Reports suggested that Mike Riley had been given the job because he wasn’t hated by either side. If United fans didn’t have a problem with him before, they certainly do now, after ridiculously biased decisions where yellow card decisions were made against our players all match.
Yellow card 1: Paul Scholes
Yellow card 2: Rio Ferdinand
Dissent. Nicolas Anelka was through on goal following a ball from Lampard, despite being in an offside position. Fortunately, Anelka finished as he did all game, badly. Rio is incensed that seemingly obvious decision was missed.
Yellow card 3: Gary Neville
Deservedly booked for a late slide in on Anelka.
Yellow card 4: Dimitar Berbatov
Third foul of the game, all niggly challenges, not we don’t have a lot to complain about.
Yellow card 5: Wayne Rooney
Lunge on Ashley Cole.
Yellow card 6: Patrice Evra
A throw in awarded to Chelsea which Evra believes was a United ball. Booked for dissent after questioning the linesman.
Yellow card 7: Cristiano Ronaldo
Challenge from Kalou not penalised. On his knees, Ronaldo motions that he was pushed, then wags his finger. Booked for dissent.
This is a game where United committed 22 fouls, Chelsea committed 18. Yet the only Chelsea booking came from the worst challenge of the match, with John Obi Mikel sliding in with studs showing on Ronaldo.
There were fouls from Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole, for example, that were no worse or better than the ones our players committed which landed them in the book.
Then Joe Cole, who previously controlled the ball with his arm (undetected by the officials, of course) before firing wide, slides in on Rio, gets nothing on the ball, but the ref just awards a freekick.
“The game is being screened worldwide,” Ferguson said after the match. “Everyone is watching it and something like that goes on. It was a competitive game but I did not think there was one bad tackle in it. The thing is that it’s all well and good intelligent people saying what’s gone on here, but it’s difficult to say what you can say about the referee.”
So, rugby tackles: fine, finger wagging: bookable offence. You heard it here first!
The RoM 2018-19 Season Preview is available for just £6. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Juan Mata, a Q&A with the country's top journalists, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.