With just over half an hour played Jamie Carragher fouled Michael Carrick in the penalty area. He got a foot to the ball but didn’t put it out of Carrick’s path, yet he did bring our midfielder down. If it had happened outside of the box it would have been an obvious freekick and a yellow card. For it to happen inside of the box it should have been a penalty and at least a yellow card, yet the referee gave nothing.
With a few minutes remaining on the clock, Carragher brought down Michael Owen as our striker threatened to race through one on one with the goalkeeper. It was similar to the challenge that saw Nemanja Vidic sent off for his foul on Steven Gerrard last season, although in this instance Carragher was actually the last man. Instead of giving the obvious red card, the referee simply booked Carragher and awarded a freekick.
A red card wouldn’t have made amends for what we deserved though: a one on one opportunity against the goalie. There’s no one in our team I would rather to be in that situation than Owen who almost certainly would have scored.
Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken in a controlled manner after the game, given the charge he already has against him for calling overweight referee Alan Wiley unfit, although of course has spoken about the massive errors made by young and inexperienced referee Andre Marriner.
“The laws of the game were altered to prevent professional fouls of that nature,” said Ferguson of the foul on Owen. “If Carragher goes off – their best player, their captain – then it’s a different game and Liverpool would have been under pressure. And as far as I’m concerned, Michael Carrick should have had a clear penalty kick. Jamie Carragher’s gone over the top of the ball. If it’s outside the box it’s a free-kick and maybe even a yellow card but it was inside the box and nothing was given.”
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