Nicola Rizzoli chose a low profile line and a very generous approach in a game of total football between two arch rivals. Well, it worked well for most of the game, but in terms of discipline control he was more than lenient. Dante was lucky to remain on the pitch after the penalty decision and Ribery could have easily been sent off.
He is an architect and he walks around on the pitch as if he is inspecting or planning a new building. He is relatively far off the action and is generally not a referee who will whistle very easily for small things. The same is true for his card policy which looked a bit too passive at times. But in this respect he was consistent in line with his general policy of being lenient. He got away with it, I would say tonight although he bent the rules slightly to do so.
The critical decsions
23'' ellbow by Ribery in the direction of the face of Lewandowski. Must be yellow if not red. Rizzoli does nothing. 28'' Yellow for Dante for a cynical foul with a tactical nature, but very soft in comparison with Ribery's action. 66' Dante hits Reus with his foot inside the box. The penalty is correct, but Dante needs to go with a second yellow. Rizzoli spares him (maybe because the first yellow was so soft). As it is a kick, could also be red. 70'' Ribery goes down inside the box. Could be yellow for diving, but Rizzoli books Ribery and Großkreutz for their heated discussion about it afterwards. The Frenchmen is lucky to be still there in my opinion. 75'' Lewandowski walks on the foot of Boateng which I first judged to be unintentional. On second sight, I have more doubts. 77'' Muller is pulled back briefly when running towards the goal. I guess it's okay to be generous when you are so lenient all evening. Positive sides: Good manner, correct decisions (handball Lewandowski before disallowed goal) and offside so a lot of positive things too.
I find it this time very difficult to judge the performance by Rizzoli in a fair and balanced way. On the one hand, the match was well-directed and the ref had a firm grip on the action. On the other hand, there were some serious issues concerning the disciplinary action (Ribery, Dante and Lewandowski). After reconsidering, I downgrade my marks to a 6.3.