Yesterday’s match between Chelsea and Man United has being embroiled in so much controversy, not only on the pitch of play, but also off it as well, as the ref; Mark Clattenberg has being accused of racial comments against Mikel Obi and Juan Mata. Allegedly calling the latter a Spanish twat!
That aside, as a Manchester United fan I have taken it upon myself to state the fact of the match as I saw it and dispel or try to dispel that notion that Man united influenced proceedings of that match.
First off, brilliant game from both sides, especially Chelsea who despite being two men down continued to fight.
Excellent game by United in the early stages of the game, going up two goals inside of 14 minutes. Nice touch of the ball and excellent execution of goal opportunities.
However the second half was all Chelsea, having sneaked a goal in in the dying embers of the first half, they kept the pressure up and capitalized on a woeful defending by Jonny Evans to come on level terms with United who had hitherto being wasteful with possession, especially Rooney who was beginning to look piqued; no surprised the manager had to hook him off.
Now to the main point of this article. It is no secret that united’s defence has being sh*t this season; to say the least, so it was no surprise to see United sitting deep and waiting on the counter. After a thwarted attack by Chelsea, the ball came to RVP, who managed to shake off his marker and lay an excellent through ball for Young who was through on goal, but was intentionally or unintentionally (we will never know) tripped by Ivanovic.
VERDICT: a straight red and a correct call by the ref. EVIDENCE: the game between Man city and West brom, last weekend. Milner tripped Long who was through on goal and was shown a straight red.
Torres won a through ball, and had two defenders to beat, Evans comes in with a rather rash challenge; which he seems fond of nowadays, clips Torres’ shin. He falls, ref surprisingly brandishes a second yellow and a sending off for Torres.
VERDICT: an unfair decision, given that there was minimal contact. Even if the ref felt Torres dove, he should have just blown a foul and let the game continue having already sent off a Chelsea player minutes ago.
DEFENCE: in Clattenberg’s defense, looking from his point of view; which was immediately behind the players, it looked like Torres dove. And to be honest, Torres made too much of the situation. Honestly the lines men should have done better in the situation, I thought that was what that head piece was for.
Then there is United’s third goal, which honestly was a blatant offside. Hernandez was just coming back from an offside position, but was not completely onside when he slid the ball in for United’s third.
VERDICT: the lines man and ref should have spotted Hernandez, who was clearly offside and ruled out that goal.
Now we have finished with the three most controversial points of the match, let’s talk about other portions of the match which could have decidedly changed the shape of the match even before the red cards.
First Torres karate kick should have being a straight red, but instead he got a yellow card and continued playing.
VERDICT: poor call from the ref, it should have been a red card to Torres.
EVIDENCE: Man united versus Arsenal FA Cup 2008, Eboue karate kicked Evra while contesting for the ball and was sent off for his troubles.
Second point, Valencia has just crossed the ball and it hit David Liuz’s out stretched arm.
VERDICT: it should have being a penalty. It was a hand ball whether it was deliberate or not. The FIFA rules clearly states that a person’s hands should be by their side for it to be ‘ball to hand’. But Luiz’s hand was no where near his torso.
We all have seen penalties given for less.
CONCLUSION: some season’s ago, Drogba came off the bench to score an outrageous offside goal against United at OT, Joe Cole had scored the first goal and Drogba scored his goal to make it 2-0. The game ended 2-1.
No United fan cried foul on that day, we had being awful and had chucked it up to bad luck. Chelsea should learn to do the same.
Sh*t happens in football, sometimes it favors you sometimes it doesn’t. Chelsea themselves have been benefactors of some really shady refreeing, against teams like Tottenham, Wigan and Reading. But nobody remembers that, only when it’s United.
And for those who will cry wolf and say Man united bought off the ref, remember that Man United vs Man City 6-1 debacle? Yeah, the one where Evans was red carded? The ref on that day was Mark Clattenberg.
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