Marvel “Heirs of Collina”
Referee Etrich runs a hat-trick on his return

Written by Alex Feuerradt


In the turbulent Bundesliga match between Hertha Berlin and Leipzig, the question was asked to the referee four times in difficult situations: yellow or red? In three cases, he makes the right decision on the spot, and only once needs the help of the VAR.

The final match of the 23rd day of the Bundesliga between Hertha Berlin and Leipzig ended with a score of 6: 1 for the visitors. But this does not mean that referee Patrick Etrich had a calm and relaxing evening at the Olympic Stadium. In fact, he was asked in four cases whether he should be fired. The first happened after 25 minutes, when Marco Richter of Berlin, after a back pass from Leipzig that was too short, entered a duel with Willy Urban and bravely saved it.

However, the German captain was on the ball in front of Richter, and the Hertha player came too late and calmly got rid of his opponent. It was a foul with some severity, and Urban had to be treated on the court afterwards, the cameras caught his injured bone. However, Richter did not fight for the ball with his leg outstretched and the Leipzig man did not turn up with his open sole, but only with his foot and legs. This shot, as the referees call it, made referee Ittrich’s yellow card look like an appropriate penalty.

Richter and Gvardiol deservedly get away with yellow cards

Because the error was cruel but not brutal; Commentators like to talk about a “dark yellow” offense in such cases. In any case, video assistant Benjamin Brand did not need to intervene with a review recommendation, only in the 34th minute when Marco Richter participated again, but this time as a victim: after a pass from Vladimir Darrida, Jusko Gvardiol from Leipzig grabbed his arm and dropped him into a central position before the penalty area. guests. Berliners adamantly demanded an “emergency brake” and a red card for Gvardiol. But Etrich left it upon warning.

This was also true, as the Leipzig defender did not thwart a clear goal opportunity. After all, Richter should have had the ball first, beating Gvardiol’s teammate Mehmet Simakan, who ran with it. Technically, this was only preventing a promising attack, which is the little sister of Emergency Brake, so to speak. And only the yellow card is for them. Patrik Eitrich behaved properly in a difficult second game-related situation upon his return to the Bundesliga after a hiatus of several weeks due to injury and illness.

Kempf pulls on emergency brakes and flies

Colina’s heirs

Colina’s heirs– This is Germany’s only referee podcast, founded and run by Claes Reis and Alex Fuerherdt. It deals with football rules, referees’ decisions and refereeing background and surface. Kollinas Erben writes every Monday on NTVD about the referee’s performance in a match. The Bundesliga is written by Alex Feuerherdt He ruled since 1985 and managed matches until the Premier League. He is responsible for training and further education in Cologne, an observer referee in the German Football Association region and works as a lecturer and freelance journalist.

In the 62nd minute, the Hamburg referee succeeded in achieving a hat-trick, so to speak. When Leipzig attacked, Christopher Nkunko picked up the ball after a pass and Marc-Oliver Kempf crossed into the center of the home team’s penalty area. Contrary to the situation after 34 minutes, there was no other defender nearby who could have interfered. Kempf had already tried outside the penalty area to block Nkunko by holding on, leaving him for a split second on the edge of the penalty area and then grabbing his stomach and knocking him to the ground. Etrich rightly decided a penalty and sent off.

Some may ask whether the goalkeeper should be penalized from where he started, that is, outside the penalty area, and therefore with a free kick. But the rules clearly state the following: “If the defender begins to catch an attacker outside the penalty area and continues to put him inside the penalty area, the referee awards a penalty kick.” A red card was also mandatory because Kempf thwarted a clear goal opportunity for Leipzig. And not while trying to play the ball – which would only result in a yellow card if there was an ’emergency braking’ in the penalty area – but through a foul that was exclusively directed at the opponent.

Saves VAR Hertha from another field reference

Six minutes before the end of original time, when Hertha was already 1:5 behind, they were sent off again after Santiago Ascacibar brought down striker Josef Poulsen with a tackle from behind when Leipzig counter-attacked. And at real speed, the foul looked brutal, including for Patrick Eitrich, who unhesitatingly handed Ascacibar a red card. In the iterations, however, it was easy to notice that the process wasn’t quite as dramatic as it seemed at first glance: the Berliner had just missed the ball on tackle and not hit Poulsen on the Achilles tendon with pins, but only with the thigh of the leg outstretched next to the foot.

Clearly, it wasn’t a red foul, it was just a reckless offense. So the VAR intervened correctly and advised the referee to conduct a field review. Ittrich only briefly looked at the screen on the sidelines, then took back the sending-off and replaced the red card with a yellow one. There was also a brief handshake between him and Ascacíbar – a wonderful and sincere apology from the referee.

However, in this specific case, the general circumstances were not such that the original decision seemed like a fatal mistake that the game master would have to regret. At first glance, it was very understandable and understandable for this. Instead, the advice for a review and a subsequent quick change in the decision was an expression of the good cooperation of the referee’s team, which also includes VAR in Cologne. In any case, Patrick convinced Eatrich to return to the Senate. Not only in the aforementioned difficult situations, but also but not least because of his communication style, which was good for this sometimes exciting game.


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