Clattenburg appointed referee for Man United-Man City derby

The Premier League has appointed referee Mark Clattenburg in charge of the Manchester United versus Manchester City derby on Sunday. He will be joined by assistants Simon Beck and Jake Collin, while Jonathan Moss will serve as the fourth official at Old Trafford.

In the past, Clattenburg has been accused of “favoring” Manchester United by rival supporters. However, it’s worth nothing that Clattenburg has only sent off two players in the Premier League this season – and both were from United. Tyler Blackett was shown a straight red card in United’s 5-3 defeat to Leicester City and Luke Shaw was dismissed during a 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Controversy has followed Clattenburg, who has previously been handed an eight-month suspension following an investigation into his “private business affairs”, as well as being accused of making inappropriate comments to players and managers on a handful of occasions.

In October 2010, Clattenburg correctly – yet controversially – allowed a goal to stand between Manchester United and Tottenham when Nani tapped the ball in after Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes put the ball down, believing his side had a free-kick. The only problem was Clattenburg had not blown his whistle. United would go on to win the match 2-0.

In 2012, the referee was accused of using “inappropriate language” towards Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel during their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United – a game in which he had sent of Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres, while replays showed United’s winning goal was offside.

However, after investigations from both the FA and the Metropolitan Police, the referee was ultimately cleared of the allegation.

Earlier this season, Clattenburg was omitted from his refereeing duties for one weekend due to two breaches of protocol. The most notable being that the referee had phoned Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock following the team’s 2-2 draw with West Brom.

Warnock had heavily criticized Clattenburg’s performance during the contest. However, Premier League rules state that all match officials must not be involved with any conversation with a manager after a match.

Despite these incidents and public perceptions, Clattenburg is widely considered one of the Premier League’s best referees, with some arguing the official is now the best referee in England following the retirement of Howard Webb.

The 40-year-old is one of only two English officials in UEFA’s elite category – the other being Martin Atkinson – with the governing body assigning Clattenburg to last season’s Europa League semi-final and later to the Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Sevilla.

This season, the Durham-born official has reached for his yellow card 78 times, which is only the eighth-highest number by a Premier League referee in 2014-15.

Clattenburg has been placed in charge of four games for Manchester City this season, with the club winning one, drawing twice and losing once in those contests.

He has also refereed three games for United: their 5-3 defeat to Leicester City, a 1-1 draw with West Ham and the team’s 3-0 victory over Tottenham.

 

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