December 9, 2013

Champions League - Referee Appointments - Matchday 6 (Wednesday)

UEFA has released the second package of referee appointments for the final matchday of this season's Champions League group stage. Among others, Aleksandar Stavrev from Macedonia will face a vitally important test in Vienna being observed by UEFA Committee member David Elleray.

Group E, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen (GER)
FC Schalke 04 - FC Basel
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Andrea Stefani (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Renato Faverani (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Paolo Valeri (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Andrea De Marco (ITA)
Fourth Official: Nicola Nicoletti (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Athanassios Briakos (GRE)
UEFA Delegate: Karl-Erik Nilsson (SWE)
Blog Referee Observer: Thomas H. (NED)

Group E, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Stamford Bridge, London (ENG)
Chelsea FC - Steaua Bucuresti
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Gianluca Cariolato (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Giallatini (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)
UEFA Delegate: José Luis López Serrano (ESP)
Blog Referee Observer: Nur H. (ENG)

Group F, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: San Paolo, Napoli (ITA)
SSC Napoli - Arsenal FC
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: György Ring (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Vencel Tóth (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Tamás Bognar (HUN)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Sandor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Fourth Official: Robert Kispál (HUN)
UEFA Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: Jozef Kliment (SVK)
Blog Referee Observer: Edward (GRE)

Group F, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Stade Vélodrome, Marseille (FRA)
Olympique Marseille - Borussia Dortmund
Referee: Marijo Strahonja (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Siniša Premužaj (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Igor Krmar (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Ante Vučemilović-Simunović jr. (CRO)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)
Fourth Official: Ivica Modrić (CRO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Gylfi Thor Orrason (ISL)
UEFA Delegate: Armen Minasyan (ARM)
Blog Referee Observer: Nur H. (ENG)

Group G, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid (ESP)
Atlético Madrid - FC Porto
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Häcker (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Holger Henschel (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Fourth Official: Marco Achmüller (GER)
UEFA Referee Observer: Terje Hauge (NOR)
UEFA Delegate: Barry Bright (ENG)
Blog Referee Observer: Chefren (ITA)

Group G, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Wien (AUT)
Austria Wien - Zenit St.Petersburg
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Kirovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Kostadinov (MKD)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Dimitar Meckarovski (MKD)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Nikola Karakolev (MKD)
UEFA Referee Observer: David Elleray (ENG)
UEFA Delegate: Pertti Alaja (FIN)
Blog Referee Observer: Niclas (GER)

Group H, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Camp Nou, Barcelona (ESP)
FC Barcelona - Celtic Glasgow
Referee: Sergei Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Tikhon Kalugin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Averianov (RUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Maksim Layushkin (RUS)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Vitaly Meshkov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
UEFA Referee Observer: Stefan Ormandjiev (BUL)
UEFA Delegate: Rotem Kamer (ISR)
Blog Referee Observer: Thomas H. (NED)

Group H, 11 December 2013, 20:45 CET
Stadium: Estadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano (ITA)
AC Milan - Ajax Amsterdam
Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Cann (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Mike Dean (ENG)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Michael Jones (ENG)
Fourth Official: Peter Kirkup (ENG)
UEFA Referee Observer: Ryszard Wójcik (POL)
UEFA Delegate: Georges Lüchinger (LIE)
Blog Referee Observer: Hagi (GER)


  1. I expected Rocchi in Gelsenkirchen and Tagliavento in London.
    It seems that Rocchi is still appointed in low profile matches after the mistake he made one year ago in Manchester City - Real Madrid.
    Also his last match in this group stage, Bayern - CSKA, was not really outstanding.
    Strange that Bebek is not appointed, a decision was expected.
    At the same time, I think that UEFA has not plans regarding Strahonjia, considering the observer appointed.
    The situation of the two Croatian development officials is weird.
    Of course very important appointment for Stavrev, probably a crucial match. It seems not difficult on the paper, Zenit should have an easy win and qualify, but who knows?
    Do you think that Starev can join Elite in case of good or anyway expected level performance?
    Deniz Aytekin forced to appear again in the same group, but this time with different teams.
    This season UEFA appointed referees more carefully in CL. We had only one debut, Matej Jug. For the rest, always Elite and Elite development officials, apart from Antonio Mateu Lahoz. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Nevertheless, I have the idea that something changed in these last weeks. Surely Skomina wasn't planned or that match (Plzen - CSKA), in which a debut was possible.
    In my opinion the first expected name in CL for his debut was Boiko.

    1. Anonymous9/12/13 16:32

      Why Boiko and not, e.g. Zwayer, Makkelie, Turpin?

    2. Why Zwayer,Makkelie and Turpin?
      And why Aytekin, Stavrev in Champions?

    3. Anonymous9/12/13 17:19

      And Why César on this blog?

    4. Zwayer is 32, Turpin is 31 and Makkelie is 30. Do you want another "burnt" talent?

    5. And why this anonymous unpolished that protect Zwayer,Makkelie and

  2. Any specific reason why Tagliavento is with Rizzoli's assistants? I know it has happened in the passed with Orsato...
    Also a question for you Chefren: who out of Tagliavento and Rocchi gets the most top clashes domestically? And do you think Rizzoli's status as Italy's #1 is under threat? His form has dipped post Euro 2012 IMO...

    1. Hi Nur.
      About Stefani and Faverani: trying to guess the reasons, I could say that it is because the match it's crucial, and they wanted to assure the best possible. Manganelli is not at his best at moment., indeed he will appear in EL with Di Fiore and Grilli. To be reported also that Nicoletti did a crucial mistake in his last match. For all these reasons, they might have appointed only Tonolini, and so probably for this reason they preferred Stefani and Faverani.

      Then, the second question: it is difficult to answer. According to the last serie A appointments, considering the beginning of this season, surely Rocchi. Nevertheless, I must underline that also Tagliavento always officiates notable matches. And probably he is going to get a top clash prior to Christmas. So, there isn't a real answer at all, both are always high rated, and for this reason, at international level it seems very difficult to say who is more considered by UEFA.
      At the moment, anyway, Tagliavento seems ahead.

      Last answer: Rizzoli, even though not at his best at moment, in Italy it's still the undisputed number one. He always gets top clashes, I must be honest he deserves that. And absolutely there aren't threats for him. At least until the WC, he will be the number 1.
      Then, after this date, everything can happen.
      If you ask me, who will be the Italian referee at Euro2016, well for now I still can't answer. Rizzoli would be still in a suitable age (45) but it is almost sure that after the WC he will leave the scene in favor of one between Tagliavento, Rocchi and Orsato for this tournament.
      I see him now already as a referee who got everything and maybe just for this reason, he appears not at his best shape. It could be a question of motivations.

    2. Cheers, Chefren. :)

    3. Thanks for this great and detailed analysis, Chefren!

  3. One comment on Ivan Bebek. As mentioned by an anonymous user, he did not appear on MD5 / MD6, neither in CL, nor in EL.
    As outlined, he performed well over the last months. Keeping in mind his great experience before his demotion to First some years ago (EURO 2008 as fourth, pre-list for WC 2010 and so on) and given the very important matches he refereed, such as Inter-Tottenham or Celtic-Ajax, I believe not appointing him for MD5 / 6 is a positive sign. The only logical explanation is that they plan him for promotion and protect him from making mistakes that could spoil his promotion. If you don't have a match, you cannot make mistakes. That's an easy strategy.

    1. And it seems they have learnt from last season, when to me it appeared Aydinus was on his way to promotion until he had a bad EL match.
      The road to promotion to Elite is so long and with so many obstacles, that UEFA wants to protect the referees who are on the brink from more obstacles.
      Also, because it seems to take quite long for UEFA to trust an official for Elite they have quite a small number who are possible to move to Elite. So they have to cherish them.
      By the way, could it be the same for Hategan? No appointment for him either. I cannot remember whether he had one on MD5?

    2. He had Porto - Austria Vienna in MD5.
      So three matches in CL group stage, a very good signal for him.

    3. However, Hategan seems inconsistent to me. A not so good performance in MD1, then very good in MD3 and of course he had a easy game in MD5, however he missed a penalty in favour of the Austrians.

  4. Straight red card for SFP issued by Webb to Montolivo.
    Excellent detection!

  5. Fantastic, correct and brave decision by Darren Cann (AR2) and Howard Webb to sent off Montolivo (Milan). Serious foul play.

  6. A very good decision by Team Webb. I fully agree with ArbitroMondo.
    This is a tremendous example of teamwork.

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  8. BTW anyone saw goal for Marseille?
    looks like offside...

    1. "looks like offside" is the understatement of the years. Don't know, how Krmar could miss that.

  9. A very strong performance by Team Webb so far.
    A very good foul detection, but my credits for AR2.
    5 offside calls, all good ones, as his decision to let Webb send Montolivo off.
    Well done!

    How about the other teams? Anyone with an update?

  10. Kassai first half: at first he tried to apply his style. A clear YC in my opinion was missed for a tackle from behind by Rosický on Higuain (14').
    He decided to issue the first card of the match for a persistent infingment to Mertnes (two fouls in two minutes) and then the second card correctly given to Dzemaili for a tactical foul.
    Mistake by Gyorgy Ring at the beginning with a wrong flag against Napoli.

    1. Emil Archambault11/12/13 22:05

      Are you sure that was wrong? It seemed offside by a very slight margin to me.

      Anyway, Toth just wrongly flagged a very obvious routine offside after a throw-in (56th minute). Surprisingly poor call.

  11. Kassai with a very good first half. Only 2 cautions and both for Napoli. He has to face a very hostile crowd which tries to influence him but without succession.

  12. If I may believe Chefren, it seems that the Elite-referees have some big problems with their assistants. Skomina, Kassai, Thomson already have been let down by their assistants. How does this come? Niclas? Chefren?
    It seems that only Kuipers and Webb who have the most reliable assistants.

    1. What about Brych and Stark?

    2. Webb, Mullarkey and Cann have been together for many year's now which is probably why they have a good chemistry.

    3. I think that having a chemistry with your teammates it can be helpful for the cooperation, but not in offsides detection.
      So at the end probably we must admit that English and Dutch assistants are better...

    4. I think Brych and Stark are great referees, but look back at the big mistakes their assistants recently made:
      Salver missed a clear offside goal in PSG - FC Barcelona and Lupp with a mistake in Hoffenheim two months ago

      That could be a logic reason Nur H.

    5. Regarding the mistake in Hoffenheim, everybody sees it his way. Imo there is no chance for the AR to check every single mesh in the net. Otherwise this would take 10 minutes, while the players are standing and waiting for the kick-off. Furthermore - this very small hole would have been accepted (at least in the amateur league, where I'm on duty), because no ball fits through it (well, ehm, this point we had to overthink since that night in Sinsheim).

    6. Proença has good assistants as well, especially Bertino Miranda. I think the assistant referees you mention are either very experienced or have gone through an intensive trajectory (e.g. Zeinstra WC U17, including the final with Moen). So I think that trajectory is quite important, also with certain assistants not having experienced that, due to not being first choice or chopping and changing the assistants by the federations.
      I see UEFA also recognising this, with Brandner and Pozzi introduced to CL in mixed teams after good U21 performances.

    7. I can understand your opinion, Hagi, but a very concentrated referre could have noticed that hole. It just a matter of high concentration and not a matter of lackness. Take the game Feyenoord - NAC Breda (Dutch Premier League) for an example; assistant referee Boonman noticed a hole which had to be fixed. A good example of concentration and performing your job.

      Thomas, on the other hand, of course it is important to be experienced, but if I see what kind of mistakes Elite-assistant made the last years, it's unbelievable.
      It started all with the AAR, but in a few months, the most experienced assisants (Kassai/Thomson) made some blatant mistakes.

    8. I think, it's a little bit like roulette. Wether you see the hole or you don't. The more important thing to check is, if the net is hanging correctly, because there are bigger holes and this could also lead to injuries. Lupp simply was unlucky on this day.

  13. Emil Archambault11/12/13 21:43

    Kassai has an annoyingly challenging match. Constant small fouls, pushing, tackling, etc. He manages fairly well, but lets pass numerous small cases of dissent (gestures, etc.) He doesn't talk much to the players, but seems to get angry at the many fouls and the dissent. Despite all the fouls (and two yellow cards), he adds no extra time. Both assistants quite challenged with early offside calls, which they got correctly. (The first one, for AR1, was very narrow, but I think he got it right).

    A decent performance so far, but several small areas of improvement (will he ever start making signals?). Could work a little on his match control and crack down on excessive dissent.

    1. Emil Archambault11/12/13 22:53

      Excellent second half from Kassai. All his struggles from first half disappeared as the game became cleaner and more axed on offense. The second yellow to Arteta maybe is a bit harsh, but I can live with it. The two yellows for a scuffle between Ramsay and a Neapolitan player were maybe a bit exaggerated. Foul detection was very good, and he seemed in control.

      Toth wrongly flagged a very obvious non-offside on a throw-in situation at the 56th minute (ball passed to the thrower, who was onside), but then made an excellent onside call at the 93rd minute on Callejon's goal.

    2. Overall Kassai did a pretty good job. Of course he has to improve his man management (since he didn't talk to the players that protesting and even with gestures) but we must underline that he was totally in control. Foul detection was pretty good. As for the YC on Arteta it is obvious that he had studied that player and the YC was more for a persistent infringement and not for that spesific foul.

    3. By the way: Kassai has a very interesting manner of walking.
      He is so dynamic. From a stationary situation, he can reach the other side of the field in 9 seconds. Very nice-looking.

  14. Yesterday 5 red cards, today already three, this is a record for one CL Matchday :)

  15. What the hell happened at 2-0 Schalke? (Rhetorical question, I saw the scene)

  16. Webb with a good performance. It could be very interesting next summer, if he keeps this current form. Good foul detection, good card management and a strong personality. Also a good performance of his assitants.

    1. I agree, that team Webb had a good performance tonight.
      But, the situation with the foul of Balotelli in 71'.
      Webb decides to show the yellow card. In my book this is also serious foul play. What do you think about this situation? Is yellow acceptable?

    2. First of all, thank you for this question.
      It was borderline if you ask me. I think that he only showed yellow, because the laws in England are so much different than in other countries. In England more is allowed. There they play it in a very male way. Sometimes if I see some charges, I still can't believe why they don't send off the players, but I think that a Cakir or an Eriksson could have sent off Balotelli.

      Nur H, can you share this opinion?

    3. In general good performance of team Webb, but the foul of Balotelli (right in front of Webb) was a clear red card: SFP.
      Also the extra time added was short in comparison to the time wasting by Milan players, balboys and even Alleghri.

    4. I agree - in England, officials do tend to let a lot more things go when compared to other leagues on the continent.

    5. In my opinion Balotelli's foul isn't borderline at all, but a clear red card! I don't think this kind of fouls have anything to do with a "male way of playing soccer". Balotelli puts his pins in Blind's leg and didn't have any chance at all to play the ball... A nasty foul for which Balotelli should have been sent off, in my opinion...

  17. Poor performance by Strahonja in Marseille - Dortmunf.
    Blatant offside goal, a clear penalty was evaluated as dive and therefore second yellow card.
    UEFA underestimated this match!

    1. How did Stavrev performed under the eyes of Elleray?

    2. I don't know, I haven't watched.

    3. Ok. Thank you for your quick response.

    4. Chefren, I disagree with the "clear penalty was evaluated as dive". In my eyes, that dive decision was totally correct. However the offside goal and the not given penalty (for Lewandowski, ~85') were crucial mistakes.

    5. At least there is a contact, so I'm in trouble to think that the dive decision was correct. If you want, give nothing, but the card for simulation seems to me wrong.
      Anyway and of course, I respect your opinion and that's the sense of being here to discuss on the blog :)

    6. I don't think it was a penalty either. The slight contact does not cause the fall and Payet looks like he is trying to get a penalty, but because of the slight contact i think he could have decided to wave play on.

    7. There was a litte contact, but imo this contact had nothing to do with the falling of payet. A contact doesn't exclude diving since it means "attempt to deceive the referee". Payet attempts here to deceive the referee, that there was a foul. One also has to look, that he directly looks to the referee, which is a strong indication for such an attempt.

  18. Epic fail by Stefani in Schalke 2-0.
    I'm speechless, the fail of the century.

    1. There it is again. How on earth is this possible?
      Can somebody clarify this? Any assistant referees on this blog?

    2. See

    3. Those free-kick situations, when 7 players run in and 7 players run out are very difficult to assess since you easily lose the overview, who's onside and who's offside. However, here it was that clear. You must see this.

      On the other side - here you can see, it was onside. Great call!



      What the hell...?!?

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Just saw the incident, surreal viewing I have to say. Time felt as if it stopped, as Matip had all the time in the world to slot home.

    7. I was live at the stadium and approximately had a seat on line with this offside situation. You can believe me, I did not celebrate. That was visible for everybody, even with a slightly blurred angle. I am also speechless and finally have to say that Team Rizzoli is definitely not on World Cup level. Also Faverani missed a clear offside preceding the dogso. Tagliavento himself had a very good player management, that was the strongest point of his performance. Very determined referee.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. Niclas, The situation leading to the red card for DOGSO was a good call from AR2 / the team. If you look closely to the incident you can see that the ball comes from a Basel player. So no offside is possible.


    10. You are correct. I missed the defender's contact. It was clearly deliberate play and no deflection, therefore great onside. Thanks.

  19. I watched Webb in Milan, and I saw a very good performance in a very challenging match.
    Excellent red card for Montolivo in the first half. Cann surely advised Webb on that, also he had some very tight offsides, all correct. Cann is back to his old form!
    Webb with a good foul detection and a clear line.
    Strongest points were his man-management and personality. We all know his way of handling players and matches, and I don't think there is a better referee for these kinds of intensive all-or-nothing matches (see also Real-Dortmund last year).
    Webb is refereeing more consistently than ever, one of the few Elite referees without problems in the last year. Others are Brych and perhaps Kuipers.

    Hagi, you have plenty to write about ;-)

    1. When has Cann been out of form? ;)

    2. One thing to add: I didn't catch the replay of the 71' Balotelli foul, in real time it looked borderline. But I must see it again.

    3. Yes, I'm really looking forward. The decisions I could see in the conference looked all very good. :-)

    4. I was also wondering that.

    5. I have also seen Webb full. Well, all agreed with Thomas. But, I would prefer a RC for Ballotelli for delibrate (not much serious, but still delibrate and without ball aim) foul from behind.
      And, Webb is an obvious experience, he really knows what he is doing

  20. A question for Chefren
    Any chance for Rocchi-Di Liberatore-Cariolato to go to WC in 2014?

    1. No, I still think that Rizzoli, Stefani and Faverani will be there.
      It is sure.

  21. Mario Strahonja and Igor Krmar good bye!

  22. I think UEFA slightly underestimated and undervalued the game in southern France. I thought even before the appointments were made, that an Elite referee was required.


    you can see at 00:35 (match time) Ring mistake, with a wrong flag
    in a match in which the qualification was possible winning 3-0, flagging this offside after 40 seconds it's really crucial, it was an easy goal to score for Higuain and then it might have been 1-0 after 1 minute in first half.. the position is clearly onside, there is also a small distance, not extremely tight if you ask me.
    this was the only relevant mistake of the Hungarian crew yesterday, I must admit anyway quite difficult to detect

    1. Emil Archambault12/12/13 13:33

      You're right; I didn't see that angle. What did you make of Toth's wrong flag at the 56th minute? An extremely easy call...

    2. Watching the scene, I can't be sure that it was a clear mistake.
      I don't see this situation as extremely easy.
      Based on the video, I can't be sure that Arsenal #6 was behind.
      I think it can be even an extremly tight offside.

    3. IMO the AR is not well positioned. That's why he sees the player as offside.

  24. Niclas, coild you post an analysis on these incredible offside mistakes by ARs within the last 12-18 months (after Euro 2012)?

    1. It is planned. This week is quite full, so all this stuff including reports, analysis and categories comes next week.

  25. I observed Mario Strahonja who had a very mixed game to say the least.

    2 major things for me; his poor positioning on the field of play, 7 times getting in the way of the ball and interrupting attacks, and running far too centrally and not sweeping up at all; and poor AoL, particularly with recognising disciplinary offences, and keeping a consistent line in the game.

    Perhaps we could also add personality and Match control - very nonchalant and erudite, not seeming to 'care' what was going on in the game. The opposite say, of Mazic who pays particular attention to firm body language, sprinting to the scene of the foul (crime?), isolating players and generally being on the move. MS was casually strolling around the pitch and barely influencing players.

    Disc. action;
    the good:

    YC 32' Payet for reckless play
    YC 34' Simulation for same player seeking to win a penalty. BD5 clearly won the ball with an excellent 'scoop' challenge, barely making contact 'on the way out' of the challenge and Payet seeks to deceive referee. Great RC here.

    YC 70' for OM9 for holding correct
    YC 92' OM24 for reckless play correct

    2 further non-penalties waved away confidently.

    Insisting on repair of corner flag after Payet breaks this on way off field. Good detection, and use of tape (ha)

    the bad:

    Inexplicably denying Lewandowski a clear cut penalty in 87 min of the game. As though in a trance and 'stuck' in his previous 3 non-calls, he blows the whistle as if at first to give, but then walks over casually and points up the field. No further action or explanation.

    A sloppy early period that set the scene for the game between 13 and 18 mins:

    Missed YC 13' as BD16 late on OM17. Does not have angle due to poor position.

    Potential missed YC 16' as OM8 stamps on BD def foot clearly and late. At least a word needed.

    Missed YC 18' for high foot on OM18 by Kehl. Contact made with chest, player goes down hurt.

    Then on 33' - just prior to SO at other end - MS awards a bizarre corner when AR1 seems to cross and give goal kick. Seemed like a mind-blank, and surely enough, a non-existent foul is given for pushing by Lewandowski for a defensive FK in the penalty area. Clever you might say, but why the corner decision in the first place?

    30 seconds later, the double YC incident occurs.

    Missed YC 41' OM8 reckless play on Reus on Halfway line. Potential just for a talking to, but by now the game is relinquishing his control.

    67' - Tricky penalty area evaluation to be made as Mandanda clearly has hold of Lewandowski, and by the letter of the law (and this blog recently re the Pole) a penalty could be awarded. However, MS finds another non-existent push and awards a defensive FK.


    Pointing to ball and player instead of signalling advantage on 2 occasions.

    Poor communication with AR's.

    Poor whistle tone throughout, varying from too long, to too short and weak. No urgency in fiercer challenges.

    Overall a poor showing by the Croat, who was given the chance to impress in such a decisive game.

    Assistants had good games. Both incredibly busy when BD were attacking, particularly via Grosskreutz down the right side. Potential for missed offside for 1-1 but my tv decided not to replay the incident, looked tight, potentially right call though many saying not? AR1 in particular excelled with offside detection and signalling.

    4th official, not so good in his sub administration, not awaiting for player to cross the line etc, and too casual when in position.

    ARR's very lively and communicated one 'big' decision each.

    1. The 1-1 was definitely offside (half a metre).

      Thanks for this detailed feedback.

  26. Please can anybody update me on my team's game Olympiakos, and monsieur Stark? I have heard many reports, and conflicting ones at that!

  27. Go to match minute 34:45. In my opinion, Tagliavento missed a red card here, even though it was difficult to see from his position.

    One further comment on Andrea Stefani.
    After the final whistle, he did not control the tunnel. He walked to the midfield circle and left the pitch along with the rest of the officiating team. So he flouted his post-match duties. Maybe this came by habit, as he normally is AR2 and is hence not responsible for it.

    1. Do you really think that all the UEFA officials follow the instruction so carefully? :)

    2. Ah Niclas, my man Tagliavento again eh. I had a really interesting conversation with a highly knowledgeable Italian refereeing authority last week and he was telling me of the politics in Italian refereeing - particularly with this guy, and Orsato. I dont know how he referee's at the highest level - Chef?

      As it happens on 34.45 I think a YC at best actually! If you watch closely, the midfielder appears to turn his boot at the last second in order not to contact shin with studs. But yes, a missed foul and potential YC.

      Chef, also agree with a comment you made on Nicoletti. My, he is having a hard time ...

    3. @ Chefren: Yes. It's their duty and belongs to the "must-be's" of AR1s.

      @ Nik: He is going with studs up into a tackle and targets an area of the opponent where the ball definitely was far away from..

  28. By the way, there have also been a lot of positive things at this matchday.
    For example, Markus Häcker's onside in a high pace run by the Atletico forward scoring the 2:0:


    1. I wonder whether Poll had to laugh himself when he wrote that shenanigans.

    2. Mike Dean's facial expression further down the page did make me chuckle, I must admit.

    3. To be fair, it's the same face I made while reading the article...

    4. "As Atletico Madrid eliminated Porto, there was one of the most blatantly offside goals allowed to stand by the German officials."

    5. Poll probably meant the Schalke offside goal. Well, at least he is consistent in getting things wrong...
      Btw, excellent onside decision by Häcker.

  30. Paolo Tagliavento's unofficial facebook page is full of death threats. I hope he receives as much support by UEFA as possible.


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