The German Elite referee has surely impressed in both his appearances. In Turin for the first leg of Juventus - Tottenham he had a very solid game with a crucial penalty call and another supportable decision to play on, in addition full control and all correct cards. In Paris the game was in my opinion less difficult than his previous one, nevertheless he was absolutely good with a correct sending off for PSG player Marco Verratti. In this case he must be praised because he punished a very blatant form of dissenting behavior. Sometimes, nowadays we see too often referees who keep their eyes closed. So, this very good path for the German led him to win both our polls about best referee's officiating in first legs and second legs. He would be a candidate for CL final after that, but having been in the middle just one year ago, this wont happen again.
Another positive note is surely from the French Clément Turpin, a referee who is making more than outstanding steps in terms of consideration by committee. He handled a very tense game in first leg between Sevilla and Manchester United. In my opinion a penalty appeal was correctly rejected and the referee was always in control without issuing too many cards. What we can say is that he has surely improved his skills and players management at moment is more than good. I want just to remember when he officiated Feyenoord - Roma in EL KO stage 3 years ago, the difference is more than evident, now we can appreciate a totally different referee. He was indeed rewarded by committee with another game in Europa League: the top clash involving Milan and Arsenal, and it was another convincing performance.
The third positive note must concern Dutch Danny Makkelie: the young Elite referee has made his debut in CL KO stage by officiating a top clash: he got indeed the second leg of Manchester United - Sevilla. He handled this game without significant issues, showing to have a big trust by committee. Given the retirement of Kuipers after WC (it was already announced), we can be sure that Netherlands wont have problems in trusting him for a brilliant future of Dutch officiating at very high level.
These were in my opinion the very positive notes. but of course this doesn't mean that all the other performances were not good. I think that from some referees we saw just what we expected and overall their games were OK. Cüneyt Çakır and Damir Skomina handled the top clash involving Chelsea and Barcelona. In both games there were some discussion points, but I think at the end they managed it. I agree with Skomina about the no-penalty call in second leg, this was very likely the most discussed incident of both ties. The Slovenian can be still considered as candidate for the final after this game.
Alberto Undiano Mallenco for the second leg of Roma - Shakhtar Donetsk offered an expected level performance if we exclude the incident involving the ball-boy, which can be in my opinion deemed as red card. However, the rest was solid, with a crucial call and good card management.
For names like Orsato, Zwayer, Oliver, Královec and Hategan games were not too much demanding, and we can say without problems that they got all expected level. However, the RC incident occurred in Bayern - Beşiktaş is worthy of being mentioned: correct decision by the Romanian who sent off a Turkish player for DOGSO in first half.
Jonas Eriksson handled the first leg of Basel - Manchester City, match in which a penalty should have been whistled in favor of home-team. This very likely wouldn't have changed too much the outcome, with the English side definitely stronger than the opponent, however, in a game of a not so challenging difficulty, I would have expected more attention by the Swedish. Still a pity what happened then later in his EL game Arsenal - Milan, but that' another argument.
William Collum in the first leg of Shakhtar - Roma had an expected level performance (not difficult game) until the last minutes. The Scottish referee failed in sending off a player from home-team for a clear violent conduct againstthe opponent, this happened close to AR2 and AAR2, they both had to cooperate with main referee.
Gianluca Rocchi in the first leg of Real Madrid - PSG had a challenging game and his performance was surely controversial, in the meaning that it is possible to assess some incidents as crucial mistakes but at the same time, taken into account the difficulty, one could still back him. It is maybe the most difficult performance to evaluate, among the ones in Round of 16. Of course, everybody is entitled to have his opinion, we have also read many harsh comments on this blog about his job on the pitch. I can say as first thing that we could have surely expected more. The penalty is supportable but in case of no whistle, nobody would have complained, in addition card management was not the best. We can still back him and assign a mark a step below expected level (but not so low), in any case the difficulty of the game is surely an argument. I think he will get another game in the next rounds of CL, he was not that bad, but surely again, I can't find other words, he could have made clearly better.
The only very negative note of this round, and I'm really sorry to use such words for him, comes from Szymon Marciniak. Unluckily, the Polish Elite had a poor performance, without doubts, with clear mistakes and a low acceptance by players. The first half was something like a nightmare, with one more than blatant missed penalty (missed cooperation by AAR), a missed RC for VC (deliberately stepping on the opponent) and a wrong YC. Marciniak had a lack of concentration and he didn't approach the game in the best possible way. Maybe, he was even too much tired after some appointments on the previous days, but this can't justify what happened on the pitch. Nobody expected that. However, a bad day can happen, for what I remember this can be considered surely as the worst (sorry again for the term) performance by Marciniak in international games. To add, and that's a very important thing to underline, his teammates suffered some mistakes as well. AR1 missed a more than clear offside in the last minutes of the game, home-team had a big chance to score the 2-2. In case of goal, this would have made it even worse. So, the whole team in my opinion was not in a good day and being honest, the Polish crew shouldn't be appointed in CL for this season. Of course, nothing against Marciniak and I wish him the best for the future. Still many years ahead for recovering everything.
I close my analysis with some words about the missing names: surely Antonio Mateu Lahoz, Milorad Mažić and Sergey Karasev were expected in this stage. However, for the Serbian and the Spanish, after some appearances in Europa League, it can be a question of opportunity by committee. They wanted to keep them for some top clashes in quarterfinals, and very likely in a few days we will have some confirmations. The case of the Russian is clearly different, a referee who has been selected for WC (maybe only as FO, we still don't know that, but it's not important) should have got at least a game in this Round of 16. Difficult to imagine him on next stage. Not a good signal so far, but let's wait for the next assignments. Dutch Björn Kuipers has been injured and so for this reason totally out from appointments.