Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cheating Chelsea and poor referee does for United...

So then United eventually went on to lose in West London, but with many a Red fearing the worst prior to kick-off (and that was before we learnt that the champions would be without the first-choice centre-back pairing of Vidic and Ferdinand) an unlucky one-nil defeat was a much better outcome than many would have been expecting. That does not make the manner of the defeat any easier to take, because frankly today was another case of the officials getting the big decisions wrong.

Twice in the first-half at Stamford Bridge the linesman and the referee were guilty of making the wrong decision when giving Chelsea the rub of the green; the first howler involved Wayne Rooney who was clean through on goal, but the United striker was wrongly adjudged to be off-side, this when the linesman had the added benefit of the grass lines on the pitch, clearly Ashley Cole had played Rooney on-side. Hapless Sky Sports pundit said: "it could have gone either way" - message to Andy; if that fence goes any further up your arse it will be sticking out of your throat.

The second rank-bad decision involved John Terry and Atonio Valencia when the United winger was fouled inside the penalty area by the Chelsea skipper, but once again referee Martin Atkinson failed when getting another really big decision completely wrong.

Contrary to pre-match expectations, United were the better team for much of today's table-topping clash, but it simply wasn't going to be our day. It came as no great surprise that Chelsea eventually scored late on in the second period and once again there was an element of Chelsea players cheating.

The first culprit was Ashley Cole who jumped up in the air as if he'd been shot with a blunderbuss, in point of fact Darren Fletcher barely touch him and won the ball cleanly. While castigating Martin Atkinson for what followed we have to acknowledge that it isn't easy for the officials with so much cheating going on. Nonetheless, United went on to lose this game thanks to a combination of Chelsea players conning the referee. Carlo Ancelotti's team took the lead from that wrongly awarded Chelsea free-kick, but not without with the help of yet more cheating, this time by Drogba who was not only off-side, but also fouling Wes Brown at the same time. A few minutes earlier Didier Drogba had been doing his usual 'dying-man' impersonation - yes we've been here before, umpteen times..

After the game Fergie rightly question the performance of referee Martin Atkinson; the United manager was right to point out that Atkinson had somehow managed to work himself into a dreadful position for that vital free-kick which decided this contest. The fact that Atkinson managed to position himself so badly beggars belief and he should be taken to task for that poor passage of play from his perspective.

It's also worth commenting on Mike Phelan's "proud of the team" verdict. It is not coming to something when United have just lost a big game and the management are proud? But yes Mike, we know what you were driving at, we didn't get hammered and yes just perhaps this Chelsea team are not quite what they are cracked up to be.

With all that said, the current United squad has some glaring weaknesses; today Giggs who has been superb this season at times was quite simply awful, he barely put did anything right all game long. If the manager had better options on the bench Giggs would have been replaced much earlier than he eventually was.

Carrick and Fletcher did their best and overall did quite well. Anderson was given the difficult job of supporting Rooney while at the same time he was expected to drop deep and defend, but by and large United were the better team and only poor refereeing and cheating denied the champions at least a point. However, one cannot help but feel United need to sign another top-class striker. According to the latest transfer rumours Fergie could be lining up three new players.


  1. "message to Andy; if that fence goes any further up your arse it will be sticking out of your throat." HAHAHAHAHA!!

  2. hahahah, Chelski have shown their true self as always.

    Remarkable performance by the United team, Brown and Evans didn't look second-choice at all, excellent work by them. Carrick, and Anderson were excellent too. Giggs made the left flank a liability with his lack of pace, and Ivanovic's abundance thereof.

    We were playing like Arsenal last year, just not getting the final touch. Rooney was a tad selfish, I remember a great counter-attacking opportunity, where he should have played Anderson in.

    The penalty was easy to see from the linesman, I don't know why the referees keep grabbing the headlines week after week in the league. Ferguson might just have a point with his constant referee-baiting, but again 50-50 calls went against United, as was to be expected.

    A heartening performance from the squad, the 4-5-1 was startlingly effective and completely took Deco out of the game. Lets keep this sort of intensity up, and United are looking good for the season.

  3. Uday,

    Surprisingly, 451 did work, and as ever I pretty much agree with all of your comments.

    Wasn't it Valencia who should have played Anderson in?

  4. No, it wasn't that moment, in the first half, there was a poor pass from Carvalho, and Rooney was released on the left flank with Carvalho and Terry following him. Ashley Cole was out of position, and Anderson was free in the box in the penalty box.

    After that, Valencia came in at the edge of the box, but Rooney shot tamely at Terry. You'll see the incident the next time you watch the match.

    The commitment and desire of the players was clearly evident this match, especially the midfielders. Lets keep this up if we can.

    What about Fletcher's long ball though that gave Giggs an excellent chance which he wasted with an audacious attempt to lob Cech. Great stuff.

    Also, Andy Gray and Martin Tyler are massively overrated, if there were ever fathers of the footballing cliches, I'm certain they are those two. They try to satisfy both sets of fans in their commentary, but they just end up sound like diplomatic idiots who don't know anything about football.

  5. Uday,

    I remember that now, and yes, Anderson was better placed, I thought he had a decent game actually.

    Giggs had the first-touch of a baby Elephant yesterday.

    Regarding the commitment, to be honest I can see Arsenal winning the title, they appear to be really coming good. United won't win any of the major prizes IMO, the squad isn't good enough.

    As for Tyler and Gray. The latter makes me laugh, quite often he rushes to judgement then is proven completely wrong when he sees the replay. ON that first-half off-side decision, it might have been difficult for the officials but even with when aided with tv replays he got it wrong - because clearly Rooney was half a yard onside. As far as I was concerned the winning goal came off Anelka, but Sky didn't even pick up on this until after the game.

    Sky's number one commentary duo need replacing IMO.

  6. It may be too late but did anyone notice around minute 84 when Kalou was about to go in, there is some guy in the crowd with dark sunglasses who starts to brush his teeth? I watched in during the match and thought was ridiculous. But then I remembered it was at the Bridge and pretensiousness is not unheard of there.

  7. Evgenni,

    I missed that. A very strange thing to do.


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