May 3, 2015

Martin Atkinson to referee Champions League Semifinal Juventus vs Real Madrid

English Martin Atkinson has been assigned by UEFA to take charge of next Tuesday's Champions League semifinal between Juventus Turin and Real Madrid. Having already handled the Round of 16 match between Schalke 04 and Real Madrid, the 44-year old police officer from Wakefield will meet "Los Blancos" for the second time this season. Same counts for Juventus: On group stage matchday 4, Atkinson was the man in the middle when Juventus collected three important points against Olympiakos.



He will be assisted by Michael Mullarkey and Stephen Child on the sidelines, by Anthony Taylor and Andre Marriner on the goallines and by Peter Kirkup at the benches.

Although the appointment is logical considering that there are no English teams left in Champions League since the Round of 16, it is nonetheless a bit surprising considering the huge problems Atkinson had in Bayern München - FC Porto in the quarterfinals in front of UEFA referee committee member Vlado Sajn and a doubtful, if not simply wrong sending-off in Europa League's Round of 16 return leg between Sevilla and Villarreal. Apart from this match, his 2014/15 campaign has been really good. At any rate, we wish the six officials all the best for the surely great achievement in their careers!

05 May 2015, 20:45 CET
Juventus Stadium, Turin (Italy)
Juventus Turin - Real Madrid
Referee: Martin Atkinson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Anthony Taylor (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Fourth Official: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: László Vagner (HUN)
UEFA Delegate: Sune Hellströmer (SWE)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)


Previous Matches & Observation Reports 2014/15

CL QF, Bayern München 6:1 FC Porto, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Child, Taylor, Pawson, England
(Our Marks: 8.0/8.4/8.4/8.4/8.4/8.2), UEFA Referee Observer: Vlado Sajn (SVN)

EL R16, Sevilla 2:1 Villarreal, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Child, Pawson, Probert, England
(Our Marks: 7.9/8.4/8.5/8.4/8.4/8.4), UEFA Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

CL R16, Schalke 04 0:2 Real Madrid, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Child, Marriner, Pawson, England
(Our Marks: 8.2/8.5/8.4/8.4/8.4/8.4), UEFA Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

CL Group Stage, FC Barcelona 1:0 PSG, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Cann, Marriner, Taylor, Child
(Our Marks: 8.4/8.2/8.5/8.4/8.4/8.4), UEFA Referee Observer: Leif Sundell (SWE)

CL Group Stage, Juventus 3:2 Olympiakos, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Cann, Taylor, Friend, Child
(Our Marks: 8.4/7.9/8.4/8.4/8.4/8.4), UEFA Referee Observer: Ilkka Koho (FIN)

CL Group Stage, Leverkusen 3:1 Benfica, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Cann, Taylor, Friend, Child
(Our Marks: 8.4/8.3/7.9/8.4/7.9/8.4), UEFA Referee Observer: Sándor Piller (HUN)

CL Play-Offs, Aalborg 1:1 APOEL, Atkinson, Mullarkey, Child, Taylor, Pawson, Bennett
(Our Marks: 8.4/8.4/8.5/8.4/8.4/8.4), UEFA Referee Observer: Francesco Bianchi (SUI)

Atkinson's Average Mark: 8.24 (= satisfying)

Card Score in these 7 matches: 24x YC, 2x 2nd YC, 0x RC


What does this appointment mean?

It is very unlikely that Mark Clattenburg - Atkinson's countryman - will take charge of the return game between Real Madrid and Juventus. So only Bayern München - FC Barcelona would be left, observed by Pierluigi Collina. However, Clattenburg (brilliantly) controlled Paris SG - FC Barcelona in the quarterfinals' first legs. Either UEFA does not care about this circumstance, or Clattenburg will get the Champions League final, or he will get nothing in UCL anymore. Maybe Paris-Barca was the last and successfully passed test prior to Warsaw's Europa League final...
Assumed that Nicola Rizzoli will be appointed for FC Barcelona - Bayern München tomorrow, then who could be observed by Collina in the return match? Eriksson? He is more probable for Real Madrid - Juventus in my view. Cüneyt Çakır? It would mean that he won't handle Berlin final... Björn Kuipers? Unprobable, but not impossible. You see, very interesting finish of the season this year, also from refereeing perspective.

71 Comments:

  1. When the Elite category has so limited options, then such appointments are forced.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/5/15 11:21

      I have to disagree here. Atkinson IMO shouldn't have had this appointment. There were at least 3 better options, considering the fact that Atkinson did make many mistakes in the last matches (Moen, Kuipers, Clatts) Really negatively surprised by this appointment. I think Clatts will go directly into EL final now.

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    2. Tbh, I can't say that Moen was a better option.

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  2. Surprised by this appointment, but congratulations to Atkinson and co. nonetheless. No-one can deny that this has been Atko's best season in Europe. But, I must say, I thought he would not be appointed again, at least in the CL, after his somewhat "dodgy" performance in Munich, last month. Admittedly, several factors have helped Atkinson: Kuipers' error-filled outing in London, Kassai's injury etc. Now we know why he had back-to-back committee members as assessors...

    Interesting where this leaves Clattenburg. Either he'll get the return leg of Barcelona - Bayern, or he'll be appointed to the EL final, me thinks. Perhaps that was the reason he was overlooked for the FA Cup final, a couple days later? Only time will tell...

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  3. Anonymous3/5/15 14:28

    Why people think that both English refs must get a semi or final this year? Maybe UEFA is focusing on Atkinson in 2015 and 2016 and then on Clattenburg. If you look back, ir was Hackett, then Courtney, then Don, then Poll, then Webb and now Atkinson, then Clattenburg.

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  4. Anonymous3/5/15 16:19

    The reason it could be Atkinson and not Clattenburg could have to do with the Europa League Semifinal second leg last year. This could just be food for thought. I don't have as big of a problem with this appointment and if the tie is decided in the first leg. I'd say Kuipers is a possibility. I highly doubt this will be decided after the first leg. Also why not Clattenburg in the second leg of Barcelona -Bayern? Maybe Collina needs a good evaluation before sending him to the EL Final.

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  5. Anonymous3/5/15 16:21

    Well-deserved appointment for Atkinson by all means!

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  6. Anonymous3/5/15 17:34

    If the game goes well for Atkinson he could still get the Europa League final as previous UCL semi-final 1st legs have been given it before. However, I'm not sure a semi-final 2nd leg ref has been given the EL final before (not in recent years anyway) so Clattenburg should maybe be hoping not to get an appointment in the UCL.

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  7. I think that Clattenburg will be directly appointed for EL final, otherwise, he would have deserved more this match than Atkinson, at least looking at performances in this KO stage. Now, assuming that Rizzoli will be appointed for Wednesday and very likely Eriksson for a second leg match, we have to guess another referee.
    Mazic seems to be out because he had already Collina and he also officiated Juventus and Real Madrid in this KO phase. Very likely we will see him again in EL semifinals.
    A surprising appointment for Bayern - Barça would be Skomina, observed by Collina in Munchen. This would explain some Europa League matches assigned to the Slovenian crew.

    I don't see room for other options.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/5/15 18:25

      Kuipers with plc after performance in london is another (bit unlikely) option

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    2. Anonymous3/5/15 21:07

      I'd prefer Atkinson for EL final.

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  8. Anonymous3/5/15 18:42

    Moen, Skomina, Kuipers or Kralovec for Collina.

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  9. UEFA surprised me. I thought the season is over for Atkinson after his Bayern - Porto game. However, I have nothing against this appointment. Good luck to English team!

    I am quite sure that we won't see Kuipers again (the same story like Cakir some seasons ago). A pity, because he has the needed experience and skills to manage the biggest games.

    I think both Cakir and Clattenburg are most probable names for the finals. Brych (I'm not his fan!) should be rewarded for his another great season even with CL final, but Bayern in semis or maybe even in the CL final and the fact he has an EL final in his palmares makes it rather unprobable - EL Spanish semifinal seems to be his appointment.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous3/5/15 21:09

      I think UEFA might as well surprise you again appointing Kuipers for Real-Juventus! Let's see...

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    2. Anonymous3/5/15 21:30

      With dutch uilenberg as observer thats impossible. Assuming rizzoli tomorrow kuipers is only possible in München or at el semi or not at all..

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    3. Anonymous4/5/15 16:47

      Was not in on that. Let's see what happens.

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  10. Anonymous5/5/15 20:56

    Excellent onside for 1-0, Mullarkey.

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  11. Anonymous5/5/15 20:57

    Excellent decision by Mullarkey in Juve's first goal! Really on! It was not an easy one.

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  12. Anonymous5/5/15 21:30

    Easy but not very good first half by Atkinson. Some whistles come very late (in co-operation with AR1 and AAR1), some controversial decisions in his foul detection and his line (clear pushing in 38' overseen, 1-2 not really necessary whistles).

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  13. Anonymous5/5/15 21:31

    I don't understand this decision by AAR1, foul by Morata?

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    Replies
    1. Apart from the shove on Ronaldo that he chose to ignore, and some positional problems, I think Atkinson has had a decent first-half.

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    2. Anonymous5/5/15 21:49

      Yellow card was possible for this shove, no?

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    3. Anonymous5/5/15 21:58

      miss YC Ronaldo - dissent by word action
      miss YC Lihchtainer - recless manner
      for Elite referee position in first hald was bad

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  15. Anonymous5/5/15 21:45

    Some excellent decisions by Mullarkey and Child so far. Atkinson? Well, pretty OK so far, but some things could have been dealt with better. It seemed to be more protesting at the end of the first half, so I hope he will keep a tight lid over the emotions in the second half. He has never had any great body language, and of course the same in this match. And I firmly believe that a strong body language will be required in the second half... but let's hope for the best.

    /Swedish observer

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  16. Anonymous5/5/15 21:53

    Severe positioning issues, no decent fitness, Atkinson has not the age! He wont attend EURO 2016, sorry, one must be honest. Nothing against him, but he is at the end of a career.

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  17. The protests at the end of the first half were IMO a result of the circumstance that Atkinson did not use 1-2 chances he had to balance the disciplinary control in terms of YCs (for SPA). 36' was an opportunity. For the purpose of keeping acceptance high, it would have been tactically clever and technically ok to issue a card there.
    I concur in terms of some late decisions by AAR1, AR2 but also Atkinson.

    However, good work so far.

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  18. Atkinson OK so far, IMO. Walks 90% of the time, not showing any preventive refereeing, not the best positioning. Should've cautioned Carvajal to balance the cards, I think.
    Good yellow for PK on Carvajal.

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    Replies
    1. He was in good position to spot the foul in the PK position, though.

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    2. Anonymous5/5/15 22:03

      But Carvajal didn't get a YC?

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    3. Hard / Impossible to understand how Carvajal could get away without any card in the penalty. At least interesting to see how many players were allowed to encroach blatantly at this penalty. Good dealing with Marcelo and Vidal.

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    4. Anonymous5/5/15 22:05

      Carvajal was not booked! Marcelo (for the previous foul) and Vidal (dissent).
      It is a crucial mistake to whistle such penalty without a card. This was more DOGSO than SPA. At any rate, one can't explain no card.

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    5. I thought he did, but after watching the replays and stats it seems that he didn't get a YC.
      I understand calling a penalty kick against him is a punishment itself but he could even be carded for PI.

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    6. Anonymous5/5/15 22:06

      Good YC for Marcelo and good YC for dissent, good penalty,but missed YC voor Carvajal, for the second time in the game.

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    7. Agreed. Caution should have been issued at the very least.

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    8. Please have a look into our reports, in some of them "clear line" or sth like that was a major point to improve. Maybe you now understand why.

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  19. Carvahal finally cautioned. Really should be his second.

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    1. And IMO this YC was incorrect. Speed was low, 1 attacker vs 3 defenders, moving towards the sideline and not towards the goal...Atkinson gives YC and makes a gesture for SPA....his line is hardly understandable / visible.

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    2. Anonymous5/5/15 22:24

      He could give the YC for several offences.

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    3. Theoretically yes, but in this case he would make a gesture like "1, 2, 3" with his fingers instead of his arm and hand gesture "there was free space, it was a promising attack".

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    4. Agreed, Atkinson didn't have a clear line for yellow cards, he handled the penalty situation well with two correct cautions but should have cautioned Carvahal for the foul no DOGSO for me though-angle to goal, covering defender, direction of ball etc

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    5. Agreed Niclas, This was the weakest of all the opportunities for a YC to Cavahal. I get the feeling it was SPA and not PI. But I also think that better gestures and body language would help his decisions be accepted more.

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  20. Three minutes is a joke!

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  21. Was Chiellini playing with a jersey that had blood all over it or was it something else?

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  22. Anonymous5/5/15 22:41

    Atkinson is showing tonight why i think that he was a bad choice made by uefa. He hasnt got the clear style (clear line)and maybe also not the personality needed where other refs do have that (kuipers,skomina) for me max mark is 7.9 maybe less not more. Missed yellow or rc at penalty scene is a crucial mistake. Disappointing performance for what is expected in a CL semi

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    Replies
    1. Please explain how you came to that mark? Behave.

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  23. Anonymous5/5/15 22:43

    I think some of these comments are very harsh. I thought he did a good job overall and the English refereeing team should be pleased with their performance. Maybe a little point here and there but at the end of the day they've got through a massive UCL semi-final with no-one pointing the finger at the referee and minimal criticism apart from some fussy people on here in my opinion. Ian.

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  24. I don't see why a missing YC for SPA in the penalty (clearly no DOGSO IMO) should be a crucial mistake.

    On the whole, i.e. in the big picture, it was a satisfying performance in many areas, so yes, in a way they can be pleased with their performance, specially in terms of control and crucial decisions, which is very important at this stage of the competition.
    But some rooms for improvement and clear mistakes should be mentioned nonetheless. It is relieving and good that a referee is no topic in the media after the such a match, but we are focused on the ideal of making referees better and you don't achieve that by exclusively positive feedback.

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    Replies
    1. Assistants were very good too.

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    2. 8.3/8.5/8.5/8.3/8.4/8.4 are my current feelings.

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    3. Why 8.3 for AAR1, I must have missed that?

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    4. Anonymous5/5/15 23:30

      Perhaps situation at the end of first half. He reported a phantom foul by Morata.

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  25. Overall a good Performance...

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  26. Overall, not a bad performance in my opinion, Atkinson did a good job especially in first half, but then between the end of first half and during the second half there were some problems in card management. The most blatant card missed is the one in the penalty scene, in other situations he was not consistent, he could have performed better, surely there are at least some points for improvement.

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  27. Overall, good performance by Atkinson. His calm demeanor is always best! Good control all in all.

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  28. I agree with Patrick, Nur, Niclas and Chefren. Not really a poor performance. Some positioning issues as well as the obviously missing YC for the penalty (et al.)
    However, I do feel that this casts some doubt on his place at EURO 2016, given how solid Clattenburg has been of late. Would you agree?

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    Replies
    1. It is similarly unclear like "Stark vs Brych" back in 2011 / 12...time will tell, and above all next season. Atkinson does not have a stable team though, normally you form teams with regard to the next tournament (example: Collum now has Macgraith and Chambers (1973) instead of Cryans and Conquer (1970), because the latter 2 ARs would be too old for EURO 16). Mullarkey will be out on 31 December. I think Clattenburg will make it, with Atkinson and Oliver on the goallines.

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    2. I think it would be more constructive to have Taylor and Oliver or even Pawson and Oliver as Clattenburg's AAR's if he goes to the EUROs as they will gain great experience where as Atkinson as already served as an AAR at the EUROs and due to his age will not take part in another major tournament.

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    3. Anonymous6/5/15 00:06

      Why Mullarkey out? Hasn't FIFA removed the age limit?

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    4. Anonymous6/5/15 05:17

      Niclas, why do you assume that Mullarkey will be out at the end of this year? Do you think that FIFA will reinstate the age limit (45) for international referees that was removed at the last ExCo?

      Delete
  29. Anonymous6/5/15 07:32

    Atkinson was not that bad but he is not a referee for a CL semfinal IMO. 8,2 for me.

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  30. Anonymous6/5/15 08:32

    Some mixed feelings from my end after last night's match.

    A semi final in the UCL is in my book by its nature quite challenging and the various situations that occured underpinned that.

    I think that the refereeing team got the crucial decisions correct (no offside on two goals and the penalty correctly awarded). They also controlled the match in the end. Those are the positive points for me.

    On the improvement side of things I think that Atkinson was not very clear in his way of assessing the duels and his card policy was sometimes difficult to assess. The body language was (as ususal) lacking in his game and the positioning could have been better.

    In the end, however, nobody talked a lot of negative stuff about the referees which is positive. If I was the observer I would probably give Atkinson 8.1 or 8.2, while Mullarkey and Child would get 8.5 each.

    /Swedish observer

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    Replies
    1. 8.1 seems really too harsh to me. If you say there is not too many negative things, why 8.1? I would say more 8.3

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    2. You are opinion about Atkinson performance is brilliant! I completely agree!

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  31. Anonymous6/5/15 10:32

    I think that Atkinson over-all did a good job, but he struggles to much with his card policy - as usual. I think he missed a YC for Carvajal, and I think Carvajal should have been booked some minutes before that too. His line was not consitent there. I have seen to much wrong card-decisions from Atkinson this season. On the other hand, the penalty was well-spotted and the YC for Marcelo was well done, well coorporated probably with his AAR2. For me, Atkinson deserves an 8.2 (+0,1 penalty, -0,1 foul detection, -0,2 card policy).
    8.2 - 8.4, 8.4, - 8.3, 8.4 - 8.4

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  32. Anonymous6/5/15 19:33

    If you all say 8.1-8.3 I will wait about your comence today about Rizzoli.
    In my opinion a good Job from Atkinson. Ok, he could run a Little more, one or two yellows could be also given but in the end nobody is speaking about the referee.
    For me clear 8,4 and congratulation to Atkinson.

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