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August 2021

The Untold ref review : Arsenal – Liverpool

By Ref Reviewer 02

Our home game against Liverpool has seen Atkinson coming to the Emirates. How did he do?

Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment points weight on
1 Foul Walcott Enrique C 1 1 1
1 Foul Frimpong Agger C 1 1 1
7 Yellow Frimpong C Frimpong delays the restart 1 2 2
8 Foul Kelly Sagna C 1 1 1
9 Foul Arshavin Kuyt C Ref has a word with Arshavin about delaying the restart 1 1 1
10 Foul Lucas Walcott C Theo has a moan at the ref, who correctly tells him to calm down 1 1 1
12 Foul Carroll Koscielny C 1 1 1
21 Foul Jenkinson Enrique C 1 1 1
24 Foul Frimpong Carroll C unintentional but a foul nevertheless 1 1 1
27 Offside Carroll C 1 1 1
27 Yellow Carroll C Well after the whistle Carroll kicks the all into the goal, the ref decides today he is playing by the letter of the law 1 2 2
29 Foul Kelly Sagna C 1 1 1
38 Foul Arshavin N/C The little Russian slipped on the turf 0 0 1
44 Foul Lucas Frimpong C 1 1 1
44 Yellow Lucas C Could be deemed harsh, but Atkinson is going by the letter of the law 1 2 2
Half time 14 17 18
CORRECT 93,33% 94,44%
YELLOW 3 3 100,00
RED 0 0
GOAL 0 0
OTHER 1 1 100,00
4 4 100,00
OFFSIDE 2 2 100,00
Second half
51 Handball Adam C 1 1 1
54 Foul Kuyt Frimpong C 1 1 1
57 Foul Lucas Frimpong C 1 1 1
60 Foul Nasri Adam C 1 1 1
60 Offside Carroll C 1 1 1
67 Other N/C Atkinson misses a push by Arshavin in the box that almost results in an Arsenal goal 0 0 1
69 Foul Frimpong Lucas C 1 1 1
69 Yellow Frimpong N/C This should have been a straight red, the ref does Frimpong a favour reducing the length of his ban 0 0 2
77 Goal O/G N/C Atkinson is let down by his assistant who misses an offside as the ball is played through 0 0 3
88 Foul Lansbury Adam C 1 1 1
88 Yellow Lansbury C Players have been warned not to question decisions when will they learn 1 2 2
90 Goal C There was an offside player in the build up but the ball was not played to him 1 3 3
92 PENALTY Carragher Van Persie N/C As Van Persie runs of Carragher he is hauled down to the ground, a dead cert penalty missed 0 0 3
2nd half score
TOTAL 9 12 21
% CORRECT 69,23% 57,14%
YELLOW 1 2 50,00
RED 0 1 0,00
PENALTY 0 1 0,00
GOAL 1 2 50,00
OTHER 2 2 100,00
4 8 50,00
OFFSIDE 2 2 100,00
TOTAL 23 29 39
% CORRECT 53,49% 74,36%
YELLOW 4 5 80,00
RED 0 1 0,00
PENALTY 0 1 0,00
GOAL 1 2 50,00
OTHER 3 3 100,00
8 12 66,67
OFFSIDE 4 4 100,00
Correct calls For Arsenal 7 46,67%
For Liverpool 8 53,33%
Total correct calls 15
Wrong calls Against Arsenal 2 66,67%
Against Liverpool 1 33,33%
Total 3

Referees appear to have come out this season and told the players no dissent!! If that is the case Atkinson is to be applauded because he certainly was consistent and stood for no nonsense.

He had an outstanding game but was let down by his assistant in missing an offside for the first Liverpool goal, and thus certainly costing Arsenal a point. The sending off of Frimpong was as straightforward as you will see all season, It should have been a red, and I think Atkinson showed some leniency here because he knew Frimpong was off regardless.

Once again we see Jamie Carraghers version of defending being to haul a man to the floor, when will linesmen learn and look out for this.

All in all an easy game to ref, very little need for the whistle, between two teams who played largely well within the spirit of the game.

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38 comments to The Untold ref review : Arsenal – Liverpool

  • Sups

    I’m so touchd that my greatest team isn’t yety performing to its best. This is because our Coach is more into saving money than spending in investment of buying top class players. Boys will be boys but experience is mixed with the young blood to obtain good results. Good luck the Gunners things will be fine.

  • d

    So the only thing he got wrong is what cost us the game, really. I don’t see it as bias in this case, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.

  • Cape Gooner

    I think that ref reviewer 2 should take another look at the Lucas foul on Theo. It was a deliberate lunge at Theo and not an attempt to win the ball. The lunge is not even directed to the place the ball used to be! No wonder Theo is incensed.

  • dino wadadi

    We can not continue giving excuses of bad luck, poor decisions, injuries and the weather etc. It is high time Mr Wenger looks at some of the so called quality, technically gifted players we have; Walcott, Chamakh, Arshavin, Bendtner and Traore.The players mentioned make poor judgements and decisions, poor crosses of the ball in the final third,lack of imagination and vision and none of them are consistant in terms of the final product. We can complain about the Ref not this or that but as long as we do not show desire, focus, discipline and creative determination then we will always play second fiddle to the rest. Wenger had ample time to buy in the transfer market particularly when he knew that his two crucial elements that embody the way arsenal play, Cesc and Nasri were about to jump ship. Six seasons and the same excuses this time Wenger your are accountable.

  • Dino – your statement might have some validity if you had evidence that we do always play second fiddle to the rest. Historically we are in our best spell as a club for 70 years. That doesn’t accord with your explanation.

    Second you offer no evidence that the fault is Wenger’s. Supposing Wenger were to want to buy a lot more players but the board is stopping him – that could explain the situation. Maybe the board is stopping the payment of higher salaries. I don’t know if that is true – and nor do you I suspect.

    Nor do you take into account the fact that maybe the team are getting pissed off by having people like you blaming them all the time. That could explain their attitude – they want to go somewhere where they are appreciated.

    Your argument only has validity if you start taking alternatives into account.

  • dino wadadi

    My arguement would be if he knew before hand of the possible departures of what we would consider as the main hub of the team ( Cesc and Nasri), then why did he not make alternative arrangements to ensure at least stability. Our Mid field was totally outplayed at home (Liv vs Ars), Tony… I am not talking of Old Trafford or White Hart lane by 56-44% ball possession. We can not even talk about the passing rate and we are in shambles particularly as we have injuries and suspensions. Lets be realistic Tony I as arsenal support has always admired the arsenal way even up to now but you can not expect to achieve different results doing the same thing. Poor planning and decision making is costing us, if the Manager is not achieveing the required results unfortunately he has to be criticised….Imagine if this were a proper company in the real world. Tony do not start categorising people who are being critical of how the team is being managed as enemies of Wenger, you including Mr Wenger should take time to listen and see where we are going wrong because we can not give the same excuses season in season out.

  • If Arsenal were a ‘proper company’ in the ‘real world’ it would be doing rather well in an agressive, hostile and competitive market..

    Oh wait – apparently Arsenal is a ‘proper company’ with shares and everything and, according to Google, the world is in fact ‘real’!

    Who’d ‘ave thunk it guvner?!

  • nicky

    I hope the two missed offsides will prove to be a nail in the coffin of those who oppose the assistance of mechanical means to ensure fair play. The time must surely come when, like cricket, tennis etc, human error will be kept to an absolute minimum.

  • Arsenal 1st Arsene 2nd

    Tony said

    “Your argument only has validity if you start taking alternatives into account.”

    That’s a bit rich Tony considering you never look at the alternative that maybe Wengers wrong

  • mahgfur

    @ Dino Wadadi

    are u indonesian, mate?

    First, I think you posted in the wrong section/blog/place. This Ref Review is to solely review the performance of the ref in given matches to give us, audience, another perspective. The RefRev might stumble upon certain trends in the refereeing. This review is not about making excuses for our Arsenal performance. I suggest you take a look at the other matches reviewed by the team.

    Second, your comment at 4:29 failed to respond Tony’s. Tony was just merely saying that we do not know what’s exactly happening with Arsene Wenger and The Board. So we can not jump into conclusion that AW is the person to blame for the current situation.

    This blog is about being critical with evidence. You didn’t give any.

  • menace

    The booking of Carroll inthe 27th minute was more because the crowd was baying for blood. The initial booking of Frimpong was totally unnecessary as he was under the impression it was an Arsenal throw and was not trying to waste time. A good referee would have had a word and not got his cards out.

    There was an incident later in the game where to be consistent the referees should have got his card out but he had a word – with a Liverpool player!! There are aspects of officiating that are not seen in 2D and more importantly not fully informed as the radio contact is not broadcast to the audience like it is in Rugby. It allows for an aspect of bias or improper decision making.

  • Tasos

    Nice work Walter.

    Thought Mr Atkinson had a decent afternoon, however he was let down by his assistant failing to flag Liverpool’s opening goal offside, in fact both goals looked dubious on TV. Although I have to add that the continues awarding of cheap free kicks to our opponents around our penalty area has become a worrying aspect for a while now, maybe it just Me?

    The turning point in an evenly matched game was Frimpong’s sending off, a correct decision, agreed Walter. Liverpool
    immediately added two attacking players and they exposed the gaping holes that were starting to appear in our midfield.

    Overall I thought Arsenals much depleted team performed well against this over-hyped Liverpool side and defeat was particularly harsh on the likes of Vermaelen and Chesney.

    On a plus note, Frimpong looks a very decent addition to the squad, its a long time since I’ve witnessed such a diligent holding performance in our midfield. I hope he can learn how to control his youthful enthusiasm more affectively.

    For the record…I cannot honestly say Liverpool wouldn’t have found another way to open the scoring even if the flag had been correctly raised for offside, such was their dominance late in the game.

  • Reviewer

    @ Menace
    The booking of Carroll was entirely in line with how Atkinson reffed the game, yes the crowd shouted, but the sight of the ball in the goal was all Atkinson needed to see, to establish what had happened well after the whistle was blown.

    Re Frimpong booking, the linesman was telling Frimpong to “move on”, Liverpool wanted to take a quick throw, Frimpong held on to the ball, then approached the Liverpool player with aggression. An easy card for the ref. especially as the assistant was 2 yards away.

    The Liverpool player the ref had a word with re dissent was Downing, after he punched the ball away, questioning a decision. Alas he punched it to where the throw was to be taken from, and no Arsenal player was there to take a quick throw.

    Atkinson also spoke to Theo re Dissent, and Arshavin re failing to move 10 yards for a kick (delaying the restart)

    I though Atkinson was efficient, consistent and had the respect of the players, I also thought Arsenal lacked some discipline or experience in how to approach him or deal with him. Once they realised he was going to be strict, they should have adjusted their game and certainly not argued with him.

    Like i said in my review, the key decision was the goal, and Atkinson was let down by his assistant

  • Laundryender


    Would Bendtner have come on if it was 0-0

    I think not, we would have packed the midfield and played for the draw

    The decision for the first goal was result defining

  • Ronnie Brown

    I think we should have an article on the ridiculous treatment of Arsene, the ban he now has is completly unacceptable and hypocritical.

  • Arick

    There was also a one legged tackle on Ignasi which wasnt wistled for but which I thought was pretty compareble to Frimpong’s second yellow card. and by the by, I didnt think Frimpong deserved a red card for that, it wasnt even a sliding and it didnt look that painfull either. Yellow yea sure and the first yellow? well if thats given in every single time then i wouldnt mind, but for some reason these calls are only used against us it seems.

  • Jimin

    I totally agree with Ronnie. The english press should be talked to agree that wenger is one of their own if they want Theo, Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibb, and the other English lads to grow. That Cesc could not stand it and left is a minus on the growth of these guys. Remember, Wenger allowed Viera, Henry, Kleb, Geoberto, Diara and co to go but fault to keep Cesc. He knew and said Cesc needed to stay for a while. The FA eyes are not open to the reasons why their teams cant score a goal in tournaments. I just think the mans, Chelsea, liv dont have enough players to do the work needed at the national team level and Wenger may just have the key their. check when Seaman, Arsly Cole, Campbell, Adams were playing for England. My conclusion is wenger cannot be rubbished no matter how they try. To arsenal fans, you dont know the value of what you have until you lose it.

  • mr venger

    Atkinson was never going to book Carrol, I was at the game and could see him walking away from the incident with his back turned. When the crowd and Van persie pressured him he cracked but would not have booked him without that pressure.
    Frimpong got carried away and his tackle on Lucas is dangerous as its studs into his kicking leg as he follows through. The first booking could also be correctly given and is difficult to complain about but I see many players getting away with similar behaviour, do you really think Fletcher would receive the same treatment at Old Trafford??? Thats whats so annoying as too many times there are double standards with us on the receiving end.
    The linesman Michael Mullarkey has some previous with us, he was responsible for allowing the offside goal at birmingham 2 seasons ago which finished off our title bid. It was a similar goal, a close range deflection and defensive mistake due to pressure from an offside attacker. Cesc also had his leg hacked off that day without so much as a free kick ( thanks Howard Webb) prior to Barca 2nd leg.
    I thought defensively inc Frimpong we looked good but the attacking players exept Nasri were diabolical, there was no interplay which is something that has always been a major factor in Wengers teams.If Ramsey continues at that level he will be lucky to play for the reserves. Unfortunately at times when being challenged he does look psycologically affected by his injury

  • eve

    there is only one reason arsene has a two match ban, because its arsene wenger, dont think it would happen to most other managers, its an utter disgrace.

  • FunGunner

    @ mr venger
    August 22nd, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “Atkinson was never going to book Carrol, I was at the game and could see him walking away from the incident with his back turned. When the crowd and Van persie pressured him he cracked but would not have booked him without that pressure.”
    This is how I saw it, too.

  • Reviewer

    @Mr Venger

    You are right, but when the ball is in the back of the net some time after you have blown the whistle, there is no doubt, given the circumstances (Carroll being in possession), as to how it got there.

    Therefore a caution is correct decision.

  • FunGunner

    @ Reviewer
    Yes – all I meant to say was that Atkinson clearly had to be nudged, shall we say, into doing his duty properly. I’m certainly not arguing with the decision.

  • Gunnergoon

    When i look through this report i see that the referee played by the book. However he was let down by his lineman for both goals. The first one was offside yet there was no flag (replays show the liverpool players leg was beyound the defenders and so is more than enough to give offside). The second one you say was not offside and I partly agree with you. Yes offically he is not offside but I have seen that being given offside plenty of times.
    Also should the referee not be a little more understanding when he give frimpong the yellow card the first time as IT was easy to see that he thought it was an arsenal throw in you surely cant punish someone for such a simple mistake. Also why is it that when arsenal play the ref either struggles to make the right decisons or play by the book. I cant remember the last time a man u or chelsea player was given a red card at home the place where most teams would usually get more better decisions for them than against them. Maybe this report should folow man u and chelsea games to see how many desicons go there way and more importantly how many big desicons they get going there way. Also big fan of the blogs keep up the good work.

  • Reviewer

    Contrary to the assumption of all those who have never experienced the joy of refereeing a game, the ref does not, nor cannot be expected to see everything.
    On this occasion he had the evidence of the smoking gun, or the ball in the net, so he could make a decision.

  • FunGunner

    @ Reviewer
    I know they can’t see everything. It seemed to me that Atkinson HAD seen Carroll kick the ball, had started walking away, then responded to the fans barracking him. I may be wrong, but that is what it looked like to me. That is all I am saying. You obviously saw it differently.

  • Johnny Deigh

    This was the worst refereeing snow job done on Arsenal since Phil Dowd did the Newcastle match, but for some reason that is not shown here.

  • Reviewer


    ultimately all that matters is was the decision made by the referee a valid one. and was he consistent. For me, on this ocassion, and throughout this game, yes.

  • bjtgooner

    @ Reviewer

    Basically what you are saying is the Atkinson did a good job apart from allowing Liverpool an offside goal and denying us a penalty. I find that hard to equate with a good performance. I also felt the first yellow for Frimpong was harsh. For me Atkinson seemed to let Liverpool away with a number of fouls – unpunished – except when to do so would give us an advantage. However, you are probably more objective and dispassionate than I am!

  • jbh

    Howard Webb is ref MU vs Ars on Sunday – what a surprise!

    Also why is everyone baying for new signings when clearly key players may not sign if Arsenal lose on Weds. No?
    Arsenal will have signing options for if they win and sadly other options if they lose. People need to grow up.

  • bob

    The Guardian’s David Hytner reports that Arsene has climbed down after Nasri purportedly asked out of the Udinese match so that it wouldn’t jeopardize his transfer to Shitty. Hytner also simply states (with no supportive quote or source or attribution) that: “The Arsenal board have told Wenger that they will not write off such a huge loss on the player.” It is possible that Silent Stan was not so silent (at the last board meeting) about the risk of Sami’s leaving without compensation next year, as some newspapers had conjectured two weeks ago. Does anyone have anything further on whether there’s a disagreement between Arsene and Stan/the Board over Nasri?

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    @ Bob:

    I have been following up Guardian for sometime now. They are so anti Arsenal. The Guardian ran up an article just before this one by David Hytner that Nasri will feature in the Udinese match.

    I can count atleast four or five instances when The Guardian had been blatantly supportive of Man City(or rather anti Arsenal) in the last two weeks regarding this transfer other than the ones which are being highlighted by Tony and my friends here. I believe they are all working on a plan and rather I could not find any other link to Nasri not featuring in the CL match other than the Guardian one.

    Coming to the refereeing in the EPL, I read an article which reflected how bad refereeing against Arsenal was. Its somewhat similar or may be the same about Arsenal and Blackpool being robbed of some points which came two or three months back. But still its something which we have to ponder for and may be do something more effective to push for better refereeing standards in the Premier League. The link is given for reference.

  • walter

    Well the good thing about already knowing Webb being the ref is that Dogface has all the time in the world to write his article.

    The bad thing is that we will be playing against 14 if not 15.

    The ugly thing is that the news has already been coming out so soon?

    There are some strange things happening in ref land.

    Oh and by the way did you know that the head of the refs was in the Emirates when we played Liverpool? He came to see in person if his orders were carried out I think…

  • Highbury Faithful

    I have been a long-time reader of your blog and very rare contributor. I came across this article today however, and thought worth sharing since it gives credence to our belief that poor refereeing have on the balance hurt Arsenal more than helped:

  • walter

    Thanks Highbury faithful for the link.

    There will be a few more things said about this. 😉

    And from the reading of the article Tim Long only looked at certain things. We at Untold looked at more things.

  • Cape Gooner

    Hi Reviewer

    Given that my opinion is non-expert, I agree that the Frimpong foul at 69 mins was a red. I want to compare that foul to the Lucas foul at 9 mins.

    1. The Lucas foul was from the side which is not as dangerous as from the front.
    2. The foulee (Walcott) was moving more slowly than Lucas was when he was fouled meaning that injury was less likely.
    3. Frimpong’s lunge was at the ball but late, while Lucas’ lunge was not late because it wasn’t aimed at the ball – it was aimed at Walcott.

    Please explain why one foul was worthy of a red and the other worthy only of a free kick.

  • goonergerry

    The offside for the first goal was marginal. Atkinson did not do too badly-but refereeing did not seem to be a major factor in our first home defeat. of this season. Our inability to threaten the Liverpool goal was.

  • Reviewer

    @ Cape Gooner

    I have watched both incidents again, the Frimpong one is very easy, foot is high, ball is moving away from him, he makes an uncontrolled challenge that seriously could have caused long term harm. Arsenal supporters have long complained about this sort of challenge.

    The Lucas foul is simply a player breaking up play in the opposition half, contact is more with the body, almost no contact with the foot. Walcott moans not at the impact, but the fact that he had knocked the ball past Lucas and would have been away. The ref could have issued a yellow, but choose not to. it is his prerogative, he is in contact with the players. He could also have issued Walcott a yellow for his reaction, the 2nd bad reaction of the game, but again he choose not to, but he did have a word.

    One foul was dangerous and reckless; the other was professional and calculated. The difference here is maturity and discipline in the team.

  • Tasos

    @cape gooner

    “Please explain why one foul was worthy of a red and the other worthy only of a free kick”.

    Frimpong’s challenge was deemed worthy of a booking(correct). The Lucas tackle was not even deemed to be foul(incorrect) by Mr Atkinson, who only awarded Arsenal a throw in, much too Walcott’s anger.