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By Walter Broeckx, the delighted ref.
According to my match commentator our ref for today’s game was a débutante in the Champions League. So what more could we say at the start of the game at our ref from Italy besides: welcome. Or benvenuti as it seems to be in Italian. (Walter how the hell am I supposed to edit this and check for spellings if you keep throwing in foreign words? Tony)
The name of the ref looked like some Italian food at first but his name was not tagliatelli but it was Paolo Tagliavento. So let us see from where the wind was blowing, let us just check its ranking on the Beaufort Scale and wonder at just how freezing cold the Emirates really was. Well it looked really cold from the warmth of my home. (Cold, but not as cold as Kettering Station at 1am on my journey home – Tony)
OTHER: in the first half hour there was not much to get excited about and the ref also let the game flow a lot. One can always argue about some minor decisions or mistakes but all in all a fair first half hour for the ref and as there were not many major decisions I decided to give him a mark on his overall performance in the first half and he was doing a good job. 1/1
PENALTY/CARD/GOAL : Van Persie with his back to goal turns away from his defender who comes in, in a rather silly way and hits him. Van Persie goes down and the ref brings some vento in his whistle and gives the penalty. What else could he do? He doesn’t give a card and this is also correct. There was not a real goal scoring chance it was just a foul like you see a dozen in a game. Just the fact that the foul was made inside the penalty area does not mean you have to give a yellow card. So well done 1/1, 1/1 and 1/1.
OTHER: THE HIGLIGHT OF MY EVENING!!!!!!! Well for me as a ref anyway. What happened: Arsenal have a corner and when the ball is in the air the ref blows his whistle and gives a foul against Arsenal. I think I have been boring you at times telling you over and over again that it is forbidden to make any moves in front of a keeper when a corner is (to be) taken. I have shown you the laws of the game from Fifa. Oh, I might as well give them again:
Offences committed against goalkeepers
• It is an offence for a player to prevent a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
• A player must be penalised for playing in a dangerous manner if he kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it
• It is an offence to restrict the movement of the goalkeeper by unfairly impeding him, e.g. at the taking of a corner kick
And then now suddenly on a cold night is there this young Italian ref who gives a foul for just the fact that Song had placed himself in front of the goalkeeper (no foul in itself that!) but just the fact that Song made himself wider with opening his arms and made movements so that the goalkeeper could not run freely is a foul. And right before the corner was taken the ref blew his whistle and indicated that he would not tolerate any nonsense. I have a feeling I have told you this before but my god, for the first time in ages I have seen a ref giving the foul for this offence when Arsenal is involved in a game. And then the foul is given against Arsenal. But a very correct call. 1/1
If there is anyone out there who has seen the game with English commentators and pundits could you tell me what they made of it as I really would like to know. On Arsenal.com the reporter said: “I’m not sure what Song has done wrong.” Well this reporter can read it here if he likes to. You can’t even trust Arsenal.com these days. But for those who have arsenal.com and want to see it again just check the time when its 33.53 at the game clock. And compare this to the rugby tackling on keepers, the surrounding of keepers that is allowed in the EPL by some teams and most refs.
And after that you at the Emirates could need a warm cup of thee at half time and myself a cool cola to get over my excitement about this decision.
GOAL: It isn’t against the law to score with some help from a defender so nothing wrong again. 1/1
CARD: Krstajic gets a yellow card for bringing Walcott down to prevent him for going for the ball. Right at the edge of the penalty area and possible dangerous attack on the way and a foul away from the ball. Correct decision. 1/1
GOAL: Walcott brings some warmth in the Emirates with a well taken goal and everything very much within the rules. 1/1
GOAL: That’s more like it and did you see that movement from Nasri where he pretends to give it back to Song and then suddenly drags it for his left feet and shoots. NO? Really look at it again. And oh, yes nothing wrong with the rule book. 1/1
PENALTY: Denilson gets the ball in the penalty area and is brought down by a Partizan player. Another clear cut penalty but the ref lets this one go. This was a mistake from the ref. 0/1
CARD: Sagna brings down a Partizan player at the edge of the penalty area. The ref gives a foul and a red card. Yes it was a foul (he clipped his foot a bit) and if Sagna would have let him run he would have had a goal scoring opportunity. So according to the instructions the ref had every right to show him a red card. So I will give him the full marks for this. As this is what this ref review is all about. It is to see if the ref does it within the rules and according to the instructions. And then he did the right thing. 1/1
I do think that in a few years time when he has more experience in this type of games, and when the game is played and won he and most of the other more experienced refs would have given a yellow card. And as a supporter and as a manager you can say it is a bit harsh. And I think we can point at several other fouls where there is no red card given. But maybe if this ref, as a new ref on this stage, is setting out the lines for the future it might not be a bad thing as it will stop defenders bringing down players in such a position. Fabianski would have saved it anyway, I felt.
But this was the last really meaningful event, from a ref’s point of view, in this game and now let us see what this makes in total for the ref.
Total score: 10/11 (91%)
Now that is a score on your report you want to take home and show your parents.
And like I said in his first CL game he gave a very solid performance and always looked in control. He missed one penalty (the foul on Denilson) and this just shows how difficult it is to get all the decisions right. He nearly did. So I can only compliment the ref with his game.
And yes as a supporter I would loved it if he had just given a yellow card against Sagna but over here in this series, I try not to be a supporter when I write this. I leave it to you in the comment section to act like supporters and tell me that the red card was harsh.
Final note: as I am not working on my normal computer I cannot give you any pictures (disappointing oooh) and I also cannot give you the scores of the other refs so far in the champions League (oooh again). But I will try to make up with this and give you one of these days a summary of the refs in the CL we had so far now that the group games are over.
Political note: if you are a UK resident and you agree that it is wrong that government funding should be cut while Vodophone, Topshop, BHS, Dorothy Perkins, Barclays Bank, and most recently Cadbury, should avoid UK tax by utilising tax loopholes that the UK government refuses to shut down, please visit UK Uncut
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