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July 2021

Untold Ref Review: Blackburn Rovers 0 – 2 Manchester United

This article is part of a series stretching over several seasons in which a team of referees analyse the work of refs in Premier League matches.

Our figures show that when we analyse the errors made by refs there are consistent trends which do not “even out” through the season, as some commentators would have it.    All the earlier ref reviews plus analyses of the errors made by refs, and articles relating to our campaign to have the body which organises referees activities reformed, plus an analysis of the background to this campaign, can be found on:

Although this is a site built for Arsenal supporters we welcome comments from fans of other teams, although we tend not to publish comments which are simply abusive or which are completely off topic.

Today’s referee is Howard Webb –

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Howard Webb (2012-04-02)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
5 OTHER Yakubu Ferdinand C 1
7 OTHER Ganst Jones C 1
13 OTHER Ollsson Jones C 1
17 OTHER Yakubu Evra C 1
22 OTHER N/C Throw given to Blackburn should have been other way 1
22 OTHER Rafael Yakubu N/C He missed his tackle and took him out 1
23 OTHER Blburn Rooney C 1
23 OFFSIDE Valencia C 1
26 OTHER N/C Advantage given after a foul by Scholes, but possession is not an advantage and Blackburn go backwards, Webb should have returned to the foul 1
28 OTHER Jones Ollsson C 1
34 OTHER N/C Jones and Nzonzi come together, it is a bit of handbags really and Webb lets it go,I feel he is entitled not to punish the players, but at the very least he should have stopped the game and had a stern word with both players wanrning them of future conduct. Diaby must feel gutted when he sees this sort of inconsistency amongst Refs 0
36 OTHER Evra Ganst C 1
39 OTHER Valencia Ollsson C 1
39 YELLOW Valencia C Valencia broke up a good Blackburn situation 2
41 OTHER Scholes Blcburn C 1
43 OTHER Blcburn C Handball 1
45 OTHER C Webb stops play for a head injury to Chicarito, there is no foul, but he awards a free kick to Man Utd who pass the ball to Blackburn, good Reffing! 0
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
53 OTHER Hanley Scholes C 1
53 YELLOW Hanley C He definitely let Scholes know he was there 2
56 OTHER N/C Corner given to Man Utd but looked like a goal kick to me 1
60 OTHER Scholes Yakubu N/C He got the ball, plenty of it! 1
60 YELLOW Scholes N/C For dissent, and for calling the Ref a””FUCKING WANKER”” should be at least a yellow, but not if you are on first name terms with Howard Webb it isn`t 2
62 GOAL Ganst C Great strike but rightly disallowed for the ball leaving the field of play in the build up 3
64 OTHER Ferdinand Yakubu N/C He came from behind with his feet in the Yaks face, this was dangerous play and should have been a foul to Blackburn 1
64 OTHER N/C Instead Webb gives a throw to Man Utd 1
68 OTHER Blcburn C Handball 1
70 OTHER Hoilett Wellbeck C 1
70 YELLOW Hoilett N/C He kicked the ball away in dissent in anger at the decision, this should have been an easy Yellow 2
80 GOAL Valencia C Good goal 3
86 GOAL Young C Good goal 3

We have seen it before where Howard Webb puts in a strong first half followed by a poor second half. It is becoming a trait. This was an easy game to ref, like the Wolves game last week Man Utd were always in control. An easy game to Ref with not too much tackling, but despite this Webb still only managed an average score.

For me there were too many occasions when Webb let us all down, the decision not to card Nzonzi  was OK, the players sorted it out themselves but, Webb should have stopped the game and asserted his authority on the players. Then they know where they stand. The decision not to caution Scholes for dissent was bad, but to not at least caution “Paul” for calling you a “fucking Wanker” Howard Webb was sycophancy, it was cowardice, it was poor refereeing, and like Mike Dean in the City V Chelsea game, you failed referees up and down the country when you did not apply the laws of the game. It is what you are paid to do

The decision not to caution Hoillett again was poor refereeing, his dissent was obvious and he almost kicked the ball out of the ground in anger.  All we want is consistency, what applies in one game should apply in all games, there is only one law book in football, and some things are not open to interpretation.

COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Howard Webb (2012-04-02)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
OFFSIDE 1 1 100.00
OTHER 11 15 73.33
YELLOW 1 1 100.00
TOTAL 13 17 76.47
WEIGHTED 14 18 77.78
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OTHER 3 7 42.86
YELLOW 1 3 33.33
TOTAL 7 13 53.85
WEIGHTED 14 22 63.64
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 1 1 100.00
OTHER 14 22 63.64
YELLOW 2 4 50.00
TOTAL 20 30 66.67
WEIGHTED 28 40 70.00

So the numbers clearly show a poor final score after a bad second half.

BIAS SUMMARY – Howard Webb (2012-04-02)
Period 1 Blackburn Rovers % Manchester United % Total
Correct For 6 50.00 6 50.00 12
Correct For Weighted 7 53.85 6 46.15 13
Incorrect Against 2 66.67 1 33.33 3
Incorrect Against Weighted 2 66.67 1 33.33 3
Fouls Commited 5 45.45 6 54.55 11
Fouls Penalised 5 100.00 4 66.67 9
Period 2 Blackburn Rovers % Manchester United % Total
Correct For 0 0.00 7 100.00 7
Correct For Weighted 0 0.00 14 100.00 14
Incorrect Against 4 66.67 2 33.33 6
Incorrect Against Weighted 5 62.50 3 37.50 8
Fouls Commited 2 66.67 1 33.33 3
Fouls Penalised 2 100.00 0 0.00 2
Totals Blackburn Rovers % Manchester United % Total
Correct For 6 31.58 13 68.42 19
Correct For Weighted 7 25.93 20 74.07 27
Incorrect Against 6 66.67 3 33.33 9
Incorrect Against Weighted 7 63.64 4 36.36 11
Fouls Commited 7 50.00 7 50.00 14
Fouls Penalised 7 100.00 4 57.14 11


Apart from that it was the usual Webb, most decisions going Man Utds way. PS the Man Utd support behind the goal were in great voice.

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2 comments to Untold Ref Review: Blackburn Rovers 0 – 2 Manchester United

  • Shard

    Ref Reviewer

    I was watching this game, and there was one incident which I was hoping would be mentioned here but isn’t. I don’t remember which minute of the match it was in, but there was an instance where a Blackburn player took a shot from the edge of the box, and De Gea pulled off a good diving save. It was just prior to the shot, that I thought Evra(?) fouled another Blackburn player by barging him in the back (instead of going for the ball cleanly). This took place in the box, and to me, it appeared that it could have been called a penalty.

    Any chance you could clarify this?

  • bob

    Ref Reviewer,
    Your work is duly noted and appreciated.
    It’s (alas) unfortunate how this “typical” game by the Webbmaster brings so little commentary hereabouts. To my lights, however, it’s very important that you are documenting how he oversees and manages a “typical” Webb-outcome; another brick in the road to The Rednose XX.

    Can visuals be isolated (screen shots from the computer)?, even after the fact by time signature? As you undoubtedly know, these framed screen shots (as jpegs, or whatever the saved format) would illustrate the key calls-and-non-calls; then be organized into a slideshow of the match(es); which, in turn, can be posted online, match by match, or ref by ref, etc. Hopefully this is potentially in the works.

    Paired with the visuals, this “typical” Webb match becomes powerful evidence of the pattern that Don Fungus regularly has denied with his own mind-numbing cliched mantr-pronouncement that “it all evens out in the end” in a league like ours (i.e., mine). Well, I’d love to see IF and HOW Webb’s alone, and then all the other ManU ref reviews – the champions road to the exalted trophy – actually even out in the end.

    If these ref reviews do nothing more than decisively disprove and eliminate the all-powerful “commonsense understanding” that “it all evens out” in the end, then all that’s left to the jaded Knights of the Tilted Pitch is to claim: er, well, Ok then, this year a seemingly skewed (read “tilted/bent” result) is down to a Royal Coincidence. Then, if/when the non-coincidental nature of the Webbmaster’s (and others’) calls is convincingly established, only one conclusion is left to draw… Cheers for your dedicated work.