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October 2016
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UEFA Champions League – Arsenal v Basel key incidents, plus the under 19 Arsenal/Basel game

By the referee team

Danny Makkelie of Netherlands was the referee.

Incident 1 – Minute 5

Foul on Sanhcez

A possible trip by the Basel player ignored by the ref.

Very difficult to see on this replay. I give the benefit of the doubt to the ref. If he played the ball first there is no foul and on this one angle I can’t overrule the ref.

Incident 2 – Min 21

Suchy Yellow

Attack breaking foul on Sanchez. Correct decision with a yellow card.

Incident 3 – Min 30

Theo Penalty

Theo Penalty002

Theo Penalty003

On the third clip you can see that the defender first catches Theo from behind on his left foot. The foot that he tried to go for to the ball. The defender first made contact with Theo and then only got to the ball. So yes a foul and a penalty. Video ref would have overruled that I think.

Incident 4 – Min 34

Foul on Cazorla

A deliberate charge on Cazorla on the upper body by the Basel player. No advantage or foul given.

Ref should have signalled an advantage.

NB: This is an example of how UEFA/FIFA have got things wrong with the positioning of the two extra officials who are stationed on the goal line but on the same side of the pitch as the linesmen.  It would be much more logical for them to be placed on the opposite side of the goal.  We’re the official on the corner of the 18 yard area on that side of the pitch this incident would have been right in front of him and there would be a far greater chance of it being spotted.

Incident 5 – Min 50

Traore Theo Stamp

Reckless challenge by Traore on Theo. Should have been a yellow card.

Incident 6 – Min 82

Ozil Onside

Doutbful offside and in case of doubt give advantage to the attacker.  Play should have continued

Incident 7 – Min 85

Sanchez foul outside box

Good decision here by the ref. Sanchez twisting and turning beating players on the run and tripped late inches outside the box.

Incident 8 – Min 88

Basel offside

Basel striker was slightly offside, Mustafi was ahead of the striker. Should have been an offside.


Overall we think the referee had a very good game. He kept the game flowing with some good advantages and called many fouls correctly. The assistants also had a good game by giving many correct offside decisions, but both of them made a mistake.

With the rise of video refereeing and improvements in other refereeing aspects in Netherlands and Belgium, referees from these regions perform better compared to refs from smaller footballing nations. (Viktor Kassai-Hungary, Milorad Mazic-Serbia, William Collum-Scotland, Ovidiu Hategan-Romania)

We will now turn our attention to the UEFA Youth League match played earlier in the day at Borehamwood.

Here is a brief report from Andrew who was at the game and a discussion about the major talking point of the game with a video clip unearthed by Usama and clarification on the decision by Walter.

Arsenal Team – Hugo Keto (GK), Chiori Johnson, Marc Bola, Marcus McGuane, Krystian Bielik, Kris Da Graca, Donyell Malenand Josh da Silva

Bench – Jordi Osei-Tutu, Joao Virginia (GK), Trae Coyle, Tolaji Bola, Kaylen Hinds, Eddie Nketiah, Savves Mourgos

FC BASEL – Josef Pukaj (GK), Veriano Vogrig, Blas Miguel Riveros Galeano, Eray Cümart,Yves Kaiser, Pedro Pacheco, Robin Schmidt, Alessandro Stabile, Neftali Manzamibi (c), Gezim Pepsi, Martin Liechti

Bench – Ylber Lokaj, Loris Micelli, Luca Fabian Tausch, Atdhe Rashiti, Uran Bislimi, Dario Thürkauf (GK), Nicolas Kränzle

Arsenal started slowly with Basel by far the better team, they were more organised, quicker to the ball and physically more determined to win duels.  They were also using niggling fouls often after the ball had gone to unsettle the young Gunners.  The referee Tim Marshall from Northern Ireland was more than happy to allow virtually all of the fouls to go unpunished to the increasing frustration of myself, the crowd and the Arsenal Bench.  The only real surprise in the first half was how long it took Basle to open the scoring and the manner in which they did it.

In the 40th minute they were (rightly) awarded a free kick 5 yards inside their own half.  It was taken by the Basel no 4 Cümart. He looked up and saw Keto well off his line and clearly thought “I can do this” launching a magnificent kick over Keto’s head and into the back of the net.  A lesson I hope that Keto will remember for the rest of his goalkeeping career.

Arsenal started the second half much more brightly, quite probably after a few home truths from the coaching staff who included Freddy Ljungberg.  Nine minutes into the second half we equalised,  Dragomir with a good finish from a through ball.

Both teams made substitutions as the half progressed but Arsenal seemed to be doing enough to hold on to their lead until in time added on the Basel No 9 hit the ball with full power at Chiori Johnson who was standing no more than 2 metres away from the attacker. Chiori had his hand in front of his face when the ball hit him. To the astonishment of the crowd, Arsenal players and bench the referee instantly pointed to the spot.

Needless to say the No 9 scored from the spot to rob Arsenal of the draw they had earned.

Here is a video of the incident and Walter’s thoughts

Arsenal Basel U19 Penalty

“Yesterday evening we had a training session and a fine tuning of the instructions. The thing is that if you raise your hands you make a deliberate move. And that is why the ref called that penalty.  The ref also signalled (but I cannot check it from this angle) that he had his arms raised and outside his body, as the only position you can raise your hands legitimately is in front of your face to protect it. So according to the laws the ref might have made the correct decision.  So if it would be for an official review I would give the ref the benefit of the doubt as I don’t have any other views of the incident”

Summary (by Andrew)

I still think that it was a harsh decision.  If possible, I would suggest that Chiori seek out Lee Dixon next time he is around the training ground and get some specific advice from and old pro in the same position on what to do next time he is in that situation.

Arsenal have a very big mountain to scale if we are to progress in this competition.  They need to fight harder, overcome some significant weaknesses in their setup and learn some positional discipline.

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

20 years of Wenger: Untold’s tribute to our manager, and 10 early Wenger anniversaries you might have forgotten.

Just how well have Premier League clubs been doing when it comes to big money transfers?

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #05 – with video evidence

Luckily our manager doesn’t listen to the twitter-experts and TV-moaners

Corruption requires ineptness and incompetence and in football it is there for all to see.


Anniversary of the day

1 October 1996: Arsène Wenger officially took up duties, as Arsenal’s first non-UK manager, and immediately confronted and defeated journalists, daring them to answer his question “what rumours?”


7 comments to UEFA Champions League – Arsenal v Basel key incidents, plus the under 19 Arsenal/Basel game

  • Rich

    If the laws allow you to protect your face, that shouldn’t have been a pen in my book.

    I’m more interested in the ref letting a lot go. When I heard some talk of it being that sort of game I immediately thought, ‘bet it was a British ref’. I felt morose at the idea we could get a dodgy home ref for our home game. Only us.

    A real shame as in a few of those games, with European refs, the standard has been higher than we get in the prem. Anderlecht was first class, then there was another who killed Galatasaray’s plan of constant kicking and niggling stone dead by dealing with it properly.

    At least he wasn’t English, I suppose; that would have played on my fears we get a lot of refs in youth games who seem intent on emulating their senior colleagues.

    Oh well, the great result in Paris undone but still time to pull it around.

  • para

    I bet the PGMO & FA & media are fuming 🙁 at the ref reports you are doing, when it is they that should have done them in the first place. Keep up the good work 🙂 .

  • Gord

    The laws don’t allow you to protect anything. If your arm is in front of your body (instead of along the side) and your arm is oriented such that the ball will “bounce” off you in substantially the same way as it would if your arm was where it is supposed to be (along your side), you should not be penalised for the ball striking your arm. If your arm is oriented such that the ball will bounce significantly differently from striking the body with the arm absent, the player is deemed to be influencing that path of the ball with their arm, and that is a foul.

    Saying that you prefer to have the referee “let things go”, is exactly the same as saying that you prefer the referee to let players cheat.

  • Gord

    Note. About the ball hitting the arm. All of my argument presumes the arm is already in position in front of the body when the ball is struck. Moving your arm so as to intercept the ball is explicitly disallowed. My argument mostly applies to situations like a free kick, where a person in the wall is trying to protect themselves.

  • OlegYch

    ozil was slightly offside imo
    also for traore stamp i don’t see any more contact with theo than with the ball
    just a couple of examples that video-assisted refereeing should be treated with caution

  • OlegYch

    also on cazorla foul – arsenal continued to attack and the advantage was given
    perhaps it was not properly indicated, but it doesn’t sound like an offence given that no one was paying attention to the ref anyway

  • Rich


    Just in case you thought I was saying I like a ref to let things go, I wasn’t. Far from it. In our games, even at youth level, ‘letting things go’ invariably favours the opposition.

    Many teams try it out as a technique against us, particularly little shoves and kicks when the ball has gone. Any decent ref should shut that down early, as the only purpose of it is to gain an unfair advantage.

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