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July 2021

Untold Ref Review: AC Milan 4 – 0 Arsenal, Kassai and Uefa a case of clear robbery, once again


Today’s referee is Victor Kassai – Some Arsenal fans may remember him from his officiating of last season’s away match against Braga where Eboué was allowed to be kicked off the pitch leaving Arsenal with only 10 men as they had already used all of their subs and perhaps more importantly from when Kassai denied Carlos Vela a penalty, booking him instead.
Here is Wenger’s post match interview of that match:,19528,11670_6524106,00.html

And you can find our ref review about this game over here

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Victor Kassai (2012-02-15)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
1 OFFSIDE Ibrahimovic C 1
3 OTHER Gibbs NC Handball, not given 1
3 OTHER Nocerino Arteta C Late, kicked Arteta’s boot, might have been booked 1
11 OTHER Ramsey Van Bommel C Grabbed his arm 1
15 GOAL C Boateng, goal okay 3
20 OTHER Song Boateng C Assumed correct 1
22 OTHER Antonini Sagna NC Slid in to block ball, caught Sagna’s foot, not given 1
23 OTHER Sagna Boateng NC Push, not given 1
23 OTHER Van Bommel NC High boot prevents Ramsey from playing ball 1
23 OTHER Ibrahimovic Vermaelen C Shove on defender 1
24 OTHER Silva RVP C Push 1
25 OTHER Song Boateng C Shove 1
26 OTHER Silva RVP C Pulled him back 1
26 OTHER Nocerino Ramsey C Knocked him down at the top of box, not given 1
28 OTHER Koscielny Emanuelson NC 50-50 ball, not a foul 1
30 OFFSIDE Ibrahimovic C 1
31 OFFSIDE Ibrahimovic C 1
35 OTHER Ibrahimovic Koscielny C Shove/handball 1
36 OTHER Robinho Vermaelen NC Blatantly obstructed Vermaelen, not given, Milan get a 2 on 1 break on goal 1
37 OTHER Mexes RVP NC Late, trip, took out Van Persie, ref played advantage when there wasn’t any 1
38 OFFSIDE Ibrahimovic NC Came back from offside position, not correct 1
38 GOAL NC Ibrahimovic was offside in the build up, goal should not have counted 3
40 OFFSIDE Ibrahimovic C 1
44 OTHER Boateng C High boot 1
45 OTHER Ibrahimovic Song C Trip 1
46 OTHER Antonini Szczesny C Got ball but continued through studs first into keeper 1
47 YELLOW Antonini C Didn’t try to pull back legs after contact with ball ? deserved 2
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
47 OFFSIDE Ibrahimovic C 1
47 OTHER Song Robinho NC Held his shoulder, not given 1
49 GOAL C Robinho, goal okay 3
51 OTHER Rosicky Nocerino NC Little push, not given 1
51 OTHER Emanuelson Ramsey NC body checked, Arsenal not awarded dangerous free kick 1
57 OTHER Robinho C Handball 1
58 OTHER Ibrahimovic Djourou C Trip 1
62 OTHER Mexes Rosicky C Pulled shirt to stop attack, advantage played and he did it again 1
62 YELLOW Mexes C Unsporting behaviour 2
70 OTHER Robinho Sagna NC Little push on Sagana as he headed back, not given, Milan get corner 1
72 OTHER Song Ibrahimovic C Trip 1
72 YELLOW Song C Stopped promising attack 2
73 OTHER Sagna Ambrosini C Foul 1
75 OTHER AOC Antonini NC Ox blocks the ball cleanly in their penalty area, wrong call by linesman 1
78 PENALTY Djourou Ibrahimovic C Used arm to obstruct him 3
78 YELLOW Djourou C Unsporting behaviour 2
79 GOAL C Ibrahimovic ? goal okay 3
80 OTHER Ambrosini Arteta C Two-footed seated tackle, didn’t connect though 1
80 YELLOW Ambrosini C Potentially dangersous type tackle 2
81 PENALTY Mexes RVP NC Pulled RVP down by shirt in area, amazingly not given 3
81 RED Mexes NC Mexes was on a yellow, should have been sent off for 2nd bookable offense 3
88 OTHER Arteta Ambrosini C Pulled back 1
88 OFFSIDE Pato NC Seemed level with last defender 2

As for this season’s match away to Milan, the home team started off strongly with a spectacular strike by Kevin-Prince Boateng giving the home side the lead.

Things got worse for Arsenal when Robinho who headed the ball in from 6 yards out.  However this goal should not have counted because Ibrahimovic was coming back from an offside position when the ball was played to him in the build up to Robinho’s goal.  Arsenal would go into the dressing room 2-0 down at halftime though it should have only been 1-0.

Robhino would score again shortly after the restart, this time legitimately.  Vermaelen slipped and Robinho made a well-placed shot that went in just inside the post.  Things weren’t going Arsenal’s way, but an away goal would get them back into the tie.  However they weren’t getting much luck.

In the 51st minute, Ramsey received the ball at the top of the area when Emanuelson clattered into the Welshman, knocking him down, and then taking the ball.  Surprisingly there was no free kick given.

In the 62nd minute Rosicky was charging down the field on a counter attack when Mexes pulled him back by his shirt.  The ref played on and then Mexes pulled Rosicky’s shirt again.  This time Kassai called the foul and booked Mexes.

If the night hadn’t been going well for Arsenal it was soon to get worse.  Ibrahimovic received the ball in the penalty area, jinxed Djourou who then stuck out his arm to impede the Milan striker from going past.  Ibrahimovic went down and the ref booked Djourou and awarded the spot kick which Ibrahimovic converted making it 4-0.  Ibrahimovic was perhaps a little clever in winning the penalty but Djourou did prevent him from going past by holding him off with his arm and the penalty and Djourou’s booking were acceptable calls.

But overall a very poor score in the competency part of the game. Around 66% is not good enough.

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COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Victor Kassai (2012-02-15)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 1 2 50.00
OFFSIDE 4 5 80.00
OTHER 12 19 63.16
YELLOW 1 1 100.00
TOTAL 18 27 66.67
WEIGHTED 21 32 65.63
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 2 2 100.00
OFFSIDE 1 2 50.00
OTHER 7 12 58.33
PENALTY 1 2 50.00
RED 0 1 0.00
YELLOW 4 4 100.00
TOTAL 15 23 65.22
WEIGHTED 25 37 67.57
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 4 75.00
OFFSIDE 5 7 71.43
OTHER 19 31 61.29
PENALTY 1 2 50.00
RED 0 1 0.00
YELLOW 5 5 100.00
TOTAL 33 50 66.00
WEIGHTED 46 69 66.67

You can also have a look at the bias summary and this also is very much in favour of Milan.

BIAS SUMMARY – Victor Kassai (2012-02-15)
Period 1 AC Milan % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 4 23.53 13 76.47 17
Correct For Weighted 6 30.00 14 70.00 20
Incorrect Against 2 20.00 8 80.00 10
Incorrect Against Weighted 2 16.67 10 83.33 12
Fouls Commited 11 68.75 5 31.25 16
Fouls Penalised 8 72.73 3 60.00 11
Period 2 AC Milan % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 9 56.25 7 43.75 16
Correct For Weighted 18 69.23 8 30.77 26
Incorrect Against 3 37.50 5 62.50 8
Incorrect Against Weighted 3 25.00 9 75.00 12
Fouls Commited 7 53.85 6 46.15 13
Fouls Penalised 4 57.14 4 66.67 8
Totals AC Milan % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 13 39.39 20 60.61 33
Correct For Weighted 24 52.17 22 47.83 46
Incorrect Against 5 27.78 13 72.22 18
Incorrect Against Weighted 5 20.83 19 79.17 24
Fouls Commited 18 62.07 11 37.93 29
Fouls Penalised 12 66.67 7 63.64 19

And as we stopped when Milan scored their 4th goal the most important moment of the two games approached.

The Bussacca-moment in CL football as we have called it last year was upon us once again. And guess what Van Persie was involved again.

Now, what happened two minutes later can only be described as a travesty of injustice.  Kassai denied Arsenal a penalty against Braga last season and he would do it again this season.

In the 81st minute, Robin Van Persie received the ball in Milan’s penalty area with his back to Philippe Mexes.  The Arsenal captain was about to turn the Milan defender and shoot when Mexes took a strong hold of Van Persie’s shirt near his collar and pulled hard.  This took away Van Persie’s balance and he fell to ground.  It was a 100% penalty, and no doubt about it a booking as well, especially as Djourou had been booked for less.  However the ref shockingly ignored it and allowed play to go on.

Just take a look at the picture below


And if want we can also show you the images of this incident



Remember that Mexes was already on a yellow.  Arsenal should have had a penalty and Milan should have played the next 10 to 12 minutes a man down.  Arsenal could have scored a crucial away goal from the spot and perhaps could have added another with the man advantage.  Mexes would also have been suspended for the 2nd leg.

There were too many mistakes made by this ref and his crew.  They rated at an unacceptable 68.75% of correct decisions with wrong calls favouring Milan by 13 to 5.  On the night, there was an irregular goal scored by Milan, a stonewall penalty denied to Arsenal, and a Milan player not being sent off.  Arsene can feel hard done by.  There is no excuse for missing the penalty on Robin Van Persie especially after he had just awarded Milan a relatively softer penalty two minutes earlier

As to Milan’s irregular goal, this was perhaps excusable.  Offsides can be very difficult to call correctly at times and moreover the linesman was probably more than 60 yards away from the action on the other side of the pitch.  He may have had his view obstructed by other players and he may not have seen when exactly the pass was made.  Ibrahimovic was coming back from an offside position and was a step offside when the pass was made but onside when he received the ball.
Nonetheless, It was an unfortunate goal for Arsenal to concede.

Arsenal had an off night and the horrible state of the pitch must have played its part.  However Arsenal weren’t as bad as the scoreline indicated.  If Milan’s 2nd goal had been disallowed and if Arsenal had been awarded and then converted the penalty not given to Van Persie, Arsenal would have walked away with 3-1 defeat and a precious away goal with all to play for in the home leg.

35 comments to Untold Ref Review: AC Milan 4 – 0 Arsenal, Kassai and Uefa a case of clear robbery, once again

  • WalterBroeckx

    D I S G U S T I N G!

  • Anne


    Agreed. I don’t know what to say because this is making me feel inspired to hit things again 🙂

  • AnT

    I am glad that I am not nearby Anne. 😉

  • bjtgooner

    Excellent review, Kassai was so bad he could be an honorary member of the PGMOL. Also, I thought Ibrahimovic dived for the penalty – but this is from memory. (For a big guy he does go down like a sack of spuds when he wants to!)

    Anne, remember the state of your knuckles!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just imagine with two good refs we would have won on aggregate with 4-3 and scored one away from home….

  • Anne


    You’re lucky that you aren’t within arms reach 🙂

    By the way, I find your handle funny… Because it’s like my name. Anne T. Did you do that on purpose? 🙂

  • Anne


    Thanks for the warning about the state of my knuckles. It’s good to be reminded of these things. And I’ll totally back you on your proposal to nominate Kassai to the PGMOL. He would be a perfect fit, wouldn’t he?

  • Donnyfan1

    Another ref being economical with the fairness. How they survive in what should be a cut-throat market is beyond belief. Thanks for an excellent review.

  • Barcaman

    Michel Platini has a deep-seated animosity for Arsene Wenger, arising perhaps from the fact that his father was fond of Wenger. UEFA should be forced to give detailed information on any communication with these referees before Arsenal European Champions League games and the extent of Michel Platini’s involvement. Victor Kassai’s refereeing was blatantly biased against Arsenal in the first leg against AC Milan as has been very well presented in this article. Damir Skomina’s refereeing was suspiciously poor in Arsenal’s second leg against Milan, and incorrect fouls against Arsenal were called with shocking frequency the closer it looked like Arsenal would make the seemingly impossible task of of overturning a 4-0 deficit quite possible. In the return leg against Barcelona in 2011, referee Massimo Busacca made one of the most inexplicable refereeing decisions in top flight football when he carded and sent off Van Persie after he had let off a shot fractionally after Busacca had whistled for an off-side at a deafening Camp Nou. Even Barcelona supporters were shocked by the refereeing decision, but they were also relieved because Barcelona at that point were being eliminated. A few months later in July, Sepp Blatter, whose unofficially chosen heir is Michel Platini, appointed Massimo Busacca as the Head of the FIFA Refereeing Department. It’s truly shocking, and even neutral fans have to wonder at the level of corruption in both UEFA and FIFA. Thank you to the author(s) of this very important blog.

  • malaysian gunner

    The comments are spot on. The latest with Fulham’s goal being disallowed anything can happen.That is why I have never trusted these guys in black.
    Just imagine this scenario.Newcastle are leading Arsenal 1-0.5 min aet to be played.As RVP scores the equaliser,the ref blows the whistle.Can any true gooner fan deny this is not possible?

  • RedGooner

    Excellent well documented article.

    Where are we going though with these apart from highlighting issues to regular readers.
    Is there no one we can send something like this article to and ask WTF is going and WTF are they going to do about it. ?

    PS Walter what did you make of the Belgium ref sending off the guy supposedly/injured on a stretcher in the game last week ?

  • RedGooner

    Oh and haha 1-0 to Everton someones getting twitchy !!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    RedGooner, in one of my further articles about refs and corruption I will highlight what an uphill battle it is. There is a wall of silence we are facing.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About that ref in Belgium: stupid, stupid and stupid

  • bob

    Kudos to RefReviewer!
    Bravo to Barcaman!

    Believe me, I never thought I’d be citing Joey Barton for any positive contribution to life, but surely he knows whereof he speaks when he rounds off on the Refshite/PGMOL travesty with this tweet about the theft of a match against QPR when the QPR-struck ball had clearly crossed the goal line: “When ur down there, u rarely get rub of the green. Big decisions all wrong. Ref saying ‘don’t blame us blame, the FA for not having goal line technology!’ Sort of sums it all up.” Our Joey’s eloquence was only eclipsed by the longer, pointed indictment of the Greatest Joke on Turf, which may well get him an Arsene-like banning.

    Chiming in on the travesty, QPR coach Mark Hughes let fly with this all-out assault on the assistants: “The laughable thing is that the FA have come out in support of goalline technology within an hour of the game finishing,” said Hughes. “It is absolutely ludicrous that they try to protect the poor performances of the officials that they supply. Until it comes in, actually do the job that the assistants are supposed to do: which is check whether or not the ball has gone over the line.
    “You ask for the key moments and key decisions in games to be judged correctly. In fairness to Martin Atkinson, he is acknowledged as one of the better referees, and his performance was OK. I just felt he was let down by his assistants.
    “They missed the key moments you have to get. They even got our goal wrong because that was offside, so they haven’t covered themselves in glory at all. They missed a penalty, a hand ball in the area, and in the end the guy on my side [Collin] completely lost his nerve to make any decision.”

    Oh, and I shant leave out the earnest tones of an FA so concerned that within one hour of said match it Blattered forth the following”
    “The FA has been a leading proponent of Goal Line Technology for many years,” read a statement. “We will continue to press for its introduction once further independent testing is complete later this year, so that anyone wishing to introduce the technology is able to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.”

    The Hives of Riley and Bussaccaville are crumbling in plain sight. Unless you are a shareholder of the 2 Goaline Technology Companies who are busy “testing” what any TV broadcast shows within 10 seconds and from multiple angles, might I ask you: are you still ready to embrace (read settle) for goal line technology? Time for that petition for full video replay just yet?

    You can read the full article in (trumpets) today’s Guardian football section:

  • Gf60

    How many “over the line” goals not given in the average year? I’m having trouble remembering more than 6 starting with the spuds at MFU years back, England v Germany, QPR yesterday being major ones.

    Now, how many wrong red cards? How many “offside” goals or “not offside” goals. How many missed/incorrect penalties given? Cumulatively 60 a season?

    No question that the FA/FIFA gets the priorities correct.

  • Mahdain

    @bob yet another gold comment from you…and oh i think we have another word going into the untold dictionary… “Blattered”

  • awawa

    hey u had a bad referee that time…its suck indeed but keep complaining abt it will change nothing…
    get a life..
    referee is a human..and yet human can makes error even major one.. dont start with german vs england on wc2010…
    why dont u start with god-hand maradona’s goal?

  • Mahdain

    @awawa im thinking about cursing you but you are not worth it..why dont you try to put a concrete argument instead of just dismissing the dedication the refs reviewers put into doing this by telling them to get a life..idiot

  • bob

    Are you clued in to the FACT that several EPL managers – Hughes, Villas-Boas, Wenger, and more – this season have had major public denunciations of “the 92.3 percenters”? Perhaps you are an investor in one or both of the goal-line technology “testers” who are competing to win the Kontrakt for the Obvious? “Get a Life” you say? Well, surely you have a model life, a noble one, I mean taking the time to correct the record here like you jus’ done…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Awawa, don’t worry I have a life.
    Married, 4 children, working the whole day, after my working hours I am a ref myself, I do ref reviews, I write articles…
    My God, what a well filled life I have…

    Are there really only 24 hours in a day? 😉

    Maybe I should remember to get some sleep every now and then 🙂

  • bob

    Aha, Walter! You admit to sleep! Now what kind of life is that? 🙂

    And, while you were off sleeping, one Paul Wilson, a senior lens crafter of the (Manchester) Guardians footbawler cover-ups has just defined the full meaning of the EPL season with this headline on the run-in to the Fergus XX:
    Course favours Manchester United over City in two-horse title race
    (paired with this sub-headline:) Sir Alex Ferguson’s team have the knowledge experience and easier fixtures to pip Manchester City

    So Barca’s grip on La Liga refs (though not its unflagged Choke Holds on our necks, mind you) may be slipping, but surely NOT Don Fergus’ (sorry, SIR Alex Ferguson’s) grip on the EPL trophy and the Lord Football title-to-be.

    This is and has been The Meaning of this season; and The Script for what is to come. So let it be written, so let it be done (Mista Riley, aka Micky R).

  • bob

    p.s. so, in (fore)casting the players in the forthcoming “run-in” to the business end of the season: Micky R is The Midwife to the re-birth of Don Fergus as Lord Football. Gentlemen, start your engines.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Off to do my own game in half an hour now. What a life… 😉

  • bob

    Aha, Walter! You’re not asleep! You call that a real life?! 🙂

  • Goona Gal

    I have definately noted the steep decline in the standard of CL refs over the past couple of years which is a big shame.

    I hope more comes to light about what has been going on with Barca. I said last year that they saw/see us a real threat to them on so many levels. Being out played by Arsenal at the Nou Camp did not fit the ‘Barca is the best team in the world’ story, so the ref had to intervene.

  • Goona Gal

    I’m still in moderation? Perhaps it’s because I have decided on a very slight name change?

  • AnT.

    Actually Anne, I forgot ‘.’ after my initial. 🙂

    @Gf60: I agree with you. Goal line technology, for me, is less important than on-site video review as with this, we can take out many types of mistakes, including the goal problem.

    @awawa: well, if you build a house and the constructor builds with many mistakes so that your house last only a couple of months, just take it as they are only human. 😉 And if you care to read the intention of this site concerning the ref review, we try to find whether the mistakes from the refs are indeed just mistakes due to their incapability or there is an agenda behind them. Again, yes I need to get a life after writing this. :p

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yes Goona Gal with the invasion of some spuds our anti-spuds protection is very critical about person who change their names. 😉

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    CL ref standards have definitely dropped. Bussacca becoming head of the UEFA refs is surely a contributing factor.

    The way he sent off of RVP for not hearing a whistle against Barcelona when they were being eliminated was one of the worst refereeing decisions ever seen. With Bussacca they have put a fox in the henhouse.

  • bob

    Ref Reviewer 03,
    Please double-check, is Bussacca head of UEFA refs or FIFA ref development? And, in either case, what would be the formal relationship? And are there any rule differences you know of?

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @bob – you’re right Bussacca went to FIFA. I found an official UEFA document listing the members of its Referees Committee.

    UEFA Referees Committee

    Chairman: Angel María Villar Llona (Spain)

    [Not only is Angel María Villar Llona the chariman of the UEFA referee committee which is responsible for selecting referees for UEFA matches, he is also at the same time the President of the RFEF (Spanish FA)]

    Deputy Chairman: Şenes Erzik (Turkey)

    Chief Refereeing Officer: Pierluigi Collina

    Refereeing Officers:

    Marc Batta
    Hugh Dallas


    Yuri Basakov (Russia)
    Dagmar Damková (Czech Republic)
    David R. Elleray (England)
    Herbert Fandel (Germany)
    Bo Karlsson (Sweden)
    Jozef Marko (Slovakia)
    Vladimir Sajn (Slovenia)
    Jaap Uilenberg (Netherlands)
    Kyros Vassaras (Greece)
    Kurt Zuppinger (Switzerland)

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter, I took a trip around the Arsenal blogasphere and was suprised by the duplication of names. When I first came into the blogasphere, I did do a check to see what names were being used. At the time most were straightforward like ‘John’ or gunner(insert number here), I noted that people calling themselves say ‘gunner12’ were mainly twats so I went with the ‘gooner’ moniker as there were very few people with this in their name. Now there is another ‘gooner gal’ out there commenting on stuff, so I decided to modify my 2&1/2 yr old name. I don’t really comment anywhere else regularly as I don’t have too much time to read many other blogs, but I thought it could get confusing.

    I was actually hoping that the Spuds fan who last week promised he’d be back after our Liverpool and their Man U match was telling the truth.

  • Menace

    The PG Monkeys Officials Limited are bad but this UEFA collection of officiating shit take more than piss out of the beautiful game.

    Platini you are whore to corruption. Most of football is governed or controlled by corruption, not dissimilar to the shits that cheat on their expenses.

    Arsenal win in spite of all the bias and Arsenal supporters seem to be blessed with patience. Any other teams support would have rioted by now.

    Good on you Gooners – our football on the pitch does the talking for us.

  • bob

    I slight demur, monkeys have ethics and compassion.