Manchester United v Manchester City




GB at 2017-12-10 19:52:40

Many thanks for all your interaction via Twitter during this game – please keep them coming!

Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-12-10 19:50:42

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

I should really start my summary of the Referee’s performance in that game at the end rather than the beginning! All-in-all, that was an excellent display by Michael Oliver, whose tactics proved effective in the end.

I say in the end, as there were just a few signs that this referee is still not quite the full article yet, as he prepares to meet the challenges of UEFA’s Elite list along with Anthony Taylor next year.

It might seem churlish to point out some minor development areas for such a competent referee after a game like that, but that just shows that no one is perfect – which is why I started by saying I though Oliver had an excellent game today.

The main thing he still needs to improve on is taking chances when he does not need to. Is it over confidence? I would not like to say, but this was not the type of game to be playing “fancy” advantages in the centre of the field of play when tempers were beginning to flare up and then go back with a yellow card. JUST GIVE IT – get it and get out and look after yourself Michael and not risk the players taking matters into their own hands.

The only other less than perfect area today was in the lack of a caution for Gabriel Jesus (MC 33) when he seemed to “take a dive” in the 20th minute, yet he was big and bold and correctly issued the appropriate sanction to Ander Herrera (MU 21) following a similar act of simulation in the second half.

Fitness and stamina was first class today. Considering this referee was out in the Champions League midweek, not one could say he looked the slightest bit fatigued in that game – not physically anyway. Just those couple of minor lapses of concentration may point to mental fatigue.

At the end of the day though, Michael Oliver would have taken that performance any day of the week and I have to say that despite my reservations that his control seemed in the balance for the 1st 2/3s of the game, I must congratulate this very competent referee for the way he closed this one out and wish him all the best for what the future holds!

More RefCam to come

GB at 2017-12-10 19:28:27

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage this weekend. The action continues in mid-week with the following games lined up to review from the referee’s perspective:

12.12.17 Huddersfield Town v Chelsea KO 20.00 pm

13.12.17 West Ham United v Arsenal KO 20.00 pm

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at [email protected]

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2017-12-10 19:27:29

Full Time

Manchester United 1 v 2 Manchester City


GB at 2017-12-10 19:25:16

Oliver right to stop the game for the head injury after the City player ran into the Man Utd player’s elbow!


GB at 2017-12-10 19:23:05

4 added minutes to be played

GB at 2017-12-10 19:21:52

Ashley Young (MU 18) shows his frustration and picks up yellow card Yellow Card for that “very” reckless challenge.


GB at 2017-12-10 19:19:59

Classic pro-active refereeing by Oliver then as he squeezes the play into the corner as soon as it looked like the City player was looking to start some “time consuming” (not time wasting) tactics. As a referee it is important to remember that is you do not get in close to “referee” that corner arc, then no one else is going to do it for you!


GB at 2017-12-10 19:16:38

A great goalmouth scramble just like last week. Perfect positioning by Oliver who presses right inside of the penalty area to get as close as he could to the action without getting in the way.


GB at 2017-12-10 19:14:35

Inside the last 10 minutes and that free kick bodes well as Oliver is strong with the first hint of illegal use of the arms from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (MU 10)


GB at 2017-12-10 19:12:16

Ander Herrera (MU 21) gets a Yellow Card yellow card for simulation and Oliver is right there to sell his call – excellent decision. Just look at the reaction of the players though, there is plenty more left for the Referee to manage in this game yet.


GB at 2017-12-10 19:10:08

There seems to be a bit of naivety showing in Oliver’s tactics at the moment. Surely he can see what all of you Tweeting in are questioning why he did not stop the game for the last yellow card instead of playing a “possession” advantage in the centre circle.


GB at 2017-12-10 19:06:07

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

Great positioning again by Oliver to sell “no foul” that time on edge of City penalty area again. Then Oliver takes a few risks with advantages in the centre circle – i do admire his confidence but will it be seen as too risky later in this game. Slowing it down with cautions may be the best policy as I don’see any public warnings working at this stage of this game.

David Silva (MC 21) picks up a yellow card Yellow Card next time play is stopped but I keep coming back to the fact that this is not the game to take chances with.


GB at 2017-12-10 19:01:01

excellent positioning again by Oliver to keep up with play and give that important call just outside on the Man City penalty area.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:59:18

Oliver seemed to give himself “thinking time” before giving that free kick to United deep inside their own half. He really needs to stop taking chances and just give those types of offences quickly so he remains to look decisive right to the end. If he delays on those is could back fire as the players take their own retribution.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:56:00

Mental fatigue is as dangerous as physical fatigue at the top level these days.

Marcus Rashford (MU 19) gives Michael Oliver the ideal opportunity to stamp his authority on the game again with that Yellow Card for dissent by action towards the Assistant Referee. Some may think that was cheap, but when it is so blatant you cannot afford to try to manage those as it give every player the opportunity to think they can have a “free one”!


GB at 2017-12-10 18:51:35

Michael Oliver has a great opportunity in this second half to prove he has the mental ability to maintain his concentration and alertness right to the any – if he starts to relax at all these two teams will exploit that as a weakness.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:49:16

That is the first 10 minute slot gone by and the Referee will be happy to bank that one. The game has remained as full on in the second half as the first but the main thing is that the temperature has not raised any higher.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:47:27

Michael Oliver’s vicinity to the free kick which led to that second GOAL! for Man City by Nicolás Otamendi (MC 30) shows how much effort he is putting into this one


GB at 2017-12-10 18:43:36

Such is the confidence of this referee at the moment he is choosing “advantage” rather than safe free kicks – fair play to him, I hope fortune favours the brave for his sake!



GB at 2017-12-10 18:40:37

If every a game was crying out for the referee to manage the tempo and slow it down by giving all the “little” fouls then this is it. Oliver has been guilty in the past of letting the game get away from him in the past so lets see if he has learnt from his mistakes in the past in this second half.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:38:19

Good attention to detail at kick off from Oliver as players from both sides in the wrong half! I think her only spotted one though. I have seen this a lot ever since the law was changed to allow kick off to go backwards – some referees not looking out for it.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:36:20

Second half underway

Half time Summary

GB at 2017-12-10 18:29:52

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

Last week I commentated on Arsenal v United and that was a game full of action from end to end and I said before this one started that it had a lot to live up to. Well what this one lacks in the type of goalmouth action we saw last week it makes up for in tension and underlying passion and commitment. So much so that I think it has been one of the most challenging matches this referee will have had in the Premier League as he is being tested to the full to use everything he has in the locker to control the egos out there without spoiling the game.

So far the referee’s tactics seem to have worked and anyone who thought the first yellow after just 3 minutes was risky, needs to think what this game could have been like without it?

The players are happy to put pressure on the referee and he is responding well so far. What he needs to do now is keep his nerve in the second half and if he needs to raise his profile to a level he has never done before then he needs to be ready to do just that in a pro-active manner to stop this one going nuclear.

What do you think? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at [email protected]

GB at 2017-12-10 18:23:07

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

You can get the latest opinion pieces from, Mark Halsey, Rob Harris, myself and others on our Verdict section of the Academy. Read the latest views on the weekend’s football action….

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GB at 2017-12-10 18:22:17

Half Time

Manchester United 1 v 1 Manchester City 


GB at 2017-12-10 18:18:26

GOAL! Marcus Rashford (MU 19) makes it one all!


GB at 2017-12-10 18:16:46

Minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-12-10 18:15:55

GOAL!  David Silva (MC 21)

Interesting to see Oliver position himself as close as he could to the players on the edge of the penalty area before the corner which led to the goal in order to manage the grappling – nothing like as bad as earlier in the game.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:13:49

With 5 minutes to go this is a classic game for the referee to slow things down to maintain a tight grip.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:11:18

Straight from the restart Gabriel Jesus (MC 33) commits a blatant trip – it may have only been careless but Michael Oliver is going to have to pick someone out to take one for the team soon if this is not going to start to drift away from him. Just about got it where he wants it at the moment but it is on a knife edge.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:08:32

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

Yellow card Yellow Card fully justified for Marcos Rojo (MU 5) for that reckless challenge. When players turn their back on the ball before making contact they are not going for the ball!

Oliver sensibly does not show yellow card to player until he gets back up onto his feet.

That delay may help the referee manage the tempo of this game which was bubbling up.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:05:33

Once again the tension out there is clear to see and Oliver needs to keep the lid screwed down.


GB at 2017-12-10 18:04:03

There is still room for a “fair” challenge ie with the shoulder to shoulder, but not in the back and not with the force to knock the player off balance because he could not see it coming. Good call by the referee in that one – no need to take chances in this game.

GB at 2017-12-10 18:01:13

Thanks for the Tweets – keep them coming. Sorry cant reply in this one as dare not take my eyes off of it!

Seems like a lot of you are on same page as me though.


GB at 2017-12-10 17:59:31

Only a quarter of the game gone and this could turn into a coming of age fixture for Michael Oliver as the needle and tension out there is on a knife edge at times as shown by those handbags in the corner before that throw in. Michael will need to dig deep in this one to remain in total control.


GB at 2017-12-10 17:56:39

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

Michael Oliver was very close to spot no foul on the City player who went down in the penalty area then. Not best practice to bend down to get a better look though, better to re position to get the angle to see no contact – could have been a yellow card for simulation for that one?

Now the tackles start flying in and Oliver showing his nerve and is not going to be intimidated by the players.


GB at 2017-12-10 17:48:57

Following that free kick for the slightest of touches on Kyle Walker (MC 2), the willingness of the players to challenge the referee and put pressure on him is obvious.

This is followed by some clear grappling in the penalty area which Oliver needs to be very careful not to allow to escalate. He has missed the first opportunities to nip it in the bud already, but he needs to ensure it does not get out of hand. It looks like it would not take much to set this one off!


GB at 2017-12-10 17:44:38

10 minutes gone since that first yellow card and Referee Oliver will be feeling very comfortable with that judgement call now as the game settled down immediately. Last season I saw a few of our “top” referees try to keep their tinder dry in these big head-to-head games and then watch it all unravel because they were not strong enough.


GB at 2017-12-10 17:41:36

Excellent decision not to flag for offside at that last Man City attack – will go un-noticed because nothing came of the move, but great decision by Simon Bennett nonetheless.


GB at 2017-12-10 17:37:24

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerbyNothing else except a Yellow Card yellow cards for Kyle Walker (MC 2) would have kept Oliver’s credibility in tact then after that advantage played in the £red zone”. If he had given the foul he may have been able to “manage” that one, but by playing on he had to make a stand. Now he has a long way to go to stay consistent in this game with his yellow cards. That said, much better to be strong in these games than weak early on.


GB at 2017-12-10 17:33:54

Early chance for Oliver to show he is not going to look to stop the game too quickly then demonstrate his tolerance level within the space of 2 seconds before giving first foul of the game!

kick off

GB at 2017-12-10 17:31:03

Manchester City won the toss so it will be Manchester United to kick off.

Good luck to all! And may the ball run kindly for you.

GB at 2017-12-10 17:27:12

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2017-12-10 17:25:38

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

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GB at 2017-12-10 17:23:33

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GB at 2017-12-10 17:22:11

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Michael Oliver

AR1: Gary Beswick (Technical Area)

AR2: Simon Bennett

4th Official: Johnathon Moss

Michael OliverThis is the type of game which Michael Oliver just takes in his stride these days. We know he can handle the pressure and he certainly has the stamina and fitness for a fixture like this, all he needs to do now is nail his decision making when the key match decision comes along.

This will be the 4th time Oliver has taken charge of the Manchester Derby.

There is still no official news as to whether Oliver will be pushed up to the Elite Group in UEFA on January 1st, but the signs were definitely looking good for I last week with another Champions League appointment on Wednesday for Feyenoord v SSC Napoli.

That was Michael’s 3rd game in this year’s Group Stage of the competition, following 3 outings last season as well. With Martin Atkinson unlikely to be given another extension for age, the race remains between Oliver and Taylor to take his place. Taylor has picked up his 3rd Group match in the UCL recently as well, so ideally the FA will be hoping that both are being ear-marked for the Elite Group for next year.

That leads on to a knock-on effect in the First Category as well. Once again, I would be very surprised to see Marriner offered another age extension, so if Oliver and Taylor move up and Marriner is retired off, England would have no Referees in the First Category. Step forward Craig Pawson? This South Yorkshire referee, who took charge of the Merseyside Derby earlier today, seems to be in the frame to make a claim for a move up the ranks following an excellent appointment for him as well last week, when he took charge of the Europa League Group match; FK Austria Wien v AEK Athens FC.

Here is how the English UEFA List looked at the beginning of this year:

2017 UEFA Referee Categories


Martin Atkinson (ENG),

Mark Clattenburg (ENG),

First Category

Andre Marriner (ENG)

Michael Oliver (ENG)

Anthony Taylor (ENG),

Second Category

Robert Madley (ENG)

Craig Pawson (ENG),

Third Category


Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-12-10 17:19:57

Manchester United

1       David De Gea (MU 1)

5       Marcos Rojo (MU 5)

9       Romelu Lukaku (MU 9)

11     Anthony Martial (MU 11)

12     Chris Smalling (MU 12)

14     Jesse Lingard MU 14)

18     Ashley Young (MU 18)

19     Marcus Rashford (MU 19)

21     Ander Herrera (MU 21)

25     Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

31     Nemanja Matic (MU 31)


20     Sergio Romero (MU 20)

2       Victor Lindelöf (MU 2)

4       Phil Jones (MU 4)

8       Juan Mata (MU 8)

10     Zlatan Ibrahimovic (MU 10)

23     Luke Shaw (MU 23)

39     Scott McTominay (MU 39)

Manchester City

31     Ederson (MC 31)

2       Kyle Walker (MC 2)

4       Vincent Kompany (MC 4)

7       Raheem Sterling (MC 7)

17     Kevin De Bruyne (MC 17)

18     Fabian Delph (MC 18)

19     Leroy Sané (MC 19)

21     David Silva (MC 21)

25     Fernandinho (MC 25)

30     Nicolás Otamendi (MC 30)

33     Gabriel Jesus (MC 33)


1       Claudio Bravo (MC 1)

3       Danilo (MC 3)

8       Ilkay Gundgan (MC 8)

10     Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

15     Eliaquim Mangala (MC 15)

20     Bernardo Silva (MC 20)

35     Oleksandr Zinchenko (MC 35)


GB at 2017-12-10 17:16:19

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

This is the one we have all been waiting for this season, and following the classic Arsenal v Man Utd fixture last week, it has even more to live up to now.

United will be without Paul Pogba, following his blatant Serious Foul Play at the Emerates, and City need to bounce back from their first defeat of the season on Wednesday night in the UCL.

Plenty for the managers to try to out shine each other with in this game, so I expect the 4th Official to have a busy afternoon as well. I read one report in a paper today which called this the biggest game in premier League history – what do you think about that?


GB at 2017-12-10 17:14:05

#MUFC #MCFC #MUFCvMCFC #ManchesterDerby

Welcome to this evenings RefCam coverage of the EPL game between Manchester United and Manchester City. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at [email protected]

Any thoughts on the big calls in the EPL over the weekend so far?