United went into the break deservedly 1-0 up through an excellent Wayne Rooney strike. Chelsea came back strongly and equalised through the excellent David Luiz and then won the game with a Lampard penalty. To make matters worse for United, Nemanja Vidic received two yellow cards and will miss the game at Liverpool on Sunday.
That is a summary of what was a great game of football and one that included everything that is good about the English Premier League. For the neutral it was good to watch and has made the Premier League title race more interesting as well. All in all, there wasn’t much to complain about.
Of course, the main talking points after the game were about refereeing decisions rather than the game, which is a real shame.
On the night, United didn’t get the run of the green when it came to the big decisions. They were a little unlucky not to come away with anything from the game although if they had made more of their chances and defended better, the referee’s decisions wouldn’t have mattered.
The contentious moments were a possible penalty for United when Terry handballed, the non-booking of Luiz that would have seen him sent off, the Chelsea penalty and the Vidic sending off. Looking at them one by one it is fair to say that United were a little unlucky.
The Terry incident was a handball and I have seen them given and I have seen them not given. If the referee had seen Luiz trip Rooney off the ball I feel sure he would have booked him and therefore had to send him off. I can only assume the referee didn’t see it. The Chelsea penalty was certainly soft, but those type of incidents are often deemed to be a penalty. Vidic was rightly sent off and probably should have been before he actually was.
As a manager you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth. I mean, it was only three days earlier that United’s Wayne Rooney should have been sent off by the referee at Wigan. He wasn’t, and United went on to win 4-0. Who knows what would have happened if United had been reduced to ten men, as they should have been? Who knows what would have happened at Stamford Bridge if Rooney had been suspended, as he should have been?
Luckily, United’s management team took a grown up approach to the Rooney incident at Wigan and gave the referee their full support. Assistant manager Mike Phelan said,
“We can’t dispute the referee’s decision. He’s kept the game flowing and we’re happy with that. There should not be a witch hunt. The referee was consistent with all his decisions. We should lie low a little bit, and let the powers that be take control of the game.”
With a sensible grown up attitude like that, showing the respect that they should to the match officials, I’m sure they will have reacted with dignity and respect towards the referee who didn’t help them too much at Chelsea. Presumably Fergie would take it on the chin, accept that you win some and you lose some and give the referee his full support. This is what he said.
“You want a fair referee, or a strong referee, anyway, and we didn’t get that. When I saw who the referee was I did fear it. I feared the worst. He’d done him late. Nothing done, the referee’s in front of it. He does him clear as day, the referee is six yards from it, he doesn’t do anything. That changed the game. These are decisions that change the game. And he’s going to be refereeing every week.”
Anyone spot a whiff of hypocrisy?
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‘if they had made more of their chances and defended better, the referee’s decisions wouldn’t have mattered.’ I’ve got to say thats a poor argument, we’d all like the bad decisions against us when were 5-0 up when it doesn’t matter. But the reality is they seemingly always happen in closely contested games where they often decide the outcome. With Tuesdays game being a good example of that. Both penalty shouts could have gone either way, but Chelsea get theirs. The second booking for Vidic is one of the weakest bookings I’ve seen all season as opposed to Luiz who… Read more »
Are we all forgetting that Chelsea got robbed of an excellent volley early on in the game due to a very poor call by the ref??? And even if you think United got unlucky today, they’ve been the lucky one’s in games for the other 90% of the season, love the Wigan reference Graham
I wouldn’t say excellent volley, he smashed it into the ground and it looped in. Semantics aside, your right, the goal should have stood.