Thursday, February 11, 2010
St Gerrard would have got away with Nani challenge...
United took a creditable point from last night's clash with Aston Villa after playing for an hour with only ten men. With Chelsea losing at Everton and Liverpool losing at Arsenal it was a pretty good night for the champions. Few will have backed the Toffees to beat the West London club, and United fans will have taken a degree of satisfaction from hearing that Liverpool's top four aspirations took another knock at the Emirates.
The main talking point of United's performance at Villa Park surrounded the sending off of Nani for a two footed lunge at Stiliyan Petrov - at least that is how Peter Walton saw it. It wasn't a good challenge; Ferguson later described it as naive - 'poor' would have been a better word.
Fergie went on to say Nani isn't a dirty player; he's right on that score. Nani doesn't have a reputation, other than that of being a diver, so we United fans cannot suggest the referee had it in for him. But when you looked at the TV replays, Nani appeared to be going for the ball and not the man. It was a challenge right out of the Steven Gerrard archives.
I've seen Gerrard go over the ball on countless occasions, he was at it in last weekend's Merseyside derby - ironically when Liverpool were also down to ten men; however, there's one big difference between player's like St Gerrard and Nani. The Liverpool captain consistently gets away with making rash challenges whereas others like Nani are not so lucky.
I have no idea why St Gerrard gets away with making so many bad challenges, but he does, more so than any other leading player that I can recall.
Carping aside, the Villa Park result was a fair one, neither team deserved to lose. Giggsy was sent for an arm x-ray, but apart from that United can now look forward to the trip to Milan next with no game this coming weekend.
Posted by James Ryddel - Editor at 9:27 am