March 18, 2013

UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Balance

Last Wednesday, the last Round of 16 Second Leg experienced its final whistle so that we have got to know the eight teams that will combat to achieve the semifinals in the next round, the quarterfinals, which have been drawn yesterday in UEFA's headquarters (Nyon). Therefore, it is a good opportunity to draw a first caesura and retrospect the sixteen referee performances of this season's K.O. stage.

Our no.1 of the CL Round of 16: Viktor Kassai (8.6) (c) Foxsports

Celtic 0:3 Juventus Turin, refereed by Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP)
Just looking on the outcome of the match, the result, one may get the impression that the Spanish officials had a nice and easy-going evening in Glasgow - but it was not like that. Also "thanks to" the special atmosphere at this stadium, there was much suspense in the match and on the pitch. Undiano had to get over many riots and smaller infringements during or before the execution of corner kicks. A serious error happened in terms of that: in the 76th minute, he failed to recognize a clear holding in the box by Juventus' Padoin. He booked him and an opponent immediately before this corner for the same offense. At least, there was no consistency here. Nevertheless, he acceptably rejected a penalty appeal by Celtic (53').
But a more controversial decision was made in the third minute of play. Juventus' Matri scored a legal goal. However, the ball already crossed the line before which was nearly impossible to see for AAR2 Muñiz Fernández. In a newspaper article, Pierluigi Collina however made clear that the goalline referee had already recognized this crossing of the line. If we believe in his words, which we must do, then we must also congratulate Muñiz Fernández for making a correct decision he was actually unable to take, as the player's entire body obscured the ball and its crossing.
Our observer evaluated Undiano's performance with 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake).
> report

Juventus Turin 2:0 Celtic, refereed by Firat Aydınus (TUR)
Firat Aydınus' appointment for this match proofed UEFA's great trust into his skills, but also into the whole Elite Development Group. It never happened during the last seasons that an ED ref received a CL K.O. match. Of course, this appointment was also made due to the clear first leg result.
There is nearly nothing to say about his performance. He performed well, but had no real challenges to cope with throughout 90 minutes plus added time. The only remarkable area to improve is the dealing with the "customary" pulling and dragging after corner kicks. Aydınus whistled every small contact and thus impeded quick counterattacks. But apart from that, a very solid performance.
Therefore, he got 8.3 (good, expected level).
> report 

Valencia CF 1:2 Paris S.G., refereed by Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Italian Paolo Tagliavento had to take a couple of crucial decisions in his match between Valencia and Paris - he did not always find the right solution for it. Despite some smaller weaknesses unmasked during the match he and at least his first assistant referee Mauro Tonolini made a crucial mistake: They disallowed a goal scored by a Paris striker for alleged offside. The ball clearly came from a defender though. Especially AAR1 Andrea De Marco should have recognized this fact. 
In the last minute, Paris' Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off with a red card for serious foul play. Tonolini immediately signalized this infringement, a studs-up foul after the ball had already been away. Good decision and although it is no matter of refereeing, the suspension of two matches Ibrahimovic received seems to be remarkably low for this nasty tackle.
Tagliavento and Tonolini got 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake) each and De Marco 7.9 (good, expected level, but one crucial mistake)  by our observer.

Paris S.G. 1:1 Valencia CF, refereed by Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Serbian match official Mažić got the honour to whistle his first CL K.O. match, too, having been observed by referee committee member David Elleray.
He showed a good performance without bigger challenges and without bigger problems; he could improve the consistency in his foul detection a bit, in compliance with our assessor's observations. In particular assistant referee Ristić showed a very good performance with many good onsides.
Our observer hence rated the main referee with 8.3 (good, expected level).
Real Madrid 1:1 Manchester United, refereed by Felix Brych (GER)
It is quite certain that the recently allocated quarterfinals will not contain a top clash comparable to the Round of 16 encounter between Real Madrid and Manchester United. Assessed by the important referee observer Bertrand Layec of France, a German referee team headed by Felix Brych received the honour to take charge of the first leg in Santiago Bernabeu. He did very well in almost every stage of the match, having found the right approach to the match and having been in full control over the match. He rejected a penalty appeal by Real's di María, which was a borderline call but absolutely acceptable. However, he unfortunately missed a foul by Real's young defender Varane on ManU's Evra, who could have had the chance to break through and appear in front of the goalkeeper. So, Brych did not even give a free-kick. But that should have been the minimum. And then, one should have discussed about the adequate colour of the card, which could have been red due to denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. According to our blog observer, yellow would have been enough. 
His performance was therefore evaluated with 8.1 (satisfactory) due to this error, the rest of the team performed very well, too.
> report

Manchester United 1:2 Real Madrid, refereed by Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
A match and a performance that were too much talked about. It is known to everybody that there have been many difficult crucial situations to solve for the Turkish officials among Cüneyt Çakır, while the red card was certainly a good decision, also in Collina's eyes, there were other meaningful and more debatable calls. The impact of his performance will be visible taking into account his next appointments in UEFA competitions - perhaps this will also reveal whether the news of the mark 8.2 was reliable.
Our observer assessed Çakır and his assistant Tarik Ongun with 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake; crucial mistakes: missed penalty to ManU in 90+2'; missing the offside position prior to the 1:0 goal).
> report
Shakhtar Donetsk 2:2 Borussia Dortmund, refereed by Howard Webb (ENG)
Overall, experienced English match official Howard Webb performed well in this match between two teams who positively surprised in the group stage. Unfortunately, he tarnished his satisfactory performance with a missed straight red card to Shakhtar's Fernandinho for a violent conduct (ellbow offense) in the 74th minute. 
He was therefore evaluated with 7.8 by our observer (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake), while the rest of the team got good marks.
> report

Borussia Dortmund 3:0 Shakhtar Donetsk, refereed by Damir Skomina (SVN)
Slovenian referee Damir Skomina went into this match as one of the candidates to take charge of Wembley final, at least from our point of view. He was observed by Denmark's Peter Mikkelsen, who is a member of FIFA's referee committee. When Skomina handled Real Madrid - Man.City in the group stage, there was also a FIFA employeed observer, Alfredo Trentalange of Italy. So one may suppose that both performances could have an impact on FIFA tournaments Skomina could be assigned to in 2013.
In Dortmund, he showed a solid performance. The course of events in the match contributed to a fair and easy-going evening, although there have been two penalty appeals rejected by him. And that was ok, since both situations were not really enough for a whistle. At the very beginning, he made a few weird calls, however without bigger influence on the match and his performance's general impression. Consequently, he might have a chance for the coming Confederations Cup in Brazil and if not, then he will get an assignment for the U-20 or U-17 World Cup for sure.
Our observer gave him the mark 8.3 (good, expected level).
> report will be uploaded soon

Galatasaray 1:1 Schalke 04, refereed by William Collum (SCO)
Under the eyes of UEFA referee officer Pierluigi Collina, the quite new Elite referee from Scotland, William Collum, showed a good and promising performance. He had a good line in terms of foul detection and card management, showed a 0-tolerance line with regards to unsporting behaviour (demanding cards) and made the bigger calls right. The only small lack perhaps was that he should have attempted to maintain the control over this match by communicating more and not relying that much on his clear line and thus improving his relation to the players. But that was no real weakness, just a small observation. He really should get a quarterfinal match.
Our observer assessed him with the mark 8.3 (good, expected level), keeping in mind that it even could have been a higher mark.
> report 

Schalke 04 2:3 Galatasaray, refereed by Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Unfortunately, the Swedish refereeing team headed by the quite seasoned EURO 2012 referee Jonas Eriksson was unable to build on Collum's good performance in the first leg. Surely, he also had to deal with tighter and more crucial situations. The first Schalke goal followed a foul committed by Höwedes (pushing against Drogba), which should have been seen by Markus Strömbergsson (additional assistant 2) as well. Also Schalke's second goal was at the borderline of a foul, but still legal. Furthermore, there were two penalty appeals, the first one by Galatasaray, when Burak Yilmaz fell too easily. A correct call to not give it. And later, the same player clearly touched the ball with his hands, which were in an unnatural hand position and slightly moved to the ball. It could have been a penalty, but also this scene impressively demonstrated that the law concerning handball must be clarified. In the end, Eriksson had to cope with a lot of difficult incidents. However, his general foul detection has been pretty inconsistent and unpredictable. In a nutshell: one expects a bit more from a referee of his format.
One of our observers assessed him with 7.9 (good, expected level, but one crucial mistake), the other observed with 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake).
> report 1, > report 2

AC Milan 2:0 FC Barcelona, refereed by Craig Thomson (SCO)
Scottish referee Thomson showed a quite satisfying performance in the first leg between AC Milan and FC Barcelona. The most controversial call was Milan's 1:0 goal, a high pace shot was deflected by Milan's Zapata and was then converted by Boateng. At first glance, Zapata's contact with the ball seemed to be handball, but it wasn't, as many replays showed, it was his head or even face. Apart from that, the officiating team did not have to deal with more revelant incidents, with the expection of some correctly rejected penalty appeals.
Our blog observer rated him with 8.2 (satisfactory).
> report

FC Barcelona 4:0 AC Milan, refereed by Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Hungarian match official Viktor Kassai has again shown his absolute top class in the second leg of this top duel - it was Viktor Kassai at his best. With a unique and uniform tactical approach, offering as much room for the match to unfold as possible. He was nearly invisible in this match, but took the correct decision when he was challenged, such as in the 11th minute where he rejected a penalty appeal (Abate on Pedro), which was reasonable.
Unfortunately, his first assistant referee Gábor Erös repeatedly committed a serious error: he had missed an offside position before Messi scored the "equalizing" 2:0 goal, even though the decision was very hard to take.
I evaluated Kassai's performance with 8.6 (very good); Erös only got 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake). 
> report

FC Porto 1:0 Málaga CF, refereed by Mark Clattenburg (ENG)
This Iberian duel was one of the calmest ties of the whole Round of 16, so English official Mark Clattenburg did not have bigger problems with it. His performance was characterized by many verbal warnings, a quite good quality of his foul detection and a positioning that is to be improved. However, his assistant referee Simon Beck had bad luck in the only tight situation of the evening: he missed Moutinho's slight offside position before the 1:0 goal. Therefore, it was perhaps good for the game that Málaga managed to equalize this goal in the second leg and even add one to go into the quarterfinals.
Clattenburg got 8.2 (satisfactory) by our observer, Beck only 7.9 (good, expected level, but one crucial mistake).
> report

Málaga CF 2:0 FC Porto, refereed by Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
According to many rumours, Nicola Rizzoli is said to be one of the favourites to handle Wembley final this year. Thus, every single performance is naturally specially important - for refereeing such a huge final, there actually should been as many smooth performances as possible. He did not manage to fulfill that in his Round of 16 match, the second leg of the only all-Iberian duel of the stage.
The match sometimes equated a battle based on the usage of unfair behaviour and heavy, reckless challenges. On another day, the referee could have easily and justifiably sorted out three straight red cards. Rizzoli decided to give the match and the players a certain room and was mostly (too) merciful, e.g. with Málaga's Toulalan who should have been off after a very serious tackle from behind (64'). Before that, he correctly dismissed Porto's Defour after a tackle targeted on his opponent's ankle joint - even Defour could have got a straight red already in the first half for serious foul play.
The gravest error however happened at the end of the first half (40'), when Rizzoli (and AAR1 Banti) wrongly disallowed an actually legal goal scored by Málaga's Saviola. The Italians had luck, the mistake had no huge impact on the final result, but has to be evaluated as a crucial mistake.
Rizzoli received the mark 7.8 (satisfactory, but one crucial mistake) from our observer.
> report  

Arsenal FC 1:3 Bayern München, refereed by Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
A quite ambivalent performances was shown by Norway's talent Svein Oddvar Moen, who had been appointed by UEFA to take control over one of the more sonorous duels at Emirates Stadium. While there was a period in the first half when Arsenal's players did not find an opportunity to curb Bayern's offensive superiority except committing very hard tackles - tackles that only entailed cautions (one of them could have been a red card, too), Moen faced a calmer match and found a better line in the second half. Therefore, his overall performance was on the whole good. The problem of the entire performance was that Arsenal's only goal of the evening resulted from a corner kick that should not have existed. Both Moen and his second AAR Hafsås took the actually easy decision in a wrong manner.
Although it could be that UEFA did not include this mistake as a crucial one into the mark, our observer did so: 7.9 for Moen and Hafsås each.
> report

Bayern München 0:2 Arsenal FC, refereed by Pavel Královec (CZE)
Appointing the most recently promoted Elite referee Pavel Královec for a K.O. match between two heavy weights of last years' European football arouses the impression that UEFA thought this match would be in a way already decided. After Bayern's sovereign two-goals-win in London, the comeback of the Gunners was surely surprising and nearly led to a sensation.
Therefore, the match the Czech-Slovakian officiating crew had to cope with was quite challenging. Specially in the last stages of the second half, he revealed some problems in the way he dealt with the players. Even though it was not his fault, the tension swelled up a bit after the 0:2 goal when Bayern's goalkeeper Neuer attempted to keep the ball as long as possible to waste some time and was, for this reason, attacked by a small crowd of Arsenal players. Also apart from that, there were moments which unveiled the need to improve his impression on the players (more personality etc.). Nonetheless, the general decision-taking and other relevant aspects were quite good. Martin Wilczek made one significant error flagging Walcott, who appeared in front of Neuer, for offside. It was onside, even if it was hard to detect due to the scene's immense pace.
He was rated with 8.1 by our observer.
> report


  1. Hi guys today Gyorgyi Ring ASSITSANT Viktor Kassai birthday and ends 32 years HAPPY - BIRTHDAY Gyorgyi

  2. Anonymous19/3/13 12:00

    Sorry, not offside of Messi at second goal in


    2. Clear offside, as the screen proofs.

  3. Babak Rafati has raised heavy charges against Fandel. He blamed him for not ensuring full support behind him and furthermore stated that he had never received any helpful/constructive criticism by him, but that he had felt a certain "coldness" and "low esteem"..
    Fandel reacted stunned today and rejected the charges.

  4. I liked Rafati at that time and it was fun to watch him, at least for me. So sad that he quit in such a way!

  5. Italy - Brazil || 21 March 2013, 20:30 CET, Carouge (SUI)
    Stephan Studer, Jean-Yves Wicht, Sandro Pozzi, Sascha Amhof (Switzerland)

  6. Oman – Haiti || 20 March 2013, 13:00 CET, Muscat (OMA)
    Saleh Al-Hathlol (Saudi Arabia), Ali Khalfan Musaeed Al-Shukiri, Abdullah Ali Abdullah Al-Ghardani, Ahmad Abu Bakar Said Al-Kaaf (Oman)

    Jordan – Belarus || 21 March 2013, 15:30 CET, Amman (JOR)
    Khamis Al-Marri, Hassan Al-Dawadi, Salam Rashid Al-Nuaimi (Qatar), Muhammad Mousa Abu Loum (Jordan)

    Ecuador – El Salvador || 21 March 2013, 22:30 CET, Quito (ECU)
    Miguel Ángel Santiváñez de la Cruz, Jorge Luis Yupanqui Namuche, Braulio Rubén Cornejo López (Peru), Diego Jefferson Lara León (Ecuador)

  7. Renowned England ex FIFA-REFEREE Mark Halsey received death treats. They threatend to kill after another disastrous match

  8. Trois équipes arbitrales françaises seront à l'oeuvre cette semaine. Saïd Ennjimi arbitrera ainsi ce jeudi la rencontre amicale U21 Espagne-Norvège à Tolède (Espagne), avec la collaboration de Guillaume Debart et Frédéric Haquette.

    De son côté, Nicolas Rainville, assisté de Laurent Stien, officiera ainsi dans le cadre du Tour Elite de l'Euro U17 en Angleterre (Angleterre, Slovénie, Portugal, Russie), programmé du du vendredi 22 au vendredi 29 mars.

    Enfin, le match amical Italie - Russie U21 sera dirigé vendredi par Clément Turpin, assisté de Nicolas Danos et Stephan Luzi.

    1. Thanks for UNDER 21 appointment of Turpin.
      On monday, there will be Italy - Ukraine, another friendly U21, still in Italy.
      Are there news?

  9. A report about Lannoy performance in Chelsea-Steaua is ready, waiting for Admin, he should publish it soon.
    A crucial mistake since he missed a clear violent conduct on Fernando Torres.

  10. Anonymous21/3/13 18:20

    Elite Development Referee Peter Rasmussen (DEN) quits international refereeing.

    1. FIFA has already deleted his name from the Danish lists.
      I'm very sorry for him, but reading the article, it seems that an idea of quitting international refereeing was already in his mind due to the big efforts he had to do in order to satisfy UEFA.
      Respectable and reasonable decision.

    2. Thomas H.21/3/13 20:22

      And so the Elite/Elite Development group is further decimated... New blood is badly needed before next season. Mazic, Hagen, Aydinus, Bebek to Elite (?) and Göcek, Karasev, Koukoulakis, Lahoz to ED in the summer. Big changes, maybe not very realistic but they're the ones I'd like to see. Over to you, UEFA! ;)

    3. Thomas H.21/3/13 20:25

      Feel sorry for Rasmussen by the way, I hope he finds happiness in the Danish league and in his personal life.

    4. I think the signs are pretty clear that Mazic and Aydinus will move up. Hagen showed a bad performance in CL, after that he got a committee member. No good sign from my point of view. I do not know who "leads" in Croatia, Bebek or Strahonja. Gil, Karasev and Mateu Lahoz actually must also move up, Göcek perhaps as well. Don't forget Jug.


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