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August 2021

Untold Ref Review: Liverpool 1 – 2 Arsenal

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Today’s referee is Mark Halsey – From what we have gathered in the comment section of our RefWatch a lot of people felt Halsey was not that good. Let us find out in our review.

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Mark Halsey (2012-03-03)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
2 OFFSIDE Downing C Assumed correct 1
4 OFFSIDE Suarez C 1
7 OFFSIDE Kuyt C 1
7 OTHER Arteta Adam NC Blocked Adam’s leg as he followed through, not given 1
11 OTHER Gibbs Suarez C Foul 1
13 OTHER Adam Song C Foul 1
15 OTHER Gibbs Suarez C Push 1
17 OTHER RVP Spearing C Foul, advantage played 1
18 PENALTY Szczesny Suarez NC The ball has been played out for all intents and purposes, and Suarez throws himself theatrically down under almost no contact 3
18 YELLOW Suarez NC Suarez should have been booked for simulation and feigning injury 2
20 OTHER Suarez Szczesny C Backed into him 1
22 OTHER Spearing Gibbs NC Push/Pull, not given 1
23 GOAL C Koscielny, own-goal, okay 3
27 OTHER Skrtel Walcott NC Lunged in and tripped Theo, both ref and assistant miss it 1
29 OTHER Adam Rosicky NC Ran into the back of him, not given 1
30 OTHER Spearing Walcott NC Pushed and pulled, not given 1
31 GOAL C RVP, goal okay 1
35 OTHER Rosicky Spearing C Challenged the ball recklessly, studs showing 1
36 OTHER Suarez Arteta C Trip 1
36 OTHER Spearing Rosicky NC Lunged in, caught Rosicky in the leg with studs, not given 1
36 YELLOW Spearing NC Should have got a yellow at the very least 2
39 OTHER Song Downing C Trip 1
42 OTHER Enrique Walcott C Push 1
42 OTHER Kuyt Arteta NC Trip, not given 1
47 OTHER Carragher RVP NC Fouled him going up for header, not given 1
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
46 OTHER Spearing Benyahoun NC Ran into Benyahoun as he cleared, not given 1
47 OTHER Henderson Arteta NC Forced his way trying to get to Song, shoulder caught Arteta’s face 1
47 YELLOW Henderson NC Should have been booked for dangerous play 2
47 OTHER Adam Song C Trip 1
57 OTHER Walcott C Handball ? advantage played 1
57 OTHER Koscielny Suarez C Trip 1
60 OTHER Diaby Adam C Caught Adam a bit late, advantage played 1
63 OTHER Vermaelen Suarez C Tackle from behind 1
63 YELLOW Vermaelen C A bit reckless ? booked 2
65 OTHER Adam Benyahoun C Trip from behind, killed attack 1
65 YELLOW Adam NC Ref showing inconsistency, doesn’t book Adam 2
68 OTHER Song Downing C Foul 1
71 OFFSIDE Kuyt C 1
72 OTHER Song Adam C Slight trip 1
73 OTHER Suarez Diaby C Pulled him back 1
75 OFFSIDE Walcott C Assumed correct ? advantage played 1
75 OTHER RVP Spearing NC Got ball but also player, not given. 1
76 OTHER Kuyt Gibbs C Slid in late on Gibbs 1
77 OTHER Suarez Koscielny NC Shove in area, not given, Downing shoots off target 1
79 OTHER Koscielny Suarez C Slight trip 1
80 OTHER RVP Kelly NC Slid in, won ball, but caught Kelly with trailing leg, ref gives throw to Liverpool 1
80 YELLOW RVP NC Dangerous tackle, should have been booked 2
83 OTHER Henderson Gervinho C Shove 1
84 OTHER AOC Adam NC Mistimed tackle, not given 1
86 OFFSIDE Kuyt C Assumed correct 1
87 OTHER NC Ball appeared to last touch Sagna, throw wrongly given to Arsenal 1
87 OFFSIDE Suarez C Advantage played 1
89 OFFSIDE Kuyt C Looked half a step offside 1
89 YELLOW Kuyt NC Kuyt spewed abuse at the linesman, not booked. Halsey needed to stand up for his assistant and punish Kuyt. 2
91 OTHER Suarez Vermaelen NC Fouled defender, not given 1
91 OTHER Kelly Gibbs C Held him back 1
91 YELLOW Kelly NC Kuyt and Henderson had both been verbally warned about dissent, now Kelly does it too 2
92 OFFSIDE RVP C RVP, very close to offside but hard to tell without a straight angle 1
92 GOAL C goal okay 3
94 OTHER Kelly Gervinho NC Grabbed and pulled arm, not given 1
95 OFFSIDE Walcott C 1

Mark Halsey was the ref and controversy struck early when Suarez went down quite theatrically under almost no contact by Szczesny.  Suarez feigned injury as if he had been seriously injured and Halsey bought it and gave Liverpool an undeserved penalty.  Fortunately for Arsenal, Szczesny was in excellent form on the day and made a fantastic double save of Dirk Kuyt’s penalty shot and follow up.

While Szczesny put in a great performance, the same can’t be said about the ref.  He made many wrong decisions on the day with roughly 3 to 1 of them favouring Liverpool.

COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Mark Halsey (2012-03-03)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 2 2 100.00
OFFSIDE 3 3 100.00
OTHER 9 17 52.94
PENALTY 0 1 0.00
YELLOW 0 2 0.00
TOTAL 14 25 56.00
WEIGHTED 18 33 54.55
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 1 1 100.00
OFFSIDE 7 7 100.00
OTHER 13 22 59.09
YELLOW 1 6 16.67
TOTAL 22 36 61.11
WEIGHTED 25 44 56.82
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 10 10 100.00
OTHER 22 39 56.41
PENALTY 0 1 0.00
YELLOW 1 8 12.50
TOTAL 36 61 59.02
WEIGHTED 43 77 55.84

Amazingly this match only featured one booking, and this is in spite of Dirk Kuyt running up and spewing a mouthful of abuse at one of the linesmen after he dared flag Kuyt for offside.  Halsey must do more to protect his assistants from this kind of dissent.  Moreover if you look at the replay, the assistant made the right call (see photo).  However Halsey just gave a strict verbal caution to both Kuyt and Henderson for their badgering of the linesman.

Surprisingly two minutes later, Kelly went up to the same linesman protesting his call and he wasn’t booked either.  Normally I’d say it’s okay to let players protest a call within reason, but after Kuyt and Henderson were warned, Halsey should not have allowed Kelly to continue where his teammates had left off.  Again in this case, they were protesting a good call by the linesman.

Among other instances when players escaped bookings was the studs up challenge by Spearing on Rosicky in the first half.  Spearing caught Rosicky’s leg with his studs, but obviously Halsey didn’t see it because he allowed play to go on while Rosicky was crumpled over in a heap only for Liverpool to courteously play the ball out a short bit later.  This was a yellow card offense at the very least, but no foul was given.

BIAS SUMMARY – Mark Halsey (2012-03-03)
Period 1 Liverpool % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 6 42.86 8 57.14 14
Correct For Weighted 8 50.00 8 50.00 16
Incorrect Against 1 9.09 10 90.91 11
Incorrect Against Weighted 1 6.67 14 93.33 15
Fouls Commited 11 64.71 6 35.29 17
Fouls Penalised 4 36.36 5 83.33 9
Period 2 Liverpool % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 10 47.62 11 52.38 21
Correct For Weighted 11 45.83 13 54.17 24
Incorrect Against 6 40.00 9 60.00 15
Incorrect Against Weighted 7 35.00 13 65.00 20
Fouls Commited 11 55.00 9 45.00 20
Fouls Penalised 6 54.55 6 66.67 12
Totals Liverpool % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 16 45.71 19 54.29 35
Correct For Weighted 19 47.50 21 52.50 40
Incorrect Against 7 26.92 19 73.08 26
Incorrect Against Weighted 8 22.86 27 77.14 35
Fouls Commited 22 59.46 15 40.54 37
Fouls Penalised 10 45.45 11 73.33 21

In the second half, Mikel Arteta had to be stretchered off after suffering a severe concussion when Jordan Henderson forced his way past Arteta catching him with a shoulder to the face.  I don’t believe Henderson intended to hurt Arteta but his action was nonetheless dangerous and deserved a booking.

Jordan Henderson and Arteta clash from the back.

Jordan Henderson and Arteta clash from the front.

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Van Persie was also lucky to escape a booking.  He made a couple of hard tackles during the match, one of which when he slid in and took the ball off of Kelly’s feet, winning the ball but following through on Kelly’s ankle with his trailing leg.  The ref merely awarded Liverpool a throw-in, but Kelly was peeved and rightly so.

Overall it was a tough fought win by Arsenal, overcoming a wrongly awarded penalty decision, an own goal, and numerous decisions going against them.  But in the end Arsenal wouldn’t be denied thanks to a beautifully timed volley by Robin van Persie bagging all three points in injury time.

69 comments to Untold Ref Review: Liverpool 1 – 2 Arsenal

  • WalterBroeckx

    I can only agree with the fact that the ref was an absolute disgrace in the way he let the Liverpool players abusing the first assistant. I would have been furious on the ref if I would have been the assistant. And certainly after he let go the second round of abuse.

    Great review by the way.

  • Gord

    Thank you for the review.

    There were a few instances of bookings following fouls, some where a booking was given and some where it wasn’t. Yet, at 35 minutes you have Rosicky on Spearling with studs showing, and no mention of a possible booking that was missed. I didn’t see the game, I’m just looking at the data. Is there some reason that a booking wasn’t considered there?

    Going back to my loading old data, 14567 Dortmund vs Arsenal. At 24 minutes the referee halts play because Koscielny and Sagna clash heads and Koscielny goes down. You have a weight of 1 for that incident. Shouldn’t a higher weight be used? The reason to stop play is for player safety.

  • RedGooner

    I would say thats a fair enough review, poor officiating.

    Looking around the press reports on the Man Utd v Sp*rs game its funny to see headlines like Young double keeps pressure on City etc …
    If it was us the headlines would be Arsenal wobbling under pressure etc,
    When you think they have to go to Everton next weekend where Chelsea and City both failed to take any points recently between them.
    Great weekend for the Arsenal against all sorts of adversity in Liverpool.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Gord, the weight for stopping play for some event (injury, a cat on the field, a fan locking himself to the goal post…) is 1.
    as it has in normal circumstances not effect on the end result of a game. If it would have than we could give it more weight. Let us say because a cat ran on the field and a shot would deflect on the cat in to the goal then it would be more important for the ref to stop play but then the not given goal would be the 3 points weighted decision

  • Gord


    Thanks for responding so quickly.

    Sorry, I am going to have to disagree. I have been at games where incidents like Eduardo’s tibia/fibula break occurred, and play was stopped a long time. A stoppage of that length and the severity of the injury does affect the rest of the game. It is hard to go into a tackle after seeing someone lying in the field with a 90 degree bend in their leg halfway between knee and ankle. One game in a league I played in, but wasn’t present for, a player got a serious head injury and died on the field from cerebral haemorrage.

    But, I will leave the weight at 1.

  • bjtgooner

    This is an excellent review. The one thing I was not sure about was if Henderson used an elbow on Arteta or if was his shoulder, initially it looked like an elbow to me – but it was hard to make out.

    I also thought there were a number of occasions when Carrager deliberately played RVP, but was very far from the ball.

    I agree the behaviour of Kuyt, Henderson etc in abusing the linesman was despicable. Both could have picked up a booking for this and had Henderson been booked for his earlier attack on Arteta he would have been off. Dalglish, on the touchline, seemed to set a poor example by abusing everyone who would listen. I also thought Spearing, by repeatedly fouling was lucky to stay on the field.

    Finally, our away fans, they were excellent once again!

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Gord – Rosicky went into the challenge a bit dangerously winning the ball with the studs of one of his boots, but he seemed to make little if any contact with the player. If the ref wants to give Rosicky a card for that, then I’m fine with that. However if he books Rosko for that, then he must send off Spearing for his tackle on Rosicky a couple of minutes later which was far worse.

  • Mandy Dodd

    thanks for the rewiew. I always thought Halsey was one of the better refs, but this game has changed my mindand the review confirms he was poor. The incorrect against Arsenal vs Liverpool tells its own story!

  • Gord


    From the various descriptions I’ve read, Arteta was not the Arsenal player Henderson was targeting. Whether it was an elbow or shoulder is then immaterial, you are not allowed to go “through” a player to get to your “destination”. I would say it was serious foul play.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Walter, Dogface – I made a mistake in referring to Liverpool’s Henderson as Conor Henderson. Conor is an Arsenal youth player. It should read JORDAN Henderson who plays for Liverpool.

  • GR

    Just because you can use a calculator to 2 decimal places doesn’t make your data accurate – in fact it is so spurious I wonder why you wasted your time writing this piece. You need to go back & watch the match again – offsides assumed 100% accurate – watch again & you will see that’s not true & one on Kuyt when he was in the clear. I agree totally Halsey was conned for the penalty but as for bias to Liverpool, give me a break. With the exception of the Atrteta incident which was a complete accident (& which Suarez alerted the Arsenal Physio as the Arsenal players ignored him). Yesterday Arsenal were largely outplayed – fact. Liverpool spurned several good chances – fact. Arsenal created four chances by my reckoning & took 2 of them brilliantly – fact (50.00% !!) Pleasse don’t disguise your own bias and preconceived notions as statistic rigour – most of the article like most of the data is flawed.

  • Reviewer 03

    @Gord – Rosicky went into the challenge a bit dangerously winning the ball with the studs of one of his boots, but he seemed to make little if any contact with the player. If the ref wants to give Rosicky a card for that, then I’m fine with that. However if he books Rosko for that, then he must send off Spearing for his tackle on Rosicky a couple of minutes later which was far worse.

  • WalterBroeckx

    GR, do you mean the offside in the 89th minute? We can show you photo evidence it was offside.


  • Gord


    With me working at a game in mid September, it is going to take a while before I get to this game. But, if you are happy with the records showing no considering of a yellow, that works for me too. I just thought I would raise the question. You seen the game, I didn’t. I just have the BBC play by play from the website.

    @GR (or others)
    If you EVER see a player suffer a head injury, and when you get to see the player up close, you notice “blood” coming out of their ear, you need an ambulance there 10 minutes ago. Bleeding into the brain is big time serious. Arteta was lucky this didn’t happen to him. The player in my league was not so lucky. And that was only 0.5 miles from a hospital (but a real maze of one-way streets in between).

  • bjtgooner


    Perhaps you should lead the way to the optician!

  • WalterBroeckx

    are you a ref? Because all our reviews are done by refs but you can always feel free to join us if you are a ref because we do as much games as possible and not just Arsenal games

  • Basil

    GR,2001 FA cup final Arsenal outplayed Liverpool FACT.2001 FA cup final Liverpool won FACT.Liverpool won because they scored more goals FACT.Goals win games FACT.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Gord, they didn’t show a replay of Rosicky’s challenge but it didn’t seem to make much contact. As I said earlier if the ref wants to give cards to players every time they try to win the ball with their studs even if they don’t touch the other player then that’s fine, but the ref must show consistency.

    They did show a replay of Spearing’s lunge on Rosicky and it was an ugly challenge for which he might have been sent off and for which he definitely should have been booked. He got away with it without even being whistled for a foul.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @GR – I left out a few things.

    Spearing made a two-footed tackle similar to which Kompany got red carded against United. I felt it was well-timed and not overly dangerous so I agreed with the ref. Still, I think it says something for the kind of tackles Spearing was making.

    Then there was the bear hug Carragher put on Van Persie in the area. At least Carragher was nice enough to let Robin go in time for him to head home the equalising goal in the first half.

    Henderson throwing his shoulder into Arteta, I marked as a yellow, but that easily could have been red, as well as Spearing lunging studs first into Rosicky’s leg.

    There were also several instances of Liverpool players shoving Arsenal players for good measure just after they had passed the ball. Skrtel pushed Walcott 5 yards once like this, but the ref ignored it as Arsenal maintained possession. Very unsporting behaviour by some of the Liverpool players.

    And finally, how did Liverpool manage to go through the match without getting a player booked?

  • Gord

    @Reviewer 03

    Sounds like the best thing is to leave things the way you have them written. I didn’t referee many games, I much preferred to run lines. But it was all amateur, some of it was the highest amateur in Canada.

    In terms of Henderson going through Arteta, by description I still think serious foul play. I don’t know how strong he is, he has an average build for a football player (looking at the Wikipedia article, I am built more like a short (1.76m) scrum person in rugby). In a fair shoulder charge, I have sent a player flying 2 meters and in a another fair charge, bruised ribs on the other person. Henderson is 1.82m and Arteta is 1.76m. It is easy to see how Henderson’s shoulder could contact Arteta’s jaw. Shoulder to jaw is going to be more serious than elbow to jaw, and shoulder to jaw also indicates trying to get through one player to get to another.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Gord, I think we have to judge intent of Henderson which is tricky to do. He does look to throw his shoulder into Arteta but is he just trying to cut off Arteta in an attempt to reach Song or is he trying to smash his face? I tend to think he was just trying to force his way through.

    Like you said he could have been sent off for it if the ref considers it violent play. I consider it a judgment call. However this happened behind Halsey’s back and he didn’t see it all.

    Surprisingly when Henderson did get to Song he backed off and let Song go by. Perhaps he realised what he did to Arteta and didn’t want to make a 2nd foul in quick succession.

  • Gord

    @Reviewer 03

    Yes, I agree judging intent is difficult. In this instance, I don’t think it matters about whether he is trying to “smash his face” or not. His action, regardless of emotional content, is “designed” to injure. Henderson made the “wrong” decision, in deciding to go through Arteta to get to Song. That decision, makes it serious foul play.

    That this happens is because players do not realize what the consequences of their actions can be. I think the solution is education of players from very young. Just like going into a tackle with the leg (nearly) straight, which applies all of the player’s mass to the impact, going through one player to get to another, brings into play much higher forces than the game is supposed to have. It is obviously not a fair charge, as the ball isn’t within playing distance of the players (from what I understand, you have seen the game, I have just seen descriptions), it has to be a foul at a minimum. The referee didn’t even call that. Football involves lots of different sizes of people, all players need to be aware of this. Henderson should have known that concussion is a reasonable expectation of his decision to go through Arteta to get to Song. For me, it has to be serious foul play. And as the referee did not make any call, the FA should.

    Sorry, I did athletic first aid for too many years (referee’ing only a few of those). Being an engineer, I had studied forces way more than most people. How I approached tackles (collisions in physics) after studying so much athletic first aid and taking 2 course in it, changed a lot. Afterwards, I always tried to approach collisions in such a manner that damage (injury) was not likely. If someone got bruised, that was okay. Bruises are part of the game.

  • Gord

    Going over this so many times, I decided to write The FA about this.

    As the referee did not call anything on this incident (in my understanding), this incident is subject to FA disciplinary action.

    For Henderson to have ANY contact with Arteta, is a foul as the ball was not within playing distance. That Henderson should have known that a collision between him and Arteta could result in serious injury, means the contact should be serious foul play, and he should have been shown a red card for that collision.

    Football is played across a large range of body sizes and shapes. Players need to be aware that while a collision with a similar sized player might have no serious implications, collisions with players much taller, much bigger, much lighter or much smaller can have serious implications.

    Henderson made a concious decision to go through Arteta to get to Song. He should be disciplined for making that decision.

  • none

    I have watched the Arteta/Henderson incident a few times (a link to a gif was referenced in Dogface’s preview, here

    It is very difficult to confirm what was in Henderson’s mind at the time of the run. I certainly don’t think it was to knock Arteta out, but there a definite determination to get Arteta. Whether this because he is a former Everton player and so singled out for special treatment or because Dagleish has told his players to get stuck in to Arsenal in the hopes they will wilt or pick up knocks I don’t know.

    As for the FA acting on this, I don’t think they will. The reason being is that Sky/BBC as well as the paper press haven’t caused a fuss over the matter and so it will just be quietly brushed under the carpet. Here is the BBC Sport comments on the matter..

    “A lengthy delay at the start of the second half – when Mikel Arteta suffered concussion and a jaw injury in an off-the-ball collision with Henderson – seemed to bring a halt to the Reds’ momentum however.”

  • Donnyfan1

    Excellent review 03- thanks. I also had the opinion that Halsey would be a ‘balanced’ ref but he is clearly pees in the same pot as most of the others. To be that lenient with Liverpool’s collection of ‘dogs’ makes playing football very difficult for the other side. We have seen the same scenario time and again. They let players pull, push and kick Arsenal but come down hard and very unfaily when Arsenal do anything like the same. Unless there is an agenda it can’t happen virtually every week— yet we know it does–even when we win!!! If Arsenal had the ref help other teams get —we would win the Galactic Trophy – never mind the League. Do these assessors who let the anti-Arsenal refs ‘get away with it’ have names?

  • none

    @ Gord. Good Luck

  • Gord


    Do I expect the FA to listen to a Canadian? No.

    Intent has nothing to do with it. Certain kinds of contact in football have high probabilities of serious injury. All players should know that those kinds of situations are to be avoided. Football is not war. The objective of a football game is not to leave the opposition dead or injured.

  • WafflingWenger

    I think it is fairly clear that Halsey lost control of the game. As a result a number of players on both sides were flying in with very dangerous and suspect challenges. Liverpool’s middle three were treading thin ice all game and benefited significantly from the no-yellow calls.

    Van Persie in particular seemed incensed by both the Liverpool challenges and the lack of policing by the ref by the end of the game. He was thrown to the ground by Skrtel about 10 minutes from time off the ball (not sure if you got this one but at least a foul) & committed a number of dodgy challenges including but not limited to that number on Kelly in which he almost certainly went for the man.

    Horrible performance by the ref & the offside nonsense was… nonsense. I didn’t see one that was incorrect despite a number of Liverpool players and the fans in general throwing tantrums.

  • El Gringo

    A general question:

    When I initially saw the penalty incident, I thought that Szczezny made contact with Suarez. I thought that after two replays, until the third one, from a different angle, showed the lack of contact. Although the referee was in what I assume to be a decent position, Suarez’s dive was convincing enough that Halsey could have honestly been mistaken. The rest of the match suggests otherwise, but I was not at all upset that he gave the penalty. I certainly would have.

    It is possible for fair refs to horribly mismanage a game. What needs to be done so fair refs can actually ref well? More refs on the pitch (the NFL fields something like 8 or 10) with zonal marking? Retrospective action? Video replay? Robotical refs?Kits that electronically mark contact?

  • Gord

    @El Gingo

    Some players not only dive, they feign injury.

    In general, I do not think the diving situation is going to go away. But, for players that feign injuries, and then miraculously a minute or two later, they are completely healed, I think a yellow card for simulation is in order. I suspect the laws would not allow this interpretation.

  • rusty

    This is exactly the sort of game that happens when the ref doesn’t set the tone at the start of the game by issuing some cards. That this game ended with just one yellow is almost laughable to me and anyone else who watched it.

    As an Arsenal fan, though, I have to say I appreciated Robin’s aggressive tackling — he took it upon himself to stand up for his team in the face of some bad challenges by Liverpool. Of course, according to Halsey, Robin’s tackles weren’t serious fouls either…

  • Jacobs

    I watched the penalty and no contact at allll. Suarez needs to be cautioned. He is a diver fainting injury.

  • Kentetsu

    Great review and I also enjoyed Gord’s comments. Keep the reviewers sharp!

    For the penalty incident, Suarez dived, simple as that. He lost control of the ball and went down as soon as he saw Szczesny come close. Yet, Szczesny did block the path Suarez went. Even if there is no contact, there can still be a foul. Can you say that’s been the case here?

    Most shocking of this match was what Liverpool could get away with. In particular Kuyt’s abuse towards the assistant ref got me incensed. How much clearer dissent can you get? A very easy yellow that the ref failed to hand out. All very symptomatic for the way the ref “managed” the game.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Kenetsu, After the ball was gone, Szczesny was just bringing his feet in under his body in order to stand up. He did not trip Suarez, block his path or take him out.

  • Kentetsu

    @Ref Reviewer 03:

    When watching the match, I did not think it was a penalty and the more replays I saw the surer I was. But still wanted a ref’s opinion regarding impeding the path of a player. Thanks for the quick reply.

  • GunZ BlaziN

    the ref reviews just clear up one thing………. Most of the REF’s are either Manure fans……..Liverpool fans or Chelsea fans.

    Its hard to win something when you have this many enemies 🙂

  • Goonergerry

    Very good review-Two games, 2 dives- 2 penalties- what is wrong with the eyesight of English refs?
    Quite honestly we looked lightweight and over-run at times in midfield-especially in the first half- but the point about successive illegal use of the arms in challenges being made by Liverpool players- especially down the right hand side and play acting by the cheat Suarez not being picked up by officials is absolutely spot on. Incidentally Liverpool had a defensive weakness all game on the right hand side of their defence- and they may have had the lions share of possession but could easily have conceded more than 2.

  • GunZ BlaziN

    i forgot to add “and especially those enemies who control the outcome of the game”.

  • Stuart


    thanks for the link referring to video of the Arteta incident. Having viewed that, in my mind it is clear the Liverpool player had every intention of doing what he did. Why did he not have the same passion in getting the ball immediately after this incident?

    I will be writing to the FA to ask that they look in to this as he should at the very least receive a ban I am sure

  • Laundryender

    This is a great review, and as i saw the game, well done to the reviewer and Walt and Doface.

    Re Henderson, it was deliberate on Arteta, the Dogface clip shows him leading with the Elbow and making no attempt to avoid contact despite having Arteta in his view for 3-4 yards. The FA should cite him but will they? Will they bollocks, he is English, he is also shit and was hugely overpriced as was Carroll. Well done on that King Kenny!
    Re Suarez, a horrible little shit! Simple as that.
    Halsey as a ref is past his sell by date, I don’t suspect him of bias, but I do think that he Refs in a style that FIFA (the lawmakers) consider obsolete. It suited Liverpool on Saturday because under King Kenny, they play a style of football that is stuck in the 80s. I believe this is Halseys last season (please correct me here Walter) I suspect King Kenny will not have too many more seasons either.

  • Here is a replay of the Henderson/Arteta clash – I would say that Henderson wanted to let him know he was there.

    Jordan Henderson and Arteta clash from the back.

    Jordan Henderson and Arteta clash from the front.

    Halsey is to blame IMO as he let so much stuff go unpunished that the tackles went in from late to very late to off the ball completely. Very poor performance.

  • Laundryender

    The more you look at it, the clearer the assualt becomes!

    where is the media campaign?

  • @Laundryender – true, the ref had his back turned so he had a pop at him – I doubt he intended to knock him out but negligence is as good as intent when you do something as dangerous as that on a football field – these players aren’t expecting contact off the ball and have their guard down.

    I am going to put these gifs in the Article before they drop off the comments section. Walter – you ok with that?


  • WalterBroeckx

    Great Dogface

    Love the clips a lot.
    In a way Henderson had both Arteta and the ref in front of him and knew that the ref turned his back on them…
    In this case you can’t blame Halsey for doing nothing because he couldn’t see it. Maybe he was let down by his assistants or maybe they also couldn’t see it from their point of view.
    But it sure looks that Henderson knew that he would make himself felt when passing Arteta. We cannot assume that he intended to take him out as it happened but he sure wanted to give Arteta a rough treatment.

  • Stuart

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Dog face. The ref has let the game turn into a free for all for Liverpool and quite naturally, they will be pushing their luck to see how far they can go. He should have made it clear from the initial bad challenge / foul play that this is not the way his game is going to go.

    Failiure to take control has led to Henderson going in to the challenge with his arms in place to push the player out of the way which luckily didn’t end up with more sever consequences.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Looking at these .gif’s, I think it might have been the back of Henderson’s head that caught Arteta in the face.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Either the back of his head or his shoulder.

  • Cape Gooner

    Thanks Reviewer 3.

    Please comment on an incident in the 42nd minute. Walcott chipped the ball over the heads of RvP and Carragher, past the far post. RvP and Carragher were running to where the ball would land as the ball looped over their heads. Carragher couldn’t keep up with RvP, so he put his arm across RvP to slow him down. But he didn’t put his arm across RvP’s chest as JD did with Ibramhimovic, he put his arm into RvP’s face. Why wasn’t this a foul and a red card?

  • FinnGooner

    Great review. I had difficulties to watch 2nd halftime as I was really worried not for losing match but losing players. and especially with ref doing nothing.

    Good news is that Mikel Arteta is fine. Message from him on

  • Queen of Suburbia

    Good review. The thing i noticed on top of the incidents you’ve cited was the little off the ball nudges that Liverpool players were giving Walcott in particular, they were clearly deliberate, pre-meditated and designed to get him off balance to counter his advantage in pace.

    Its clear, how much impact the ref has in these types of games, last week Parker received a booking for aggressive play (and I suspect some cumalative fouling) that changed the game. This week, Henderson and Spearing were allowed to do pretty much whatever they wanted.

    The ref set the tone.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Glad to see so much comment on the Arteta incident. I couldn’t watch the game but when I saw the highlights it was clear to me that Henderson shifted his body weight toward Arteta. Yet the caption and comments said that it was accidental. I have a high level background refereeing ice hockey and it is precisely those shifts in weight that you look for when determining intent. And, we do it when players are moving much faster that a football player on a pitch (albeit in a more confined area). It is unconscionable (sp?)that the FA may very well not look at this.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Cape Gooner – that incident was at 43:02. The way I see it is that Carragher has a slightly better position than Van Persie and he uses it to his advantage. He sticks his arm out as well but this appears to be a fairly normal of defenders in those kinds of situations. The main thing is that Carragher has got his body in front of Robin and that is what he principally used to hold off Van Persie.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @GoingGoingGooner – good ice hockey analogy. It was very much like a player checking another player off the ball (puck).

    In ice hockey, would that be a normal 2 minute penalty or would he penalized for longer due to the nature of the foul?

  • Gord


    I suspect many years ago, a similar hit in ice hockey wouldn’t have been called. But, there have been too many good players taking head shots in the recent past, and discipline is being administered. The worst part of the hit, is that Arteta had no idea he was going to be hit.

    The ongoing problems with Sidney Crosby resuming to play ice hockey are keeping attention on the concussion issue.

    It might be interesting to hear what Don Cherry makes of that hit (Henderson on Arteta)? 🙂 He’s pretty old school, and sticks up for the “enforcers” a lot.

    I suppose another comparison here, would be the quarterback in gridiron football getting hit from the blind side. That tends to be punished strongly.

    Thanks for the review, and fielding so many comments (too many from me, I’ll go back to sleep now).

  • Byo

    I still am not convinced that Henderson did not set out to intentionally knock out Arteta- his elbow did the damage, and made sure was behind the referee. His action was despicable, one professional out to hurt another.

  • Byo

    @GR- How many times have Arsenal had most of the possession, the most passes, most attempts at goal, hit the posts, etc-in short out-played the opposition, and lost?
    The only thing that counts is how many goals you put in the back of the net. Isn’t that what the criticism of Arsenal was? Tiki-taka, right?

  • Mahdain

    PGMO are so pathetic…they gave us a one week break from their elite screwers against liverpool but it’ll be back to business vs newcastle as it will the head of pgmo in waiting…howard webb

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    I found a shoulder check in the NHL somewhat similar to what Henderson did on Arteta.

    Shane Doan makes a blindside shoulder check to the head of his opponent. He wasn’t penalized at the time of the foul but he later received a 3-match ban for the incident. The other player, Dan Sexton, wasn’t concussed either, but still the NHL realizes that these types of blows to the head are potentially very dangerous and they are trying to stamp it out.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Ref Reviewer 03. The rules have shifted somewhat in the NHL recently because of the recognition of the severity of concussions in the league so that ANY contact to the head is reviewed by the league.

    Contact of that type would be a 5 min major and a game misconduct and sure-fire interview with the league disciplinarian. Given what the league has given this year AND the fact that he doesn’t have a record of this behaviour he would normally get a 2-3 game ban-5 games if it was a second occurrence.

  • Steve Vallins

    Great review also agree with most of the comments posted . Arsenal do have problems with refs also with experienced match commentators BBC MOTD 91st minute Kelly pulls back Gibbs a clear infringement his comment was CANT SEE MUCH WRONG IN THAT which you can see how this can influence the general public in how they view Arsenal

  • Gord

    I think it is DogFace we have to thank for the animated GIF?

    I exploded the back view (31 images), and then used the convert program from ImageMagick to increase the size to x4, despeckle that image and then apply an unsharp mask (which actually sharpens the image).

    convert file.000.gif -resize 400% -despeckle -unsharp 0 file2.000.gif

    I then bundled the first 11 images, and changed the delay from 0.10s to 0.30s.

    To me, the contact is definitely Henderson shoulder to Arteta head. The movement of Henderson’s arm is just to make sure that Arteta’s head hits his shoulder.

  • none

    Can you imagine the media campaign if it had been an Arsenal player…

    1. Falling over Reina
    2. “Running into” Henderson

    All in the same match?
    The Murdoch empire would have us declaring war on France and looking for ways to deport that pesky professor. While the Daily Fail would be running recruitment posters for a posse to lynch the team.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Steve Vallins, I heard the same and fell from my chair when I heard this. Henderson clearly pulled Gibbs on his shoulder. But those match reporters are not refs so they have no clue. And if this one would be a ref he would be a typical ‘you can kick the shit out them-refs”

  • Gooner Gal

    I agree with GoingGoingGooner. As these were my thoughts after seeing the evidence played again above (thanks for the GIF insert). Anyone that has walked along a city centre like London or New York have had the experience of collision avoidance contortionism. You find your self trying to shift your body weight and physique to avoid hitting the person that has pulled up abruptly. It looks like the KOP flop Henderson had a rush of blood to the head and put in an intentional elbow. As commendable as Arteta’s statement is on, I think the FA need to review it and make a judgement on it.

    King Krankie said that he reckons that his team need to start winning ugly…which I guess is slightly different to simply playing ugly like they currently do at the moment. Jay Spearing is more reckless liability than he is tough tackler that wins the ball and Suarez gets an 8 out of 10 for his dive. His ankle was grazed apparently but he clutched the top of his knee and then slivered about like a snake in a way that would of had Steve G screaming and clapping ‘bravo, bravo’!

  • Yommex

    Henderson’s action was 100% premeditated. The issue of whether he had the intent to injure or that the injury would be grievous does not really matter. Most criminals would probably not have executed their plans if they knew it would result into serious injury to their victims; weapons primarily are said to be employed to threaten their victims.
    Verict: He should be slammed with a ban.

  • Yommex

    I cannot understand why teams seem to easily get penalty kicks awarded for them against us and we never seem to get any. Our match against Sunderland readily comes to mind.

  • mark

    The bias against Arsenal is evident from those who officiate. I wonder if this is a policy? The level of mistakes by the ref is horrid!

  • Gord

    Okay, I wrote the FA and got an answer back. They say there is nothing there. And they aren’t going to pursue it.

    I took the animation (that DogFace? found somewhere), and as noted elsewhere enlarged each frame and slowed down the playback. Or, so far I did that for the “back” view. Of the 31 frames in the back view, the first 11 are sufficient to show the approach and contact. But, bundling the thing back up into a GIF again, the file size (for 1/3 the frames) goes from a bit under 1 MB, to about 5 MB. And there is no proper email address to contact the FA, just some stupid webform.

    Do I keep pursuing this?

  • Gord – I would take the gifs and write an article on what you did – include the FA response and question how/why they could come to that conclusion.

    Best way to put the pressure on in my opinion.