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Arsenal v Man U: how the referees have been treating each club this season

By Bulldog Drummond

Man U’s away form puts them at number 8 in the away league with three wins, three draws, and four defeats.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 9 8 1 0 20 5 15 25
2 Chelsea 10 7 0 3 24 18 6 21
3 Leicester City 10 6 1 3 24 10 14 19
4 Manchester City 10 6 1 3 27 14 13 19
5 Sheffield United 10 3 6 1 11 9 2 15
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 3 5 2 13 11 2 14
7 Southampton 10 4 2 4 14 13 1 14
8 Manchester United 10 3 3 4 12 13 -1 12

It makes them pretty much as likely to get a win as a draw as a defeat – so in effect everything depends on the opposition, and the way the referee treats each side.

Here is Arsenal’s position in the home league table…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 10 0 0 27 9 18 30
2 Leicester City 10 7 2 1 19 9 10 23
3 Manchester City 10 7 1 2 27 9 18 22
4 Tottenham Hotspur 10 6 2 2 21 10 11 20
5 Manchester United 10 5 4 1 20 10 10 19
6 Everton 10 5 2 3 12 11 1 17
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 4 4 2 16 14 2 16
8 Newcastle United 10 4 4 2 11 9 2 16
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 4 3 3 14 11 3 15
10 Crystal Palace 10 4 3 3 9 9 0 15
11 Burnley 10 5 0 5 13 15 -2 15
12 Sheffield United 10 4 2 4 12 10 2 14
13 Chelsea 10 4 2 4 11 10 1 14
14 Aston Villa 10 4 2 4 13 14 -1 14
15 Arsenal 10 3 4 3 15 17 -2 13

So Arsenal likewise are pretty much as likely to win as draw as lose.   Which means that which team will win may well be be down to the referee.   So looking at the referee table, we can see that Arsenal get more cards than are given against them while Man U get fewer cards than the opposition in games.  And yet the clubs commit pretty much the same number of fouls.

So if this is an average game Arsenal will certainly be penalised far more than Manchester United.

Team Pld Cards Cards per game Diff
For Agst For Agst
1 Arsenal 20 52 46 2.60 2.30 6
2 Tottenham 20 51 40 2.55 2.00 11
3 Watford 20 47 37 2.35 1.85 10
4 West Ham 19 42 25 2.21 1.32 17
5 Man City 20 43 25 2.15 1.25 18
6 Bournemouth 20 43 41 2.15 2.05 2
7 Sheffield United 20 42 26 2.10 1.30 16
8 Man United 20 41 51 2.05 2.55 -10

In short the prediction for this match is that the teams are fairly evenly matched, but based on this year’s refereeing experience Manchester United are much less likely to get fouls given against them and less likely to get yellow cards as a result of players’ fouling, than Arsenal.   Thus Arsenal start with something of a mountain to climb.

It all means we start with a serious disadvantage.

Looking at December’s results we can see Man U taking advantage of the situation

Date Game Res Score Competition
01 Dec 2019 Manchester United v Aston Villa D 2-2 Premier League
04 Dec 2019 Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur W 2-1 Premier League
07 Dec 2019 Manchester City v Manchester United W 1-2 Premier League
12 Dec 2019 Manchester United v AZ Alkmaar W 4-0 Europa League
15 Dec 2019 Manchester United v Everton D 1-1 Premier League
18 Dec 2019 Manchester United v Colchester United W 3-0 League Cup
22 Dec 2019 Watford v Manchester United L 2-0 Premier League
26 Dec 2019 Manchester United v Newcastle United W 4-1 Premier League
28 Dec 2019 Burnley v Manchester United W 0-2 Premier League

That makes it six wins, one defeat and two draws.  However of the ten games only three have been away, and it was away to Watford than Man U suffered their defeat of the month.

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Arsenal in contrast

Date Game Res Score Competition
01 Dec 2019 Norwich City v Arsenal D 2-2 Premier League
05 Dec 2019 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion L 1-2 Premier League
09 Dec 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
12 Dec 2019 Standard Liège v Arsenal D 2-2 Europa League
15 Dec 2019 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 Premier League
21 Dec 2019 Everton v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
26 Dec 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
29 Dec 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea L 1-2 Premier League

While Man U have had one defeat Arsenal have had just one win – and that was away to West Ham.  In fact all three home games this month have been defeats.

Thus with the refereeing position not in our favour as well as current form being against us, this could well be a struggle with Arsenal picking up cards for fouls more readily, and simply lacking the confidence to get a win.

The refereeing of the last match is also likely still to be on Arsenal’s collective mindset.   In fact the only thing going in Arsenal’s favour at the moment is that the crowd has not yet turned on Arteta.

1 comment to Arsenal v Man U: how the referees have been treating each club this season

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Tonight’s officials are

    Referee: Chris Kavanagh. Assistants: Sian Massey-Ellis, Constantine Hatzidakis . Fourth official: Craig Pawson. VAR: Paul Tierney. Assistant VAR: Stephen Child.

    Nothing particular, at first glance, to be afraid of there and in Asian Massey-Ellis one of the best Assistants there is.

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