This is my first assessment/report at WorldReferee.com, as a way of giving something back to this excellent website. I have not given any marks in this report (i.e. I have not touched the marks, which are by default set at 6) because there is no consistency to the marking scale (i.e. someone's 8 will be someone else's 5, etc), and hence having a number or mark does not really mean much. Instead, I hope my comments will be seen as being more meaningful, constructive and helpful; with the aim to encourage all referees to get the basics right and to improve for their next match.
Referee Florian Meyer (Germany) had some personality and clearly enjoyed communicating with the players. This aided him in his control of the match, which was generally very good especially since some calls were incorrect. He also had a good whistle and good presence when he had to stop play.
The referee's fitness was excellent, however his anticipation was generally not very good. For instance, there were several occasions when he was caught behind the ball during quick attacks because he failed to anticipate quickly. Related to this was his positioning, which was just OK. There were several instances where the referee had an internal angle, which meant his AR and other players were behind his back while the play and ball was in front of him. On a few occasions, he was also in danger of being hit by the ball. The 4 YCs were all correct. However, he missed 1 or 2 other incidents that deserved cautions.
I admit I am not used to watching German referees in the Bundesliga, but from Florian Meyer's odd signals I guess some of the standard referee signals are not used in the Bundesliga. For example, when the ball went out for a goal kick the referee pointed towards the centre circle. He was inconsistent because at least once, when the ball went out for a goal kick the referee pointed to the goal area line (which is the standard signal). I assume the referee is used to using the 'centre circle" signal for goal kicks and forgot to use the "goal area line" signal for this UCL match. Perhaps someone can comment on the referee signals used in the Bundesliga?
There were some poor calls and poor examples of teamwork from the match officials. In the 3' PlzeÅ attacked and the AC Milan keeper Abbiati made a super save pushing the ball around the post nearest the EAR (extra assistant referee) for a corner. The EAR had a good clear view. But the referee gave a goal kick, and this is another black mark against the UEFA experiment of using EARs. The important penalty decision in the 52' is another example of poor teamwork. The referee was not positioned well because there was a PlzeÅ player as well as AC Milan's Ibrahimovic obstructing his view of the handball incident. The EAR had the better view of the handball incident, so who made the call? In anycase, it is debatable whether it was a deliberate handball by the PlzeÅ defender. During the penalty kick, the positioning of the referee (and the AR) was odd (non-standard). There is no problem with the EAR's position, which is fine for penalty kicks.
Overall, the performance of the referee could have been much better. He has good communication, presence and fitness. However, his anticipation and positioning was poor. The referee was not helped by the casual attitude and performance of his ARs. AR2 was far too casual. Also, AR1 made an incorrect offside call against AC Milan in the 38' when Antonini was clearly onside as he raced towards goal from the left wing. The EARs did not appear to "assist" either.
Note: A longer version of this assessment (plus pictures) will be posted on my blog (HKRef.blogspot.com). There will also be additional talking points from this match that I will address.
referee signals in Germany (by NiclasE)
Hey, first of all: welcome! I just want to reply to your question whether referee signals are different in Bundesliga. - No, they aren't. Meyer sometimes makes that when he is in movement, I do not know why. Brych uses it sometimes as well, but in general, there are no differences to FIFA's standard.