Without A Hint Of Irony, Sir Alex Rages At ‘Soft’ Referee As Man Utd Fall To Chelsea (With Photos)

Chris Wright

2nd, March 2011


By Chris Wright

Chelsea came from behind to register a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester United at Stamford Bridge last night, with a smart half-volley from David Luiz (shades of Carvalho?) and an 80th-minute Frank Lampard penalty eventually cancelling out Wayne Rooney’s driven opener – though it was referee Martin Atkinson who bore the brunt of Sir Alex Ferguson’s wrath after the final whistle, after all, it’s not like United ever benefit from slack officiating is it?

Not only was left Ferguson seething over the ‘soft’ penalty awarded to Chelsea when Yuri Zhirkov paraded into an otherwise stationary Chris Smalling with ten minutes to play, the veteran Scot also singled out Luiz’s unceremonious buffeting of Javier Hernandez – claiming that the Brazilian centre-back should have received his second caution for the offence after already picking up a yellow card earlier in the game for obstructing Rooney.

Said Fergie:

“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.

“The penalty kick was so soft. Deary me. But we played very well. It was a great performance by us. We didn’t deserve that. That’s three years in a row (at Stamford Bridge) that referees’ decisions have changed the game.

“[The decision not to book Luiz for body-checking Hernandez] was incredible. Even before that he’d done Chicharito off the ball. He’d done him late. Nothing done, the referee’s in front of it.

“He does Rooney 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.

“I’m proud of the players, they’ve endured a lot of decisions against them but they’ve come through it, they’ve done their best. They didn’t deserve that.”

Asked if Chelsea were back in the title race after the win moved them back into the top four at the expense of Tottenham, Ferguson replied:

“If they get decisions like tonight then it can change everything. They got a lot of decisions tonight that surprised me.”

As the game wound down, Nemanja Vidic was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the third minute of injury time, leading the incensed Serb to briefly go head-to-head (literally) with referee Atkinson – an incident which appears to have been completely glossed over.

Any road up, Vidic will now miss United’s Premier League game against Liverpool on Sunday.

Any thoughts on the game peeps?


Manchester United fans plead with Ashley Cole not to open fire on them

Wayne Rooney drives the ball home from the edge of the area

Rooney celebrates the opening goal of the game

David Luiz checks on a prostrate Rooney after impeding his run

Ryan Giggs enters the fray and equals Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 606 league appearances for United in the process

Chris Smalling fells Yuri Zhirkov to hand Chelsea an 80th-minute penalty…

…which Frank Lampard duly crashes past Edwin van der Sar

Nemanja Vidic receives his marching orders deep into injury time

Photos courtesy of the PA.

Posted in Chelsea, Man Utd

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  1. jenre says:

    just a note – that’s united fans holding the “Ashley don’t shoot” sign

  2. phyrephly says:

    As a united fan I am sad about the result, but I am happy with the overall display. If they play like that for every away game, the title will be ours.

    Penalties are discretion and depending on your point of view the penalty call was 50/50 and it just didn’t go our way.

    One thing that dissapoints me is that Luiz(who made more bookable fouls than Vidic) did not get sent off.

    And so, during the course of the game, worry turns to jubilation turns to anger/hatred turns to sadness, a bit like the Force.

  3. Chris says:

    @Jenre: Doh! Was it the United flag, United hats or the red United scarves that gave it away?

  4. jenre says:

    @Chris actually it was the handwriting on the sign

  5. Pedro says:

    Rooney should have seen red but at least a fucking free kick was given. Atkinson did neither, so it’s a bit rich to talk of irony, especially given what happened last year at the Bridge (complete travesty) with THE SAME referee. Pretty embarrassing, but it all “evens itself out” in the end because Rooney didn’t get a straight red. Pretty pathetic cop out, if you ask me.

  6. anialb says:

    united players gave everything, they were amazing but the referee was useless, he couldnt do more for chelsea, he gave them all they nedeed, its a disgrace for english football and the fans. Doesnt suprise anyone that the same referee gave the win to chelsae last year??? or doesnt suprise you that in 17 games as a referee for chelsea they won 16 and drew one…what about luiz…if he was out then they wouldnt have scored at all and with 10 players united had won the game…

    people talk to much about rooney’s previous game…why dont they look back and remember that when steven gerrard done something worst then that he wasnt booked and no one talked about him for so long…
    what about mr terry…the man himself, when was the last time he was booked…and what about ivanovic?- was he an angel last night…grogba as well…he forgot was playing football he was a good actor…let chelsea win one game, sure that wont win the premiership because they not good enough and you can not win by cheating all the time…..united will win, no matter what

  7. Pedro says:

    That said, and apart from some rash decision making, what a performance by David Luiz. How Essien was chosen for man of the match is something I simply cannot fathom.

  8. jenre says:

    @pedro rooney red card for what?

  9. ploppy says:

    @Chris – Luiz didn’t score with a half-volley. A half-volley is like a drop goal in rugby, where you kick the ball as it’s bouncing, or just after. Or in cricket, a full length delivery that you can drive. Luiz struck the ball waist high, which is more akin to a long-hop in cricket.

  10. Tinez says:

    @ploppy – take your sports science degree elsewhere

  11. Mr.Angry says:

    nice one luiz! im so happy you clattered that cheating little scum chicarito and that ugly thug rooney!

  12. Pedro says:

    @jenre: Against Wigan. The ‘irony’ in United complaining about soft refereeing is that they got the decision last week and therefore “swings and roundabouts”, “evens itself out”, or any other tired cliché used to justify biased (and, as I keep insisting with everyone, statistically relevant home biased) refereeing.

    Apart from that, Luiz was superb and his aggressive style, while risky, unsettled and led to the break down of almost every single United counter attack. Man of the match by a long distance.

  13. Nicko says:

    Good game, if united play like that everygame prem is easily ours.

    United lucky against wigan not to lose rooney due to poor decision from ref. United unlucky to lose against chelsea due to poor decisions from ref. All roughly evens itself out.

    As to those who say united have the refs on their side……last night answers your bullshit.

    Not to worry – the prem should still be ours this year. Cmon united get our trophy back.

  14. ploppy says:

    @Tinez – You don’t need a sports science degree to know what a half-volley is.

  15. K P V says:

    They should have ended the game after the great rooney scored. the refs were unfair, United should have easily won, like I said based on our history and class alone, they need to just give us the silverware, save the red tape you know?


    follow me on twitter @andrewabrahim yall

  16. Grant says:

    @Pedro: The point, dude, is that Rooney shouldn’t have been on the fucking pitch because the awful chav should have been banned for 8 matches for violent conduct like Ben Thatcher was. With violent conduct intent is the only thing that matters, not whether you succeed or not, and on Saturday Rooney attempted to blindside someone with his elbow to the player’s head. Whether he intended to or not, he should have been aware that such an action could have knocked the player out cold, broken their jaw, or even killed him if he connected just so. I hate Chelsea, but they shouldn’t have been 1-0 down because Rooney shouldn’t have been on the pitch. For Lord Ferg the Purplenose to come out apopletically and complain about the refs not making the right decision despite being 6 or 10 yards away is the height of irony, as well.

  17. Adam FJ says:

    I’m a neutral and thought Chelsea deserved it. The first step for Aresnal to win the league. They have a much better run-in that Man Yoo…

  18. Markell says:

    How does it feel on this side, you red rat bastard?

  19. Chris says:

    As a neutral I also thought Chelsea ended up playing the better match. They really stepped it up in the 2nd half and Luis really was brilliant, brimming over with confidence and fantastic at sussing out his best placement. Have not seen any of his Benifica matches but he could be roughing up a bit due to what he’s heard about the English game. Who knows. He didn’t get away with it in his first Chelsea match – he gifted a penalty that wasn’t converted – so anyone if this is usual for him?
    Also curious,could Atkinson have been extra cautious about going Man Utd.’s way to avoid the recent rumblings of ref favoritism only to swing too far in the other direction?

  20. Chris says:

    *anyone KNOW if this is usual for him

  21. Nuno says:

    I didn’t see the game yesterday, but as a Benfica supporter I can tell David Luiz is sometimes a bit rough, but I guess he’ll learn what really is allowed in the PL. Although here in Portugal the refs give freekicks for just about any contact the players make (at least outside the box), so I believe he might be playing a little rougher due to PL’s “physicality” fame.
    But I guess you’re now seeing why Benfica were demanding such a high price for him, he’s that kind of defender that doesn’t come that often (anyone seeing Terry being able to score that goal?)

  22. Scott Mac says:

    To all united fans (including my father) look at the picture of smallign and Yuri…That looks like a clear trip to me! great camera work. The body check by Luiz was unavoidable, if you watched the telecast he actually turned and braced. The intentionally offense was the Rooney incident, however Rooney somehow managed to appear uglier and roll around as if he had been shot…maybe by A. COle?? haha


  23. Chris says:

    Thanks for the info. I always enjoy watching the Portuguese National Team but haven’t gotten around to watching the individual clubs besides a few Porto games here and there. I may have to search out some matches.

  24. jaysus says:

    atkinson is to chelsea what webb is to man utd.

  25. Uri Geller says:

    Who saw the bit when Giggs was staring into Berbatov’s eyes, that was great.

    And G Unit with the fans.

  26. Chris says:

    Or wait – Luiz is Brazilian? I forgot until watching the match again. The commentator referred to him as “the expensive Brazilian”. Brought to mind all the wrong things…

  27. Nuno says:

    A few of Porto and Benfica games are worth a watch, but only ‘major’ games (vs Sporting Lisbon, Braga, Guimaraes, for example). I recommend you see some of Benfica’s matches in the previous season, in which we hed Ramires, David Luiz and (now Madrid’s) Di Maria. There were quite a few good games.
    Also, must add that big clubs are quite a bit ‘protected’ in terms of cards here in Portugal (Porto, Benfica and Sporting, mostly), so that may also have some influence on Luiz’s behaviour.

  28. Chris says:

    Thanks! I am currently stuck at home with an injury and have been downloading matches to fill the time. I have worked my way through several teams that have always peaked my interest so a new vein to tap into is a huge gift. Di Maria tends towards some great shimmying and finagling but the dramatics are a serious turn-off. Interesting to see if that’s a new development at Real or if he’s just learned to make that part of his game. And Ramires, well he’s just been outstanding all around. Smart in his placement, really good at roughing up and then backing off. Always looking for an advantage.
    Can’t wait to see Luiz again. Dynamic.

  29. Nuno says:

    @Chris, unfortunately that part of Di Maria’s game was already with him in Benfica. As a Benfica supporter (and not a ‘devote’ fan) it sometimes embarassed me to see him just falling at the slightest touch and always whining. That happens a bit with Aimar and Saviola too, but also with many other players, as portuguese refs tend to give a foul anytime a player falls (happens not only with Benfica). That may indeed annoy you a bit. If you watch the game Sporting-Benfica played two weeks ago (21/2) you’ll see what I mean. It was a good game, but so much diving and whining it’s hard to believe…
    But other than that, Ramires was indeed great to watch last season (unbelievable stamina and great positioning) and David Luiz had quite a few good games too. The attack with Di Maria, Aimar and Saviola was also very nice to watch, very technical (when they were not on the ground). Hope you like what you see (and have a good recovery btw).

  30. chimpo says:

    i was there- it was pretty amazing.

    when rooney scored a had a pretty sinking feeling we were going to get tonked.

  31. torressi says:

    United will not win the title! scums are not deserved!

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