Manchester United fans breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday after referee Phil Dowd opted not to send off Nemanja Vidic despite him pulling down Gabriel Agbonlahor as the last man.

Whilst a sending off would have ruined the game as a spectacle, Poll reckons there was another reason which saved Vidic.

“The referee would have looked for an excuse not to send the player off, and that doesn’t matter if it was an Aston Villa player or a Manchester United player,” said Poll. “People will say that is rubbish, as there is nothing about a cup final in the rules but you try to use your common sense and understand the occasion. There was a technicality that allowed him to keep Vidic on and he used it. The player must be heading towards goal, it’s a stupid technicality, but he (Agbonlahor) loses control of the ball and it goes behind him and at the moment he goes down he is heading six or seven yards wide of goal.”

One can assume this is the same “technicality” which saved Jamie Carragher from being sent off by Andre Marriner at Anfield earlier this season after hauling Michael Owen down as the last man, with our striker running at a diagonal.




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