20:45 CET - St.-Jakob Park, Basel, Switzerland
Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden)
Assistant Referee 1: Mathias Klasenius (Sweden)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Wärnmark (Sweden)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Stefan Johannesson (Sweden)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Markus Strömbergsson (Sweden)
Fourth Official: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)
Reserve Assistant Referee: Mehmet Culum (Sweden)
UEFA Referee Observer: Hugh Dallas (Scotland)
UEFA Delegate: Rudolf Řepka (Czech Republic)
20:30 CET Welcome to our live-ticker! Liverpool FC are about to face Sevilla FC. For the English side, it is the first participation in a European final since 2007 (UCL final) - for the Spaniards, it is the chance to reach kind of title hattrick following their 2014 and 2015 Europa League wins.
20:33 CET The man in the middle is Jonas Eriksson from Sweden. He will be accompanied by his usual teammates as well as Svein Oddvar Moen of Norway as the fourth official. A portrait of the match officials can be found >here.
20:37 CET The man who accompanied the referee team after their arrival in Basel is Patrick Graf, a Suisse First Division referee. He fulfills the role of the so-called Referee Liaison Officer.
20:39 CET Hugh Dallas from Scotland is UEFA's Referee Observer. The 58-year old is the European football governing body's Vice Refereeing Officer. He last met Eriksson in a Champions League match two years ago: ManCity vs FC Barcelona.
20:41 CET The opening ceremony is coming to an end. The teams are in the tunnel. Eriksson and company will wear the new black Adidas Referee 16 Kits - with yellow socks...that reminds me on Brych's UEL Final. They are going to be used during the EURO 2016 finals as well.
20:43 CET UEFA has obviously come back to the former Europa League anthem. The first good decision of the evening has been made :)
20:44 CET Eriksson reminding both players on the "fantastic atmosphere here" and on mutual respect. Great approach.
20:45 CET Kick-Off for the Final! Jonas Eriksson has blown the starting whistle. We wish his team good luck!
Minute 2' The first two free-kicks were all right. There won't be many discussions about ghost goals by the way: For the first time in history, there will be Goalline Technology in a UEFA match.
Minute 3' Second foul by LIV #23, time for a first warning. Eriksson thus delays the starting moment for the first caution and shows his communication and management abilities - stern, but on one level with the players. #23 has to be careful from now on.
Minute 7' "Only" 38.000 supporters, but they do make some noise... good atmosphere for this final that is intense from the first minute.
Minute 9' Good advantage, clear team benefit. Quite evitable free-kick decision after that - ball was played first.
Minute 10' Liverpool's "smaller" infringements to choke off possible Sevilla attacks do become more frequent. Eriksson will know best that he has to be careful and take these things out of the game when the opportunity has come.
Minute 12' Was that a penalty? The defender handled the ball. First impression: Not really undeliberately. The Sevilla defender clearly, even though slightly carts out his hand and even very slightly moves it towards the ball. The hand is not close to the body and going towards the ball instead the ball going to the hand. The defender could have easily avoided this contact. Based on the TV review, this should have been a penalty kick. For sure, Eriksson did not have the slow-motions we have - and for AAR1 as well as AR1, the line of sight might have been obstructed.
Minute 19' These studs were quite "up", weren't they?
Minute 22' As nothing is happening at the moment: Collina is in the stadium as well - no surprise.
Minute 23' Back to the penalty incident. A good point raised by our user RayHD: Probably the officials focussed on the feet, as offences like tripping can be expected in such penalty-area-entrance-scenarios. A handball was maybe the last thing you could expect. But...of course it has to come: Always expect the unexpected.
Minute 25' Once again based on TV replays... from behind the goal, this looked like another (clear) penalty kick. Actually a foul by Banega. This situation needs to be reviewed.
Minute 27' Another handball in the penalty area. This time surely not deliberate - but a corner-kick should have been given. To be honest: not the luckiest decisions by Eriksson so far.
Minute 30' Eriksson needs to send a signal now. The atmosphere is becoming way too heated. Lovren had no chance to play the ball - correct first yellow card for reckless rackle in the match.
Minute 33' Stretched studs in 1m height - borderline. A yellow card for dangerous play would have been deemed as appropiate, on the field of play, nobody really wanted it.
Minute 35' GOAL by Liverpool, 1:0.
Minute 37' By the way, on the first yellow card. If the ball was already out of play when the contact occurred, play should not have been re-started with a direct free-kick. Of course nobody cares in a final.
Minute 39' Preventive warning before a corner-kick: "I have my eyes on you!" - perfect body language.
Minute 39' Disallowed goal for offside. The player in offside had an impact on the goalkeeper's ability to save the ball, was maybe even standing in his line of sight. The big question: Was the defender at the bottom of the field of play - not captured by the TV at the moment of the freezed picture / header - maybe making the attacker level? Let's trust AR1 Klasenius for now.
Minute 41' What the hell are the Sevilla players doing with their hands? What is the hand making there? Also this needs to be rewatched, but I fear this should have been another penalty.
Eriksson has, so far, succeeded in keeping the tensed game under his control and maintain some speed in it. He is paying attention to preventive refereeing and issued some effective warnings but also knew when the time had come to send a signal with the first yellow card of the evening. The offside goal disallowed by AR1 was correctly interpreted, the question is whether the defender at the bottom of the pitch was really making the attacker offside.
However, I fear that two, maybe three penalty kicks should have been awarded in favour of Liverpool. Two of them for actually clear deliberate handballs - maybe they were not expected or simply too surreal. Another incident needs to be rewatched. Nobody wanted a penalty there, the player reactions did not suggest that a penalty should have been given, the replays have conveyed a different impression (careless tackle by Banega). All these incidents need to be rewatched - an opportunity the referee and his teammates do not have. See you in a hopefully equally exciting half 2!
Minute 46' GOAL by Sevilla, 1:1.
Minute 56' Clear and correct YC for SPA.
Minute 57' Yellow Card afterwards. At first, Eriksson applied the advantage rule, when the ball was out for the next time, he cautioned Banega. Well done. However, the advantage was not really necessary. The ball was played back, the free-kick position would have been excellent for Liverpool and for the purpose of maintaining control refraining from the advantage rule would have maybe been the better decision.
Minute 64' GOAL for Sevilla, 1:2. A completely different match in half 2.
Minute 70' GOAL for Sevilla, 1:3. AR1 Klasenius raised his flag for offside, but Eriksson immediately waived his flag down. The question was: "Who touched last?". Apparently, for Klasenius it looked like the attacker who touched the ball last. Eriksson had the better view and quickly reacted. Good teamwork, of course producing confusion though - from the comfortable seats in front of our TV, it is quite impossible to say whether Klasenius had no chance at all to see that himself. And whether Eriksson maybe could have informed shortly after the contact (with the aid of a clear communication code). All this went very quickly though.
Minute 72' LIV #27 is cautioned for his reckless use of arms. Well, the Spaniard more or less looked for this elbow contact. But as the arm was way too wide out and used as a tool, the YC is a good decision. Quickly there to deescalate, too.
Minute 77' Yellow Card for delaying the re-start of play. Justified.
Minute 83' Yellow Card for delaying the re-start of play. Hopefully this will be added on.
Minute 84' Sarcastic applause by the fans for an offside flag raised by AR1 Klasenius. Well, for sure the 1:3 situation conveyed a poor image.
Minute 87' Crucial offside flag by AR1. Good call.
Minute 89' 4th official Svein Oddvar Moen a bit late with the board for a substitution, making the Sevilla team officials upset.
Minute 90+4' Yellow Card for reckless tackle (LIV #2) - more than deserved. But... keep the whistle out of your mouth when issuing a card.
Minute 90+5' Final Whistle.
On the whole, Eriksson kept the match under his control. Most of his decisions, actually all cards and his warnings were positive aspects of the performance. Probably correct to disallow the goal in the first half for offside.
However, at least two penalty kicks should have been assigned in favour of Liverpool. Eriksson had a free line of sight on both situations. So in a way, he must be held responsible, no matter how quick these incidents go and that maybe both situations were tricky and kind of surreal. The 1:3 goal was unlucky for the Swedish team, but in the end, the correct decision was taken which is most important for the good of the game. In the worst case, the mark could be around 7,3-7,4.
All in all, Eriksson's team cannot be satisfied with their performance. With Sevilla, the deserved team won - we will see whether there will be some talk about refereeing in the game's aftermath.
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