Referee who oversaw epic Leeds United smash-and-grab to take charge of Arsenal clash at Elland Road

Referee Andre Marriner will officiate his 369th Premier League game on Saturday at Elland Road.
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Marriner has taken charge of 20 Leeds games throughout his 29-year career as a referee, sending off Whites skipper Paul Butler in his first visit to Elland Road in 2005.

Last season, the 50-year-old oversaw three defeats and three wins in the Whites' Premier League campaign, dishing out eight yellow cards to Leeds players across the season.

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Marriner was the man in the middle when the Whites claimed their most memorable result of the 2020/2021 season in April, with 10-man Leeds beating Manchester City 2-1 after Liam Cooper was shown a straight red before half-time.

Stuart Dallas put the Whites ahead at the Etihad with a low drive which snuck past City goalkeeper Ederson off the post. With Leeds heading into the break with a one-goal advantage, captain Cooper charged into a challenge on Gabriel Jesus in injury time.

Though Cooper won the ball, his challenge was high and the defender caught Jesus on the follow-through.

Marriner initially showed the Whites skipper yellow but, after consulting VAR, the booking was rescinded and Cooper was dismissed with a straight red for a dangerous challenge.

Referee Andre Marriner. Pic: Lui Vieira.Referee Andre Marriner. Pic: Lui Vieira.
Referee Andre Marriner. Pic: Lui Vieira.
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The hosts were relentless in attack against a weakened side in the second half. Ferran Torres broke the Whites’ resistance and made it 1-1 with fifteen minutes to play, and the goalscorer picked the ball out of the net in determination to restart play and find a winner.

But City could not score a second against ten-man Leeds, who bit back in injury time with a rapid counter-attack, as Gjanni Alioski played an inviting ball into the path of Dallas, who charged through City’s half and slotted the ball past Ederson to seal a memorable victory at the Etihad.

After the game, Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa was happy with Marriner’s decision and his team’s performance.

"I value a lot the English refereeing and with the added factor of VAR all the decisions are justified,” Bielsa said.

Leeds United celebrate Stuart Dallas' winner at the Etihad. Pic: Michael Regan.Leeds United celebrate Stuart Dallas' winner at the Etihad. Pic: Michael Regan.
Leeds United celebrate Stuart Dallas' winner at the Etihad. Pic: Michael Regan.
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"The value of the victory increases because it was achieved in a game where we were dominated and demanded character, effort and personality.”

Marriner has overseen nine Premier League clashes so far this season, giving two penalties, one straight red and 41 yellow cards.

The Birmingham referee was the man in the middle for the Whites’ 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat to Arsenal in October, when only two players - Cédric Soares and Tyler Roberts - went into his book.

On Saturday at Elland Road Marriner will be assisted by Eddie Smart and Scott Ledger, with John Brooks acting as fourth official. Michael Oliver will take charge of VAR, with Sian Massey-Ellis assisting.

Andre Marriner dismisses Leeds United captain Liam Cooper at the Etihad. Pic: Michael Regan.Andre Marriner dismisses Leeds United captain Liam Cooper at the Etihad. Pic: Michael Regan.
Andre Marriner dismisses Leeds United captain Liam Cooper at the Etihad. Pic: Michael Regan.
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