If Oscar Wilde were here to witness this match, he’d probably say “there’s only one thing worse than not making a call, and that is making a call.” What may have been a tie between two of the season’s biggest contenders ended in a narrow and controversial win for the Red Devils. It can’t be denied that United started strong, dominating the pitch with a certain former Arsenal star in the mix. Their first goal came from an unfortunate error by David Luiz, who was simply in the wrong place. Robin van Persie‘s shot bounced off the post and ricocheted against Luiz straight into the net. RVP made it 2-0 himself after Valencia’s cross. Although Torres was marked well by the opposition, Chelsea was still able to test De Gea from set pieces, like Luiz’s long-range effort that was saved by De Gea’s leg. The Spaniard came through a second time with a save in a similar fashion. The keeper still has much to learn – his saves were not as solid as they should be. Di Matteo’s team was right to rely on long balls – they’ve got skilled players like Ramires who can make the run and find space to shoot from afar. Chelsea was likewise able to put on enough pressure to drive United out of the right flank and retake the initiative. Evans nearly scored an own goal as Chelsea nabbed a corner. United’s 2-goal lead seemed to have reawakened Di Matteo’s team. Even before the second half players were contesting Mark Clattenburg‘s decisions. United’s Valencia seemed upset at how easily and quickly free kicks were being awarded to the Blues. The other side was none to happy as well after Clattenburg blew his whistle in favor of United after Rafael’s retaliation to Ramires’ foul on Wayne Rooney. Chelsea soon broke through United’s defense, and in the words of a commentator, Torres was no longer waiting to star in the next Twilight movie. Two attempts in a row by the Spaniard targeted De Gea’s net, but it just wasn’t meant to be. It was all up to Juan Mata, Chelsea’s set piece specialist, after Rooney was booked for heading cleats-first into Hazard, giving away the set piece at the top of the box. Mata’s left-footed shot curved over the 15-man wall and right in the near post, not too high a shot to save but a difficult ball nonetheless. He scored his fourth goal this season and nearly made his fifth after a pass from Torres, but De Gea stopped him in his tracks. The yellow for Torres’ high challenge against Cleverley was uncontested, but would later lead to a far less agreeable one.
|Mr. Clattenburg makes a costly decision.|
It’s not the first time nor, unfortunately, the last time that the football world will be flooded with accusations of biased refereeing. If any team encountered such problems as of late, it’s the Red Devils. “Referees favoring United” has been a hotly-disputed topic over the years – remember Howard Webb? One could contest that it was a difficult derby to referee, which is why it’s even more ironic that Mark Clattenburg managed to err on the easier calls.
The officials are simply “trying to eradicate this diving disease that ruins the game…and in attempting to eradicate it, they will make mistakes,” said an English commentator. Perhaps not. Perhaps it is corruption and not good intentions going awry that bring the level of refereeing into such absurdity. From the isles of Italy to the fields of Russia, referees have been known to openly accept bribes for years. The respective football associations must be willing to “put up their dukes” and go to battle against any and all officials who act outside of the laws of the game, or they too will be synonymous with corruption.
Barclays Premier League – 9th Matchweek
Sunday, October 28, 2012, 12:00PM EST
Chelsea vs. Manchester United – 2:3 (1:2)
Arena: Stamford Bridge (London)
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
0:1 David Luiz (Own Goal) (Asst. Robin van Persie) (4′)
0:2 Robin van Persie (Asst. Antonio Valencia) (12′)
1:2 Juan Mata (44′)
2:2 Ramires (Asst. Oscar) (53′)
2:3 Chicharito (75′)
Match Stats – Half Time:
7:3 shots on target
1:1 shots off target
Match Stats – Full Time:
11:7 shots on target
3:8 shots off target
Published on Get Real Premier