Howard Webb is as good as they come. He understands the occasion, he is a master of man management and he gets the big decisions right. When it comes to big matches, Howard Webb has seen it all before.
Howard Webb got pretty much everything correct in this match. Nani wanted a penalty at the end of the first half, but he went down easily under minimal contact and Webb correctly said no. The same can be said of Ronaldo's penalty appeal towards the end of the match. The three cards Webb showed to Nani & Limbersky (persistent infringement) and Veloso (unsporting behaviour) were correct. Perhaps Limbersky could have had a 2nd yellow in stoppage time, but the challenge was more careless than reckless and I agree with Webb. He was very well assisted by his whole team (including Dutch assistant Sander van Roekel). Mike Mullarkey was flawless.
You have to admire Webb's match management. He maintains control with ease and clearly has the respect of the players. He knows when to hold the match tight, but will also let the players get on with the game, helping the flow with magnificent advantages. Some people always want him to show more cards, but today more yellows would have been pedantic and unnecessary, and Howard Webb is far too good a referee for that.
Another big final?
If Italy win their QF against England, who would bet against Webb getting another big final to his name? It would certainly be an appointment based on merit; I cannot think of anyone who has been noticeably better than Howard.