Manchester City v Arsenal 14 December 2013 – The Match Officials
by Andrew Crawshaw
- Referee – Martin Atkinson (3rd time this year)
- Assistants – S Burt and H Lennard (2nd time for each of them with Atkinson this year)
- 4th Official – R Madley (first time this year)
So a third game by Mr Atkinson this year, he was in charge when we won at Sunderland on 14th September and when we beat Liverpool at the Ems on 2nd November. Surely it is a bit too soon to have him again? Do his bias numbers have something to do with this appointment?
You will recall this table :-
Martin Atkinson is on -29 and so worse than Webb.
You might not recall the equivalent graph for City.
A couple of points – firstly note that some of the bars are on green and to the right hand side of the Zero line (all of the lines in the Arsenal graph are in red and are to the left of the line), this means that the decisions of some of the referees were in favour of City and some were against.
I looked at these two graphs before the announcement was made on Monday afternoon and thought :-
- The PGMOL wouldn’t dare send Webb two weeks running so it won’t be him
- Moss is on +8 for City but only on -8 for Arsenal – not a big enough difference
- It will be either Atkinson or Clattenberg then.
- Here is the link to the article with the Chelsea Graph, make your own predictions for the game on the 23rd 64. Chelsea and the bias of the refs.
Come on PGMOL it is getting too easy to predict who you will send us!
OK back to Mr Atkinson and time to put some flesh on his numbers with Arsenal.
This year he has done two games so far
Sunderland 1 – Arsenal 3 : a longer one, some interesting things about referees and booing and hating players For me the main talking points were :-
- Minute Ö – Özil starts his first game for Arsenal
- Minute 10 – Özil to Giroud scores (0-1)
- Minute 43 – Ki booked for foul
- Minute 47 – A correctly given penalty against Koscielny and correct for there to be no card. Gardner scores from the spot (1-1)
- Minute 51 Gardner rightly booked for blocking Ozil on the break
- Minute 58 – Fletcher ‘goal’ rightly ruled out for offside
- Minute 59 – Flamini rightly booked for foul
- Minute 66 – Ramsey scores from a cross by Jenkinson (1-2)
- Minute 69 – Incident between Altidore and Sagna, which the referee judged to be a foul by Bac and blew for a free kick (both players were holding). Altidore then played on and put the ball into the net. The first foul was given and at the time there was no clear goal scoring opportunity.
- Minute 75 – Wilshere to Ramsey who scores (1-3)
- Minute 80 – Ozil substituted TV5 on
- Minute 85 – Ki could easily have had a second booking for a poor challenge on Flamini
- Minute 95 – Game ends and we were top of the league.
A game where he got the major calls more or less right and gave the usual bias against Arsenal for the small fouls.
Arsenal v Liverpool on 2nd November (2-0) For me the main talking points were:-
- Minute 16 – Possible card for Toure
- Minute 18 – Bac crosses to Cazorla who plays a great one two with himself via the right hand post and scores (1-0)
- Minute 24 – Sagna fouls Tevez and is in the process of rightly being booked when Liverpool attempt to take a quick free kick and the ball ends up in the net. Ref rightly points out to Liverpool that they need to take the kick when he tells them to.
- Minute 28 – Cissokhu rightly booked for tackle on Sagna
- Minute 35 – Sturridge dives to try and win a penalty – possible booking. Arsenal fans sing “are you Suarez in disguise” – nice touch!
- Minute 58 – Ramsey gets the ball from Ozil, lets it bounce three times, hits it on the half volley and scores a screamer (2-0)
- Minute 82 – Szczesny quickly off his line twice to smother Liverpool chances.
- Minute 87 – Szczesny plays a one two with Sturridge in one of his ‘moments’
- Minute 90 – Jenkinson rightly booked for shirt pulling
- Minute 93 – Game ends and Arsenal are five points clear at the top of the table.
A game which both teams played in a great spirit with very few fouls from either team. Little for Mr Atkinson to get wrong. Arsenal deserved both the win and the clean sheet.
I did a thorough review of Mr Atkinson’s performances with us in 2012/3 and 2011/12 in my preview for the Liverpool game Arsenal v Liverpool match ref preview: It’s going to be tough. so I won’t go back over all of that again here.
Looking at his games last year with Manchester City there were two reviewed:-
Match Review: Martin Atkinson – Manchester City Vs Swansea City (1 – 0) [27/10/2012] Overall rating 87% bias against 0/100 but no wrong key decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals) The main talking points were :-
- Minute 16 – Barry puts his body in the way of Rangel, a clear foul, the referee judges it to be a dive from Rangel and books him – four wrong decisions from one incident.
- Minute 38 – Richards rightly gets a yellow card for an off the ball foul, ref played a great advantage leading to a goal scoring opportunity – three right decisions from one incident.
- Minute 60 – Tevez scores a goal (1-0)
- Minute 71 – claim for handball from Kompany – rightly turned down
- Minute 75 – Balotelli should be booked for dissent at decision by assistant
- Minute 84 – Dyer rightly booked
A game where Mr Atkinson got a good overall score, but every one of his eight wrong decisions were in favour of City.
Match Review: Martin Atkinson – Manchester City Vs Manchester United (2 – 3) [09/12/2012] 66% overall bias against 52/48 and four wrong key decisions. The main talking points were :-
- Minute 4 – Valencia should be booked for a dive, nothing given
- Minute 4 – Ferdinand should also be booked for pointing and shouting at the ref for the not given foul against Valencia, should have been booked, nothing given
- Minute 13 – Balotelli should be booked for a stupid tackle near the corner flag, foul given
- Minute 15 – Rooney scores a goal (0-1)
- Minute 25 – Toure should be booked for a dive, nothing given
- Minute 28 – Rooney scores a goal (0-2)
- Minute 53 – Nasri rightly gets a yellow card for dissent
- Minute 58 – United goal wrongly ruled out for offside – goal by Ashley Young should have counted
- Minute 59 – Toure scores a goal (1-2)
- Minute 61 – Ferdinand should have had a second yellow card and been sent off
- Minute 72 – Rooney rightly given yellow card
- Minute 74 – Toure rightly given yellow card – this should have been his second and he should have been sent off
- Minute 85 – Zabaleta scores a goal (2-2)
- Minute 88 – Tevez rightly gets a yellow card
- Minute 91 – RVP scores (2-3), Phil Jones gets a yellow card for excessive goal celebration
- minute 94 – Barry rightly gets yellow card
- Minute 95 – City player (not named) should have been sent off for kicking at Jones was already on a yellow card should have been his second.
With an overall rating of 66% a really bad day at the office for Mr Atkinson and four wrong key decisions, one goal and three second yellow cards. The bias was as even as you can get so it was a bad day for both teams. United should have had another goal, City should have played against ten men for 15 minutes. Maybe those decisions balanced out, maybe not. With three not given yellow cards in the first 13 minutes, he had already lost control of the game by then and a flurry of yellows in the second half didn’t help him regain it.
There should be no excuse for a FIFA accredited referee ever having this bad a game.
He is inconsistent in his decision making and wrong far too often. He doesn’t impose the need to respect the rules of the game on the players, has an aversion to second yellow cards and has clear favourites among the teams he referees (Arsenal are not one of those teams).
The only good thing for Arsenal is that by having him for City, we can’t have him for Chelsea who are his most favoured team.
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal
- How European football has taken up the fight against clubs breaking FFP