UEFA Europa League Referee Appointments – May 2, 2019

Image courtesy of UEFA

May 2, 2019 – Emirates Stadium
Arsenal FC (ENG) vs Valencia CF (ESP) – Semifinal, 1st Leg
REF: Clément Turpin (FRA)
AR1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
AR2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
4TH: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
AAR1: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
AAR2: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

I was half expecting Turpin to get the Tottenham-Ajax return fixture next week, so I am a little surprised at this appointment, which effectively rules him out of any CL second legs. That said, Turpin has been steadily improving over the past few seasons, and a Europa League semifinal match for the second consecutive year is a testament to that. Interestingly, that semifinal last year was also at the Emirates Stadium, with Turpin taking charge of the Arsenal-Atletico first leg.

I think Turpin is a good referee, although he always seems to have the deer-in-headlights look when he makes a big decision. Regardless, this match is a good assignment from UEFA, and I’m sure he’ll be up to the task.

May 2, 2019 – Commerzbank-Arena
Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) vs Chelsea FC (ENG) – Semifinal, 1st Leg
REF: Carlos del Cerro Grande (ESP)
AR1: Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
AR2: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
4TH: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
AAR1: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
AAR2: José María Sánchez Martínez (ESP)

This appointment is a little bit unexpected for me, even though del Cerro Grande has had a fairly good European campaign. Although he is 43 years old, dCG was just promoted to the UEFA Elite group of referees at the end of 2018, and so the referees’ committee’s trust in the Spaniard is evidently quite high. With only six European matches (four semifinals and two finals) remaining this season, many Elite refs will end up overlooked.

Turpin’s appointment for Arsenal-Valencia definitely shakes up what would have been my prediction for him to take a CL second leg next week, so it will be interesting to see who UEFA decides to appoint in the remaining semifinals. I’ll have my predictions for next week’s return legs on Twitter in a few days, but until then, enjoy the football!

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