STEPHANIE FRAPPART and her female assistants put in a faultless display in Istanbul.
The men’s game moves faster and Frappart did not venture into wide areas too much — but she got into good positions and let the game flow, playing some good advantages.
Liverpool and Chelsea players helped by generally behaving, with Frappart authoritative when cautioning Cesar Azpilicueta for what appeared to be dissent.
The Frenchwoman, who refereed July’s Women’s World Cup final, got a key decision correct when she awarded an extra-time penalty to Chelsea for Adrian’s rash challenge on Tammy Abraham.
The Blues defender’s hands were not outside his “natural silhouette” and Frappart would have considered the proximity of Mane to Christensen when the Liverpool forward took the shot. Frappart was spot on and it was also good that VAR did not get involved — because we saw referees give penalties for similar incidents in the Champions League last season.
It was frustrating when Frappart’s assistant did not raise the flag immediately for offside when both Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount netted goals which were ruled out.
VAR WASTED FANS'S TIME
Pulisic was at least half a yard offside when Emerson Palmieri clipped a ball through.
Why must the assistant wait so long before flagging when the ball hits the net?
Yes, the officials have come to the right decision but it is another case of VAR wasting fans’ time.
It is clearly offside and should have been immediately called.
I understand Uefa’s directives are to leave the flag down in situations like that close to the penalty area.
But Pulisic is only just inside of Liverpool’s half and not raising the flag can create all sorts of problems.
Doing that could unnecessarily lead to an injury, or a second phase of play that later results in a goal — yet the initial offside never gets checked.
None of that is down to Frappart, with her assistants briefed to keep their flag down where possible.
If Frappart has been given a men’s European final then I would expect Uefa to consider appointing her for Champions League matches.
Countries cannot have more than three referees in the elite group, so it will be interesting to see what happens next.