack

GT at 2016-09-18 13:31:45

The Mata substitution has certainly brought better balance to United.

Watford may need to consider a change to get back in the ascendancy.

GT at 2016-09-18 13:28:57

Michael calms down Pogba, who for some reason seems to want to hold a conversation with people in the crowd !!

Well done referee…good awareness

GT at 2016-09-18 13:26:40

25 minutes to go, and Michael is now breezing through this one.

All of the good work he put in early doors is paying dividends for him as the players trust him and are playing football rather than getting into his face.

GT at 2016-09-18 13:24:21

The youngster is Johnny-on-the-spot again as he pounces on a deflection.

Good work by the striker…


63 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:23:23



61 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:22:33

United make their second change as they go in pursuit of an equaliser.

Juan Mata replaces Valencia…although after that cross, Wayne Rooney may consider himself lucky to stay on!

GT at 2016-09-18 13:20:03

Almost an hour gone, and Watford don’t appear to be under too much pressure.

Smalling hands another soft free lick to the hosts which is well spotted by Michael and his assistant.

Will Watford get another, or can United get back into this one?

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

GT at 2016-09-18 13:15:44

We are having a period of long ball play which isn’t helping Michael’s plan to stick close to the ball !!

52 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:13:57

Ashley Young buys a free kick from Michael…there was minimal contact but the United man goes to ground and wins the decision

51 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 13:12:54

Janmaat (Watford) is replaced by Mazzarri

GT at 2016-09-18 13:11:37

Ibrahimovic needlessly pulls down his opponent and hands back possession to Watford with a simple free kick

GT at 2016-09-18 13:10:09

Another perfectly judged incident by Oliver as Pogba slides in and wins the ball fairly

GT at 2016-09-18 13:09:18

Looks like Michael is sticking with the tried-and-trusted plan of staying close to the action.

And why not…it worked well for him in the first half.

GT at 2016-09-18 13:06:15

The second half is under way and it’s Watford who get us going

GT at 2016-09-18 12:54:46

The pressure mounts on Mourinho and his expensively assembled squad as Watford take a deserved lead into the half time break.

The game has been well refereed by Michael Oliver who was absolutely correct in allowing play to continue in the build-up to Watford’s goal. This is a contact sport, after all, and the Watford man played the ball.

It is a huge pity that he missed an earlier penalty for the home team as Fellaini pulled Deeney’s shirt…but let’s keep it positive. He is having a very good game, otherwise.


GT at 2016-09-18 12:51:16

Half Time


GT at 2016-09-18 12:50:27

That was a naughty challenge from Fellaini….AGAIN!

He leads with his arm far too many times.

Free kick for Watford.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:49:12

but Michael keeps up his work rate and correctly spots a small foul on Ashley Young.

Free kick to United

GT at 2016-09-18 12:48:15

We are deep into added time….

GT at 2016-09-18 12:47:17

That’s great to see…both sets of players enjoying a laugh with Michael as they set up the wall for the free kick.

Despite the high stakes he is still getting his personality out there and using it to control the game well.

Good work referee

GT at 2016-09-18 12:45:41

Pogba bundles over the goalscorer Capoue which results in a free kick to Watford in a dangerous place.

Another good spot by referee Oliver.

42 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 12:44:26

Nothing is going right for United as Ibrahamovic allows himself to get caught up by his marker when he was clean through on goal.

Good decision by the assistant referee not to call offside against the United man, as the flicked on header to him came from Behrami of Watford

GT at 2016-09-18 12:41:23

Martial can take no further part in the game due to a head injury, and is replaced by Ashley Young

GT at 2016-09-18 12:39:42

A £ to a penny Mourinho wants to complain there should have been a foul for United in the build-up to the Watford goal, though.

Who would be a referee, eh?

That was  a perfectly timed challenge and Michael judged it very well indeed.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:37:37

Capoue is the man on the end of the move and he smashes the ball past De Gea.

Well done Watford.

Well done Michael Oliver.

34 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 12:36:24

No foul called by Michael Oliver…and the play goes on, and ends with a fabulous goal for Watford.

Excellent football and a really good decision by our referee.

Well done, Michael Oliver there was nothing with the tackle.GOAL!

GT at 2016-09-18 12:33:11

Free kick for United…nothing else needed, just a foul.

Well spotted Michael.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:32:05

We almost got it straight away, as Pogba rattles the Watford cross bar

GT at 2016-09-18 12:30:06

We are up and running again…when will that crucial first goal come?

Let us know what you think and give us your views by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

26 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 12:28:38

Michael sensibly stops play to allow treatment for a head injury to Rashford (MUFC)

GT at 2016-09-18 12:27:42

That can be the downside of getting close to play, of course…Michael intercepts a pass by Valencia !

No criticism…that can happen, and I believe he is correct to stay close to the action in this one.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:23:58

Ibrahimovic misses a very good chance for United…the 34 year old made up the ground to get the shot in, but fluffed his lines when he got there.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:22:17

With the obv ious exception of the missed penalty for Watford, Michael is judging this one very well.

He is letting play go on, but keeping very close proximnity to challenges.

Unfortunate for him (and Watford) that he missed the shirt pull.

17 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 12:18:26

Deeney is the latest Watford man to go close, but De Gea pulls off a trademark save

GT at 2016-09-18 12:17:44

Pereyra perhaps tries to play on Fellaini’s reputation by going to ground whilst holding his face under a challenge by the United man.

Michael Oliver was not to be fooled though and, correctly, waves play on.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:15:51

….this one is getting lively

Obvious nerves from United and a missed penalty already, and we are not yet 15 minutes into the game

12 minutes

GT at 2016-09-18 12:14:51

How did Ighalo miss that?

A complete mix up between De Gea and Smalling results in the ball dropping to the feet of the Watford man, but somehow he missed an open goal !

GT at 2016-09-18 12:13:10

Oh dear…

Michael you missed a clear shirt pull in the Manchester United penalty area there.

Fellaini was up to his tricks again as Troy Deeney went to head the ball.

Should have been a penalty for Watford and a caution to Fellaini.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:09:03

Goal kick to Watford…good decision again Michael.

His close proximity to the challenge was a big help to him in getting that call correct.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:06:52

Michael appears to have a game plan and it’s to get close to challenges early in the game.

Good thinking from the referee, as this could need a lid keeping on it.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:05:01

Perfect tackle from Luke Shaw, well judged by Michael Oliver.

No free kick.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:04:24

Less than a couple of minutes in, and it’s a free kick to United.

That could be a regular thing as Watford will look to make this as difficult as possible for a team under a lot of pressure.

Good decision, Michael.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:03:12

It’s a perfect day for football.

Lovely weather conditions and a playing surface which looks like a snooker table.

GT at 2016-09-18 12:01:28

Manchester United take the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2016-09-18 11:55:08

It’s almost time for kick-off at Vicarage Road.

GT at 2016-09-18 11:46:05

As for our officials today…

Michael Oliver takes centre stage in this encounter.

The 31 year-old, Northumberland whistler is no longer the young prospect.

Michael has shown bags and bags of promise since he arrived on the scene in 2010, and some of his performances drew deserved applause.

The trick for Michael now is to deliver those performances consistently.

He is the number one contender for Mark Clattenburg’s ‘crown’ as the UK’s top official and should be pushing Clatts all the way for those lucrative UEFA and FIFA appointments.

On the line today for Michael are Adam Nunn and Mick McDonough, with Stuart Attwell as fourth official.

Adam is something of an unknown quantity at this level, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in action today.

McDonough is anything but unknown…and I hope he has taken on board the advice and pointers offered following his previous outings when, I am afraid, some performances have been way below the standard expected. I genuinely hope we are not talking about him missing incidents and influencing the outcome of the game again today.

Nonetheless, today is a new day, and let’s keep it positive and wish everyone the very best of luck, …may the ball run very kindly for you all.

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

This should be a fascinating clash.

GT at 2016-09-18 11:38:35

Hi everyone, and welcome to the first of the today’s live Refcam commentary games.

We bring for you the cash between Watford and Manchester United, being played at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets have not been afraid to use the huge TV money coming their way this season, splashing out on plenty of new signings including Janmaat, Okaka, Kenedy and Mariappa.

As their opponents today can testify there is a gulf of difference between simply signing players and signing players who make a positive impact, though.

The Watford team has settled early and enjoyed a tremendous turnaround last week when they came from behind to win 2-4 away at West Ham United.

Manchester United, on the other hand, have endured a dreadful week.

Firstly, they were embarrassed in a local derby against Manchester City last weekend where they spent a large part of the game chasing shadows, and followed that up with another defeat on Thursday against Feynoord in the Europa League.

If Watford have spent big, then United have spent on an astronomical scale.

Paul Pogba’s fee, in particular, was eye-watering and the midfielder needs to start justifying that outlay with some decent performances in a side which still appears frail in defence and lacking in midfield quality.

The self-proclaimed Special One desperately needs a win today, or the fans may well end his honeymoon period earlier than expected.

This is a big game for both sides, but how will it go?

What do you think?

Let us know who you believe will be triumphant by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at info@you-are-the-ref.com