Gareth Barry was charged by the FA yesterday for verbally abusing fourth official Mark Clattenburg following City’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United. The result could have been a lot worse for the blues if the linesman didn’t incorrectly rule out Ashley Young’s goal, which would have put us 3-0, and if the referee didn’t miss Kolo Toure fouling Patrice Evra in the box.
Whilst the FA haven’t confirmed the details of the charge, it is likely that he will receive a one match ban if he admits the charge and a two match ban if he denies it.
Another player who should be facing a ban but who was let off by the referee, Atkinson, is Carlos Tevez. The Argentinian, who was already on a yellow card after fouling Rio Ferdinand and then giving the ref a mouthful, kicked Phil Jones when the ball had gone out of play. Some referees would have given a straight red for such an offence by Atkinson opted just to award a freekick instead.
Yaya Toure also escaped a yellow card when he dived in the first half, following Roberto Mancini’s disparaging comments about Ashley Young’s diving.
As former referee Graham Poll said, United may well have felt as though they were playing against 12 men on Sunday. I wonder why Barry then felt the need to abuse the officials…