Untold Ref Review: Chelsea 3 – Arsenal 5

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By Ref Reviewer 03

A crazy game at the Bridge.  How was the ref doing or was he joining in the madness?  In some way he was….


Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment points weight on
2 OFFS Lampard C 1 1 1
4 OTH Santos Sturridge C Slight trip by Santos 1 1 1
4 OFFS C Cole was correctly judged onside 1 1 1
5 OFFS C Ramires was initially in an offside position but ball ran to Sturridge who wasn’t – correct call 1 1 1
7 OTH Song Sturridge C Trip 1 1 1
8 OTH Ramsey Ramires C Looked a little pushing/holding by both – ref favours the defender 1 1 1
9 OTH C Chesney gathers Lampard’s header just out of play – goal kick correct 1 1 1
11 OTH Arteta Ramires C Trip 1 1 1
14 GOAL C Lampard – goal okay 1 3 3
18 OTH Lampard Arteta C Shove 1 1 1
23 OTH Walcott Cole NC Push not given –Chelsealost possession 0 0 1
25 OTH Gervinho C Handball – hard to tell, assumed correct 1 1 1
27 OTH Terry Gervinho NC Slight tug on Gervinho’s shirt – not given. Slowed him down enough for Cole to dispossess him 0 0 1
28 OFFS Gervinho C 1 1 1
30 OTH RVP Cole C Holding 1 1 1
30 OFFS Mata C 1 1 1
36 GOAL C RVP – goal okay, Robin was initially offside but got back onside after ball played to Gervinho 1 3 3
37 OTH Ramsey Terry C Pulled on Terry’s shirt – gets a talking to, lucky not to be booked 1 1 1
39 OFFS Sturridge C 1 1 1
39 GOAL C Goal by Sturridge correctly disallowed for offside 1 3 3
40 OTH Mikel Walcott C Trip 1 1 1
41 OTH Torres Mertesacker C Caught Mertesacker with an elbow 1 1 1
41 YEL Torres NC Not overly violent but worth a yellow 0 0 2
42 OTH Gervinho Mikel C Trip 1 1 1
45 GOAL C Terry – goal okay 1 3 3
45+1 OTH RVP Mikel C Attempted trip 1 1 1
Half time 23 31 35
CORRECT 88,46% 88,57%
YELLOW 0 1 0,00
RED 0 0
GOAL 4 4 100,00
OTHER 1 1 100,00
5 6 83,33
OFFSIDE 6 6 100,00
Second half
47 OTH Ramires Gervinho C Foul from behind 1 1 1
47 OTH Ramires Arteta NC Caught Arteta in the boot/ankle – not given 0 0 1
49 GOAL C Santos – goal okay 1 3 3
50 OTH Szczesny Cole C Rushed into Cole outside the penalty area taking him out of the play 1 1 1
50 RED Szczesny NC Considering Arsenal’s net was empty and Chelsea had other players coming into the area, I felt this should have been red, not yellow 0 2 3
51 OTH Santos Sturridge NC Pulled on his arm, then was dispossessed by Gervinho 0 0 1
51 OTH Ramires Gervinho NC Won the ball but got the player too 0 0 1
51 YEL Ramires NC Dangerous play – worth a booking 0 0 2
55 OTH Cole Walcott C Jumped into Theo – went for the player not the ball 1 1 1
55 GOAL C Theo – goal okay 1 3 3
60 OTH RVP Cole C Foul – came in a bit strong on Cole 1 1 1
62 OTH Song Lampard C Trip 1 1 1
64 OTH Song Mata C Trip 1 1 1
66 OTH Malouda Arteta NC Malouda kicked Arteta in the stomach 0 0 1
66 YEL Malouda NC Should have been booked 0 0 3
68 OTH Song Ramires C Trip 1 1 1
69 OTH Ivanovic Szczesny NC Ran into the keeper from free kick – not given 0 0 1
70 OTH Malouda Arteta C Shove 1 1 1
71 OTH Lampard Walcott NC Ran into the back of Theo – not given 0 0 1
72 OTH Bosingwa Santos NC Push on the defender – not given 0 0 1
77 OTH Cole Walcott NC High boot – not given 0 0 1
77 OTH Ivanovic RVP NC Elbows RVP in back of the head while going for header – not given 0 0 1
77 RED Ivanovic RVP NC Should have been sent off 0 0 2
78 OFFS Torres C 1 1 1
78 YEL RVP C RVP started a heated exchange of words with Ivanovic over his challenge a minute earlier. Ref booked both to diffuse the situation 1 2 2
78 YEL Ivanovic C See above 1 2 2
80 OTH Lukaku Santos NC Obstruction – shielded Santos from Meireles 0 0 1
80 GOAL NC Mata scored directly after the obstruction – should have been disallowed 0 0 3
81 OTH Song Lukaku C Trip 1 1 1
83 OTH Arteta Meireles C Ran into Meireles 1 1 1
84 OTH NC Throw-in wrongly awarded to Arsenal – ball came off Koscielny’s feet 0 0 1
85 GOAL RVP – goal okay 1 3 3
87 OTH Rosicky Ivanovic NC Rosicky bumped him off the ball with hip – not given 0 0 1
87 OTH Ramsey Meireles C Trip 1 1 1
88 OFFS Terry C 1 1 1
90 OTH Song Cole NC I couldn’t see much wrong here – it looked like Cole tried to hold off Song with his arm and lost his balance 0 0 1
90 YEL Song NC Song picks up a yellow for what appeared not to be a foul 0 0 2
90+1 OTH Meireles Rosicky NC High boot – not given, advantage signaled later 1 1 1
90+1 OTH Meireles Song NC Seconds later Meireles lying on the ground kicks at the ball in vain, kicks Song. Advantage signaled 4 seconds later, Arsenal would go on and score from the play 1 1 1
90+1 RED Meireles NC Meireles probably should have been sent off for this – ref did give a yellow once play had stopped. 0 2 3
90+2 GOAL C RVP – goal okay 1 3 3
90+3 OTH Torres Koscielny C Swung wildly at the ball – caught Koscielny 1 1 1
90+3 YEL Torres NC Should have been booked 0 0 2
90+3 OTH Bosingwa Arteta C Trip 1 1 1
90+5 OTH C Played +4:53 – the extra 53 seconds mostly due to lengthy goal celebration in injury time 1 1 1
2nd half score
TOTAL 24 38 67
% CORRECT 53,33% 56,72%
YELLOW 3 7 42,86
RED 0 3 0,00
GOAL 4 5 80,00
OTHER 3 7 42,86
10 22 45,45
OFFSIDE 2 2 100,00
TOTAL 47 69 102
% CORRECT 66,20% 67,65%
YELLOW 3 8 37,50
RED 0 3
GOAL 8 9 88,89
OTHER 4 8 50,00
15 28 53,57
OFFSIDE 8 8 100,00
Correct calls For Chelsea 23 48,94%
For Arsenal 24 51,06%
Total correct calls 47
Wrong calls Against Chelsea 5 20,83%
Against Arsenal 19 79,17%
Total 24


The first half passed without too much controversy and Marriner scored high marks.

The second half was another story. With Arsenal just having equalised with an Andre Santos goal making it 2-2, Szczesny raced out of his goal in an attempt to cut out a long pass to Ashley Cole. Cole got to the ball first and Szczesny in an attempt to block a possible shot, made contact with Cole’s knee taking him out of the play. Arsenal had some players rushing back into the area, but so did Chelsea. The ref gave a yellow, but I felt this should have been red, especially considering that Arsenal would have had no goalkeeper in the net, that Cole’s touch was soft and he would have got to the ball had he not been fouled, and that Chelsea had other players running into the area. On the following free kick, Szczesny made a great save. Arsenal had dodged a bullet.

Chelsea were no angels either. Malouda kicked Arteta in the stomach, Meireles kicked Song, Torres kicked Koscielny, Torres elbowed Mertesacker, and Ivanovic elbowed Van Persie. All of these incidents were worthy of yellow or red cards, only two of them were whistled as fouls and no cards were given against them.

While Marriner put in a good shift in the first half, his second half performance wasn’t up to scratch. In the first half, wrong decisions favoured Chelsea by a negligible 2 to 1, but in the 2nd half the wrong calls heavily favoured Chelsea by 17 to 4.

More specifically, we might look at wrong decisions up to the point when the game was being drawn or won by Chelsea as compared to after Arsenal had gone ahead by 3 goals to 2. Before Theo had put Arsenal on top in the 55th minute, Chelsea had received the benefit of wrong calls by a relatively slim margin of 5 to 3.

Now compare this to the favourable calls Chelsea received after they had fallen behind. From the 55th minute to the 95th minute, the wrong decisions favoured Chelsea by a difference of 14 to 3. One such non-call was the obstruction of Santos by Lukaku which enabled Mata to score Chelsea’s equaliser to make it 3-3.

But just when it looked like Chelsea might go on to win the match, a defensive error allowed Van Persie to run on to an errant pass, dribble past the keeper, and calmly slot home the winner. A fifth goal for Arsenal and a hat trick for Van Persie killed off the match for good.

Another interesting pair of numbers our ref reviewer gathered are these numbers

Official Fouls
Chelsea: 8 fouls
Arsenal: 18 fouls

Fouls Adjusted for Wrong Calls:
Chelsea: 20 fouls
Arsenal: 19 fouls

27 Replies to “Untold Ref Review: Chelsea 3 – Arsenal 5”

  1. Oh and sorry for the layout… I really don’t know what is happening but hope to solve the problem before next week..

  2. Thanks Reviewer 3. You do not mention the Cole foul on Ramsey in the penalty area. Ramsey stayed on his feet. If he had gone down, it would have been a penalty. The commentator, Danny Mills, essentially said that Ramsey was thick for staying on his feet.

    Ramsey was clearly off balance and disadvantaged by the foul. Why wasn’t a penalty given, irrespective of whether or not Ramsey went down, or whether or not he lost control of his balance?

  3. Dogfac, did someone told you already you are a genius? 🙂 Well you are…

    amazing I have tried to change it for an hour and you done it in less than 3 minutes…

  4. Cape Gooner,
    He certainly was touched by Cole (it was an amazing movement from Aaron). But I think he didn’t went down because Arsenal players by now know that they don’t get penalties when they should be given.
    But if Ramsey goes down it should have been a clear penalty.

    However not many refs will come back to the decision when the player has a shot on goal after that. In this case Ramsey was in balance when he could take the shot and so the ref could play the advantage.

  5. I must say that I noticed a lot of elbows being thrown around in the last weeks.
    Last week Shawcross elbowed RVP when he just came on. Result RVP scores 2 goals

    this week Ivanovic elbows RVP and as a result RVP scored another 2 goals…

    As if it brings the animal out of RVP those elbows… well I don’t mind an elbow each game like that… In fact: I hate it.

  6. @walter, your comment about referre’s not revisiting a decision after a shot. I’ve often wondered about that, is it because they see it as playing the advantage? Although the never signal advantage.

    It seems to me this is a primary reason why players must go down on contact in the box, 99% of the time the referee won’t give a foul if you stay on your feet.

    The other thing is it jumping into tackles to prevent a shot at goal. in the box it’s called last ditch defending but the same tackle outside the box is called a foul.

    Is there a difference in thinking when offences happen in the box? Is that taught to referees or is it just a natural phenomenom?

  7. Just to note that after I had finished the summary above, I noticed on some websites that Meireles had been booked for his kick on Song in injury time, but we weren’t shown this during the match because of the replays of Van Persie’s 5th goal.

    So concerning the 5 kicks and elbows by Chelsea, 2 were whistled as fouls (both by Torres), the kick on Song was signaled as an advantage and Meireles did receive a yellow card. Malouda and Ivanovic got away without being whistled for a foul.

  8. Wengerball,
    in fact nowhere in the rule book (unless I have missed it) is saying that there is a difference in contact in or outside the penalty area.
    The differnce is mostly in the head of the ref…

  9. All I noticed from the game is that once we were winning (3-2 and 4-3), all decisions were going against us, aswell as the 50/50’s.. but yea 5 vs 19 says it all!

  10. Not that it makes a difference, but even RVP was onside when the ball was played through to Gervinho. The LB is actually playing him on.

    About Szczesny receiving a red card, while watching the game I never thought a red would be the correct decision, but looking at the replay again, it certainly could have been. So, I guess finally, a let off for Arsenal.

    It was the first match in a while that I was able to enjoy without constantly worrying about and screaming at the referee. He might have made many wrong calls, but many of the elbows etc were sneaky enough to not be seen. The Mata goal made me angry of course because that was a clear foul by Lukaku, but Mariner had been letting many pushes go. The kick by Meireles should have been red though, and the award of a yellow card just ensures that he doesn’t get banned retrospectively, since the ref obviously saw it and signalled advantage.

    I think that this match showed that as long as we don’t have a huge disparity in the number of big decisions that go against us, we can beat the best sides as well. Will that continue? Somehow I doubt it, but let’s see.

  11. Guys I’m really sorry but I do not understand why weight of red card is 3? It must be 6 or 10 or 15. Red card is the biggest decision of the game which makes biggest difference.

  12. Alek the weight of a red card in our system is the same as a goal has.
    As goals are the decider for who wins the game I think giving a red card the same weight shows that is is in fact an important decision

  13. A great review and exactly as I saw the game, I felt the Scz decision was touch and go, but it is a matter of opinion, I agree that the ref did seem detemined to get the Chavs back into the game, did so with the foul on Santos. Shame JT screwed his plans by falling flat on his face. Long overdue “could not happen to a nice bloke”

  14. sorry “could not happen to a nicer bloke”

    umble pie, umble pie

    PS Tony saw you at the AT the other day, decided not to pester you, you were with Ian, i was with mate, we were pissed, “best not” I thought

  15. Walter
    And we have seen teams win after got a player sent off.

    And we have seen teams win after a yellow card.

    And we have seen teams win after a foul committed.

    There is no need for stats for me to understand that win after got a player sent off is almost fantastic in some situations. If a team losing the game say 0-1 and got a player sent off the chances for come back is microscopic. But if this team gets a yellow card instead of red chances for come back the same as before.

  16. Great review. Especially when some Chelski fan were moaning about how refs have been against them in matches against ManU, QPR and ARSENAL (this shows bit different story).
    I guess Szczesny was bit surprized by yellow at the end (based on his tweet). Good thing is he got yellow so FA can’t go and changed it. I was thinking that maybe one reason Marnier didn’t punish that foul on Santos was he had realized he could have given red earlier and was helping Chelsea have chance to make it up…

  17. @FinnGooner – Andre Marriner was having an excellent match until the Szczesny – Cole incident. Perhaps he felt guilty about not sending off Szczesny which may have weighed on his decisions in the later stages of the match.

  18. A couple things I noticed while reviewing the match:
    1) When Ivanovic put an elbow into the back of Van Persie’s head while going for a header, according to my amateur lip-reading skills, Van Persie turned angrily towards Ivanovic and shouted, “F***ing W**ker!”
    2) Alex Song actually deflected Mata’s “wonder” strike, making it not so wonderful after all. The deflection made the ball rise and dip, impossible for Szczesny to save.

  19. Ref reviewer, you might be right on the Szczesny-Cole incident. I think any ref knows that once you start doubting a decision you made in a game it is hard to keep focussed and keep the level.

    Maybe Webb was giving him some stick and abuse on the headphone for not taking this opportunity to send Szczesny off?

    Why on earth has nobody though about tapping those headsets during the game? I know it has been done in the European championships last time around in order to make a documentary-film “kill the ref”. And what they showed was amazing how many things were said by the ref and the 4th official.
    I remember them saying: give a yellow to player X and such things… So really it would be very interesting to know what was said.

  20. Just for your information : Dermot McGallagher thought the yellow was the correct call and he agreed that there was a definite foul on Santos just before the third Chelsea goal.

    So the ref reviewer team has chosen that it should have been a red card against Szczesny and the ref-pundits agreed with Marinner.

    Graham Poll saying it should have been a red card…

    Still standing with our decision in fact.

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