So, did Chris Smalling do a foul? Was the ref rubbish?

Let the battle with the Premier League copyright solicitors begin…

That’s made things a bit more interesting, hasn’t it? It looked as though Man Utd were going to romp and steamroller their way to a win in the first-half – probably the best they’ve played all season, before a David Luiz goal and a controversial penalty (?) gave Chelsea all three points.

Spoiler HQ has been alive with debate this morning, and it’s literally split 50/50 between our 103 employees as to whether or not Chris Smalling fouled Yuri Zhirkov for the penalty given by Martin Atkinson (it’s at around 14 mins on the vid)…

The penalty wasn’t the only thing that Sir Alex Ferguson was upset about. Here’s a rant:

“You hope you get a really strong referee in games like this. It was a major game for both clubs and you want a fair referee, you know … You want a strong referee, anyway, and we didn’t get that.

“I don’t know why he’s got the game. I must say that, when I saw who was refereeing it, I feared the worst. [The penalty was] so soft.

“I don’t know how [Luiz] is on the pitch. Even before that first foul on Rooney he’d done Chicharito off the ball, late. Nothing’s done and the referee’s in front of it. He’s then done Rooney, clear as day, and he’s six yards from him. Doesn’t do anything.

“These decisions change the game, and he’s going to be refereeing every week. I was proud of my players. They’ve endured a lot of decisions against them, they’ve carried themselves through it, done their best, created chances with good football, and didn’t deserve that.

“If Chelsea keep getting decisions like tonight, it could change everything. They got a lot of decisions in a major game and that surprised me. It’s been three years in a row now down here. It’s hard to take.”

Maybe Fergie should compare notes with Roberto Martinez about referees’ inability to send players off and present their case to the Premier League?

Anyway, here’s a poll so your deepest thoughts and cleverest ideas can be reduced to a number. There’s also a comment box so you can better articulate what you think…

15 responses so far
  • steve mcauley // March 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

    so did shrek try to knock the young fella’s head off? was the ref rubbish?
    more manc hypocrisy!

  • bvbfan // March 2, 2011 at 11:21 am

    after seeing the whole video i must say, that the Bayern-Dortmund 1:3 was a much better match with (and this is a big surprise for me) much faster football and stronger pressing…

  • Avram Magic // March 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Yeah Spoiler, steve’s right. You’re so biased – tut tut. Oh wait a minute, what’s this? “Maybe Fergie should compare notes with Roberto Martinez about referees’ inability to send players off and present their case to the Premier League?” Oh…

    Nice to see a Dortmund fan posting. It was embarrassing how Sky’s pundits clamoured to hail last night’s match as definitive proof of how great the Premier League is – rather than bother with any silly stuff like analysis – as if one good match between top teams drowns out all the dire ones, and other countries aren’t capable of producing entertaining games, when as bvbfan points out, that isn’t the case at all.

  • Linda // March 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    There’s a photo on Who Ate All the Pies of the Smalling trip – and it is very clearly a foot out and very clearly a trip. Everyone wants to blame the ref but let’s face it in instances like that the players are professionals at the top of the food chain. They should know better than to try to even grab a shirt let alone trip someone in the box. It is always a gamble and more often than not it simply isn’t worth it.
    I am a neutral but if I were a Man Utd. fan I would have been screaming at my television for someone to smack Smalling and Vidic for being idiotic in and around the box.
    As for the decisions that went the other way, I admit I would’ve been a pretty happy Chelsea fan. When I watch my team I usually know who will be an idiot and try to get away with it and/or lose their cool. I more often than not blame them rather than the ref. They are payed enough to know their shit and know which refs favor the home side, what their record is with cards so far that season, what their reputation is on the pitch. They should tweak their game accordingly, as if the ref were just another opponent. Let’s face it, refs are still going to have biases and make shit calls. They are utterly human and fallable. Players and managers need to realize that is not going to change and make allowances for that variable in their game. They need to get it through their thick skulls that it’s best to assume the ref is not on their side and then work from there.

  • CK // March 2, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Fuck off Linda

  • To the twat calling himself CK // March 2, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Don’t be a cunt CK. Linda was making a perfectly valid point.

    I can’t stand Chelsea or Man Utd and do not care in the slightest what the result was last night, but Ferguson’s reaction to the penalty was clearly disproportionate as it was a debatable decision, not a clear error by the ref.

  • Linda // March 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Heh… Oh, CK, you have made me laugh really hard – thanks for that! Heh heh heh….

  • Josie // March 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Considering what transpired over the weekend with Wigan, it is Devine Justice to me. I respect Fergie as a manager, but he can be a right prat at times.

  • R2Dad // March 2, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Bwhahaha! As if there were any doubt this is a British site! When I admonish my wife for using the c-word, she runs around the house saying, “cuntcuntcuntcuntcunt”. If I said that to a woman friggin stormtroopers would arrive at my door and whisk me away (if lightning didn’t strike me down first). In any event, Linda is a good sport and more importantly has a good point. Why are players in the box daring the referee to pull a card? And Fergie should know that complaining about referees cuts both ways.

  • DS // March 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    If Luiz should have been send off before scoring his goal then Rooney shouldn’t have been playing at all because of the suspension he should be serving for a much worse offense against Wigan than anything Luiz or any other Chelsea player committed last night.

  • CK // March 2, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it Linda! After such a good showing from yourself I finally got around to reading your point, and while War & Peace was a little more enjoyable, I wholeheartedly agree.

  • elcynico // March 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    On people! Don’t you know that FIFA have stated that the referee is infallible? And so Rooney did not dive twice because the referee never carded him. Blatter rules! OK!

  • Linda // March 3, 2011 at 3:04 am

    Aw, CK, you have again sent me into heavy duty laughter! Cheers!
    And to R2Dad – I myself am prone to using the word cunt. Often. And I’m American. So you just never know, do ya? Cheers to you, too!

  • Skeptical Hippo // March 3, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Linda, you’re American, eh!? That’s cool! I’m happy for you, I really, truly am.

    see ya Linda! Bye!!!


  • Linda // March 3, 2011 at 5:29 am

    Can a :) be sarcastic? Hmmm…

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