Ref for this match: Anthony Taylor
First remark I want to make is that apart from a few minor incidents it seemed that Aston Villa wanted to play a fair match of football. This resulted in the fact that the first time the ref had to make a real decision…it was to approve a goal for Arsenal. Giroud was well onside when Özil flicked the ball in his path and so good work from the assistant even though it wasn’t that difficult to make the correct decision. But still we have seen stranger things happening.
Then the ref made a few mistakes. A foul given to Aston Villa when there was no foul, a foul not given when Ramsey was held back when the tried to run to a ball he had recovered. Minor mistakes to be honest. But a bit irritating when seeing them and during the match in the stadium. I know someone in the crowd near to me seemed to be an avid Untold referee review reader as he was using a lot of “f*cking” words to describe what the ref was doing at that moment.
Near the end of the first half again a few errors in favour of Aston Villa. Hutton came in frontal against Monreal and that was a foul but instead he gave a corner to Villa. He gave another one when Benteke headed the ball wide. But nothing came from it.
His first half score was 71% in total and when we put weight on it the score goes up to 75%. If we only look at the important decisions the total score is 50%. Only the wrongly given corner responsible for this drop in points. But a rather impressive score for the first half from ref Taylor compared to his past reviews.
In the second half the first fact I want to point at is that it took Arsenal 32 minutes in the second half before they committed a first foul. Then made 2 in 2 minutes and that was it. 2 fouls in the second half from Arsenal in total. Over the whole 90 minutes they made 8 fouls against the laws of the game, 3 of them were offsides.
This is the second time in a row that Arsenal not only give a very solid defensive performance but they also do this by almost making no fouls at all. If I remember correctly they only made 2 fouls after going up 0-1 at Manchester City in the remaining hour of the match and now again only 2 fouls in the whole second half. That is really amazing.
Talking points in the second half. Sanchez for the second time having an arm ending up in the face of Giroud. A yellow card would have been appropriate by now just to calm him down. Clark coming in wildly against Walcott earned him a correct booking.
As Arsenal didn’t make many fouls and Aston Villa made a few fouls but again nothing really bad the ref had an easy match. Carles Gil was getting a bit frustrated after a few goals and started hacking against Özil without Taylor punishing it. But when Carles Gil seconds later did it again he called the foul and the yellow card. So again well done by the ref.
The penalty was a clear foul from a keeper who committed himself and the striker being first on the ball made him commit the foul. No card was needed in my opinion. Akpom played the ball away from goal so didn’t have a clear scoring angle or even a clear scoring chance. So just a foul and a penalty was fine with me. Certainly no red card. For the rest he called the fouls in a good way once we were clearly in front.
His second half score was 88% in general and when we put weight on it the score goes up to 90%! Only looking at the important decisions the score is just under 78%. Impressive numbers for a referee!
Total score over the whole 90 minutes was just over 80%. And if we put weight on the decisions it goes up to 85%. Looking at the important decisions only his score was 72%. Of course when you have a match with lots of goals who have a big weight on the score of a ref and all these goals were correct it helps a lot.
So a high score from ref Taylor and something we didn’t expect before the match. But I think Arsenal played it clever and never gave the ref the chance to make vital mistakes that could have been costly. Still the bias in the wrong decisions was 100% against Arsenal. He didn’t do us any favours at all but because of both teams playing it rather fair he never got in a position to hurt any team.
As I said in my preview of this match: it was down to Cazorla to beat Taylor. And as Cazorla was on fire once again we just won the match. Just as we did every time since the little Spaniard has been an Arsenal player and we had Taylor and Cazorla was too hot to handle for the opponents.
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