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On the last two occasions Kevin Friend has refereed a Burnley away game it has been in London, at Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal,  and tomorrow night he’ll be in charge of our game at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

The Spurs game was back in December 2016; he refereed us three times that season including the 1-1 home draw against Chelsea when Robbie Brady scored his stunning free kick, but last season we didn’t see him at all in the middle and given his performance at Arsenal just before last Christmas, we can be very thankful.

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He had a horrible game. He yellow carded Ashley Barnes for after he’d been elbowed by Sokratis and wasn’t at all impressed when Kevin Long was clearly pushed in the box among many other incidents when he got it wrong. He incredibly yellowed five of our players and in my report, I wrote: “His performance, along with those of his hapless assistants, was as bad as anything I’ve seen from officials for quite some time.”

Friend has refereed 35 games this season in which he’s shown 124 yellow cards and three red cards. Of those yellows, there have been 62 to both home and away players. The second of his three red cards was shown to Huddersfield’s Tommy Smith in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle while the other two have both come at the Amex and seen home players dismissed for which Friend was left with absolutely no option.

Shane Duffy was the first of them back in December when they beat Crystal Palace 3-1. On a day when some dubious looking decisions went Brighton’s way, Duffy took offence when they were refused a penalty with the score at 1-0, so he decided to head butt Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt with play stopped and right in front of the referee. If that one was a clear red; his latest red card came just last week when Anthony Knockaert lost the plot completely as they were beaten 5-0 by Bournemouth.

He yellow carded six players in that game too. Brighton pair Yves Bissouma and Florin Andone received yellow cards alongside Bournemouth players Artur Boruc, Nathan Aké, Chris Mepham and Dan Gosling.

>We definitely need a better performance from Friend than we got at Arsenal and it might help him move up the RATE THE REF Table where he currently sits 14th with a rating of 62.03 out of 100.

The assistant referees are Matthew Wilkes and Adrian Holmes. The fourth official is Roger East whose last Burnley game was also in London, our 4-2 defeat at West Ham earlier this season.

Previous Burnley Games – Kevin Friend

SeasonOpponentsVResYRBurnley Players Carded
2004/05West Hamh0-130Y: Camara
2006/07Wolvesa1-220Y: Duff, Gudjonsson
2007/08Watforda2-110Y: Akinbiyi
2007/08QPRa4-210Y: Varga
2007/08Crystal Palacea0-511Y: Alexander R: Carlisle
2008/09Readinga1-341Y: Caldwell, Jordan, Paterson R: Jordan
2008/09Norwicha1-110Y: Duff
2009/10Birminghamh2-130
2010/11Prestonh4-341Y: Elliott
2014/15West Hamh1-310
2014/15Manchester Citya2-250Y: Mee
2014/15Manchester Uniteda1-370Y: Kightly, Mee, Arfield
2015/16Leedsa1-130Y: Arfield, Kightly
2015/16Prestonh0-250Y: Barton, Lowton
2015/16Prestona1-080Y: Marney, Lowton, Gray, Barton, Mee
2016/17Tottenhama1-230Y: Barnes, Lowton
2016/17Chelseah1-150Y: Westwood, Lowton, Barton
2016/17Stokeh1-050Y: Ward, Barton, Boyd
2018/19Arsenala1-370Y: Barnes, Wood, Mee, Cork, Westwood
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