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Chelsea v Liverpool (25/10/2008) - Meet the Referee
Thursday, 23rd October 2008
Howard Webb of Yorkshire will referee our top of the table clash at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

Regarded by many as one of the best young referees coming through the system, he started his refereeing career in his local Rotherham leagues in 1989.

Another two seasons passed and he received yet another promotion meaning within 9 years of taking up the whistle he was now refereeing in the Football Conference and running the line in the Premiership.

In 2000 he was promoted again and found himself refereeing in the Football League and three years later he was included on the Premiership list of referees. That season he rounded off a marvellous year by refereeing the Division Two Play-off final between Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers, his biggest game so far of his career.

He is now a regular around Europe and this has already refereed eight Champions League games. He was also the English referee at the recent European Championships and was in the middle of two games including Spain's 2-1 win against Greece that saw Reina and Arbeloa get their one and only game of the tournament. Xabi Alonso also played in the victory.

He had a very unusual start to his Premiership career, as his first five matches did not produce a single goal. Ex-red Paul Ince finally gave Webb the chance to finally mark a goal on his match card after a total of 450 goalless minutes.

At the start of August this year he was in the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts to take charge of the North American Super Liga Final when Steve Nicol's New England Revolution defeated Houston Dynamo 6-5 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Our record with Webb in the middle is a good one with only two defeats in fifteen games, but this will be his first game between Chelsea and Liverpool.

Webb has refereed both Chelsea and ourselves once already this season, he was in the middle when Tottenham went to The Bridge and came away with a 1-1 draw, then two weeks later he refereed our 2-1 win against Manchester United.

Like Chelsea and ourselves, Howard was also in European action this week. He was in Italy for Inter Milan's 1-0 win over Anorthosis Famagusta.

He also has a number of records to his name. He was the referee when the most goals have been scored in a Premiership match when Arsenal beat Blackburn Rovers 6-2 in December 2006. Again involving Arsenal, he was the referee who has issued the most cards in a Premiership game when Fulham beat the Gunners in November 2006 at Craven Cottage, he issued a total of ten cards. And finally and once more involving Arsenal, he refereed their Carling Cup Final defeat against Chelsea two seasons ago where he also issued ten cards including three red ones.

Darren Cann and Mike Mullarky will be his assistants for the game, they were both with him in Milan this week for the Champions League. Rob Styles is the fourth official.

Some memorable games involving Liverpool and Howard Webb:

10th November 2004 - Neil Mellor scores two late goals as Liverpool beat Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup.

3rd January 2005 - Second half goals from Luis Garcia and John Arne Riise give us the three points following a 2-1 win at Norwich City. This was the last time we saw Salif Diao in a Liverpool shirt.

5th March 2005 - Lauren Robert's free-kick gives Newcastle United all the points after a 1-0 defeat at St. James' Park in Scott Carson's Liverpool debut.

18th February 2006 - Peter Crouch scores a first half header to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup.

26th April 2006 - Luis Garcia and Hayden Mullins see red and miss the FA Cup Final the following month. Cisse scores twice in a 2-1 win in a game that saw Didi Hamann wearing a Liverpool shirt in the Premiership for the last time.

23rd September 2006 - Mark Gonzalez scores his first Premiership goal for Liverpool in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

16th December 2006 - Liverpool achieve their 100th away win in the Premiership as we beat Charlton 3-0.

28th October 2007 - Gerrard scores on his 400th appearance for Liverpool in a 1-1 draw at home to Arsenal.

30th March 2008 - Torres scores in his sixth successive game at Anfield as his goal is enough to win the Merseyside derby. The goal was also Liverpool's 100th for the season and in Reina's 100th Premiership game. It was also the last time Anfield saw Peter Crouch play in the Premiership in a red shirt.

13th September 2008 - Albert Riera makes his Liverpool debut in a 2-1 win against Manchester United.




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