by Walter Broeckx
At first I only planned to do this series on refs in the EPL. But after the game I thought it could be nice to do this also for the Champions League so that at the end of the season we also could make a comparison between the refs in both competitions. Who knows what we will find? Maybe we could come to the conclusion that the refs in the EPL are not that bad or it could be the other way round. We will see at the end of the season.
For the first CL game we got the visit of ref Hammer from Luxembourg.
OTHER: Within the first minute sliding tackle from a Braga player towards Nasri. He comes in frontal towards Nasri with his leg outstretched. The Braga player gets the ball but the ref calls the foul. Great decision early in the game and a call that not many refs in England would make. “He got the ball”, you know. A very important decision from the ref to show the players what he will allow and what not. 1/1
PENALTY: Cesc brought down in the penalty area. The defender made clear contact with Cesc and had nothing of the ball. Bad call from the ref on this one. 0/1
OTHER: Foul on Cesc. Player on his left pulls him by his arm OUTSIDE the penalty area. The other player blocks him also OUTSIDE the penalty area. So it was not a penalty, but it certainly was a foul just outside the penalty area. The ref refuses to be accused of give decisions under pressure of the home crowd, but it still is a bad decision. 0/1
PENALTY/CARD: Clear foul on Chamakh and clear penalty. Correct decision and I think even the most fanatic Braga supporter will agree on this. The yellow card is correct. The instruction is that if a player goes round the keeper and goes to the outside and is tripped it is a yellow card. If Chamakh would have gone inside and was tripped, it should have been a red card. 1/1 and 1/1
GOAL : nothing to report. 1/1
CARD: Yellow card against a Braga player for a trip on Chamakh. Correct decision. 1/1
GOAL: Arshavin gets the second Arsenal goal and nothing to report. 1/1
GOAL: Chamakh scores our third goal and Wilshere was very close to an offside position. Was he level with the last defender when the ball was played to him? I haven’t got a fancy computer thing to draw a line on my TV so I really couldn’t see it. It was a case of centimetres or inches almost not visible for the human eye. A linesman should in case of doubt give advantage to the striker. Good decision. 1/1
PENALTY: Arshavin tries to go between two defenders but is blocked and some people fall to the floor. Neither defender touched the ball at all. And there was a foul on Arshavin. This is one of those fouls that in midfield the ref would give the foul without hesitation, but suddenly in the penalty area they don’t. 0/1
OTHER/CARD: Nasri comes in with two feet. Not a sliding tackle but a kind of attempt to block the ball standing. But he ends up on the foot of the Braga player. Dangerous. The ref gives no card. Should have been yellow. 1/1 and 0/1
GOAL : Cesc scores the 4-0 and nothing to report. 1/1
OTHER: Chamakh gets an offside decision against him when alone on goal which was wrong. No penalty points because the doubt about our third goal. (I still think the goal was correct).
CARD: yellow against Sagna and he can’t complain. He comes in from behind. This was not a clever foul to make and needless at this point of the game. 1/1
GOAL: Vela scores after a move of some 17 passes started at left back from Gael Clichy. Nothing more to report apart from that. 1/1
GOAL: Vela scores his second and no offside during this move from Cesc or Vela. Another correct goal. 1/1
TOTAL SCORE: 12/16 (75%)
A final remark on what some commentators/pundits have said about the first foul on Cesc and the not given penalty. They said it was too early in the game. Well I have heard some nonsense in my life but this can be classified in the big nonsense. It’s never too early and never too late for a penalty. A penalty is a penalty and it doesn’t matter if it is the first of the last minute of the game.
I think he should have given one more yellow card. The dangerous action from Nasri springs to my mind.
On the penalties, or better said the not given penalty this cost him in his points a lot. He could have done better with this. But to give some credit to the ref he didn’t act in a way you sometimes see when after two doubtful actions in the penalty area he starts to add things up. You could imagine him thinking: I let the first doubtful situation go and now another doubtful situation so 2 doubtful situations I will give a penalty. He didn’t do it that way and a good ref should act that way and not add them up in his head.
So overall a mixed game I think. He did some very good things but at the end his refusing to give us some penalties cost him good points.
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