February 14, 2016

Champions League 2015/16 - Round of 16 (I): Gianluca Rocchi to referee Benfica-Zenit - Carlos Velasco assigned for PSG-Chelsea

UEFA has appointed Italian Gianluca Rocchi and Carlos Velasco of Spain to kick-off this year's Champions League knockout-stage in Lisbon and Paris respectively.

20:45 CET - Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
SL Benfica
Zenit St Petersburg
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Antonio Damato (ITA)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carmine Russo (ITA)
4th Official: Riccardo Di Fiore (ITA)
UEFA Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)
UEFA Delegate: Steen Dahrup (DEN)
Referee Liaison Officer: Nuno Castro (POR)

Blog Observer: Detelin (BUL) - Report: PDF (n.a.y.)

20:45 CET - Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Paris SG
Chelsea FC
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
4th Official: Ángel Nevado Rodríguez (ESP)
UEFA Referee Observer: Oguz Sarvan (TUR)
UEFA Delegate: Petr Fousek (CZE)
Referee Liaison Officer: Michel Lebrun (FRA)

Blog Observer: Niclas (GER) - Report: PDF (n.a.y.)


  1. Europa League game, Fenerbahçe-Lokomotiv Moscow game is going to be refereed by Martin Strömbergsson (SWE).

  2. As I wrote several days ago, Clattenburg and Atkinson are in really bad shape. Atkinson in Arsenal-Leicester: wrong penalty, missed at least two YCs, missed advantages... It was tough match, though. I haven't watched City-Tottenham, but I saw PK. Really crucial mistake from Clattenburg - he didn't saw situation properly (the same was when he excluded Wanyama), but decided to give PK in such important match. The ball hit Sterling's back; nevertheless, there was no intention.

    1. I think your commentary is a tad harsh, I watched only the second half of Arsenal - Leicester, I think the penalty was justifiable even though it was evitable. Apart from the missed RC:SFP I would say it's a good performance.
      Clattenburg had a seemingly easier game - I can't comment on the whole match, but the PK for handball was wrong imo, he guessed that Sterling's hand was in an position that would have made it deliberate.
      Going to your point, they aren't in top form but they certainly aren't performing unacceptably. My fear is the UEFA fixtures upcoming could burn them out and we could see a performance like Chelsea - Burnley last year. I think they should have no FA Cup fixtures next weekend and have a well earned break, and both take 2nd Leg fixtures in the UCL. I hope they aren't appointed tomorrow for that reason.

      Kind regards

    2. I haven't said their performances are unacceptable, I just pointed that they made several crucial mistakes in last couple of matches and that both of them weren't on a high level. For me, no word about penalty on Vardy - just watch his leg (angle from right corner), he left the leg and punched Arsenal defender. How can you point to the spot if you are not sure what exactly happened (the same is for Clattenburg - both of them were not positioned well to see the situation). I believe they are tired, but when they make obviuos mistakes we should say that - they are UEFA elite referees and we cannot comment only their performances in CL.

  3. Does anyone know for sure if Rocchi was originally scheduled for this game or if he is a substitute for Rizzoli, and when will Rizzoli be back. Also, Niclas batting 2 for 2 on the predictions.

    1. I can't be sure, but I think Rocchi appointment was already planned. He had a match in serie A on last matchday (07/02) then two days ago he was AAR1 in Juventus-Napoli.
      Still waiting for detailed info about Rizzoli's injury but it should be not that serious. I think in a few time he will be back.

  4. One must feel for Rocchi though, I doubt Turpin or Hategan will get a Champions League fixture, and if they do it is already likely decided from the first match.

  5. I am very impressed how much concentrated is Velasco from 1st minute of the game at Parc des Princes. He didn't hesitate to show a fully deserved yellow card to Ibrahimović for a first more serious foul in the match. He doesn't allow any form of mobbing or protests. Well done!

    1. Second half: very good onside by AR1 at 2-1 goal, missed yellow card to CHE #10 (reckless elbow, 47'), CHE #17 luckily did not kick in his opponent's stomach with studs (it would have meant a red card, 67'), CHE #22 could have been booked for dissent by action (kicking the ball away, 80'). Referee always mobile, taking excellent positions/angles in the game that demanded only to be focused and consistent (normal match difficulty).

    2. Agreed on all, btw it would be nice if you could create your own info-graphics or ask before pressing ctr+C and V on your site ;)

    3. Agree with all comments above, it was visible Velasco was extremely focused on the match, very calm and decisive, with excellent positioning. Still, I believe it was a smart move not to book "CHE #22 for dissent by action for kicking the ball away, 80'" (although not in accordance to the LOFG)

    4. Agree with all comments above, it was visible Velasco was extremely focused on the match, very calm and decisive, with excellent positioning. Still, I believe it was a smart move not to book "CHE #22 for dissent by action for kicking the ball away, 80'" (although not in accordance to the LOFG)

  6. I thought Velasco put in a very decent shift tonight. I agree with @RayHD's points.

  7. For me a good performance with good control in a normal match, lowered by a missed clear YC for a reckless elbow and - to be rewatched - a missed YC in 30' for a foul by William in the midfield.

  8. Some comments about Rocchi's performance? Was it correct the second YC to #4 Zenit? I didn't see the match...many thanks!

    1. He was generally quite strict with cautions in the match, therefore the second YC was harsh, but somehow consistent.

    2. IMO the 2nd YC was mandatory. Not only due to the reckless character of the contact from behind with the ball away, but specially because of the contact with studs shown (very light, but effective and dangerous).

      But yes, a typical Rocchi match. He is one of not many referees who is able to combine a friendly radiation and good grip to the players with a very strict / consistent application of the Laws of the Game.


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