“First and foremost, what we have to remember is that the goal is within the laws of the game. The game hadn’t stopped and so, in essence, Mark was right in law. You’re taught right from the very start that you don’t stop until the whistle blows or the ball goes out of play, so in law the goal is a correct goal. I’m sure that Mark must have thought at that stage, at 1-0 to Manchester United and Spurs wanting to keep the game going and Gomes had the ball in his hands, that he wanted to keep the game moving. The situation is that if you’re going to think about bringing it back, for instance if a player is fouled but then he loses his footing and he still can’t keep control of the ball, then you can bring it back. In that situation there, Gomes has actually got the ball in his hands and has actually still got possession of the ball. What he then does after that is nothing to do with the referee. If he chose to throw the ball on the ground, that was his choice. He didn’t throw it there because he lost control of it, so therefore in those circumstances you’re probably giving the goalkeeper two bites of the cherry.”
“Due to the bizarre run of events that followed, Nani’s legitimate penalty claim was overlooked by many, including Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp. Nani appeared to be pushed from behind as he raced past Younes Kaboul. He went to ground very easily as most players do, but if an attacker does not go down then he will never get the decision. Clattenburg could not see Nani deliberately handle the ball from his position. Anyway, it became irrelevant when Heurelho Gomes picked up the ball. The referee would want the game to flow and playing on was the best decision having not given the penalty. For the record, handball is not a mandatory caution, whatever Alan Hansen says. If Gomes felt he had a free-kick why walk 10 yards up the pitch to take it? Why not play to the whistle? His actions were bizarre and caused all of the problems. At no point did Clattenburg blow the whistle or make any move to do so, nor did he signal ‘advantage’. He shouted ‘Play on’, but you do that when there is no offence. If Gomes had put the ball down at the point where Nani had handled it and Nani had kicked it in from there then I am sure that Clattenburg would not have allowed the goal.”
nb. Alan Wiley is the referee who Sir Alex Ferguson labelled unfit and unable to keep up with the pace of the game. He has no reason to speak favourably of Manchester United or fight our corner.
1. The linesman is at fault. He saw Nani get his shirt pulled in the box and he saw Nani handle the ball. He didn’t raise his flag for either of these things. He had a much better view of both incidents than Mark Clattenburg and if the linesman didn’t raise his flag and alert the referee to either incident, then that is his problem and he is accountable. Putting his flag up after a load of verbal from Gomes is pointless.
2. The linesman, Simon Beck, is the same linesman who didn’t spot Gareth Bale running the ball out of play in the first half (and Bale has the nerve to question Nani’s sportsmanship! Hypocrite) and also didn’t spot Didier Drogba’s offside goal against us last season. Chelsea won the game 2-1 and a few weeks later won the league by 1 point. Spurs and United fans should be united in condemning this man’s incompetence.
3. Once putting aside the blame of the linesman, you then have to point the finger at Gomes. He heard no whistle (because there wasn’t one) he saw no flag (because it didn’t get raised) yet decided a freekick had been awarded. 10-year-olds down the park on a Sunday afternoon know better than that. Should Nani have picked the ball up and put it on the penalty spot because he believed he should have had a penalty, despite no whistle or flag? You play to the whistle, regardless of what decision you think should have been made.
4. Nani was dishonest to knowingly touch the ball then get up and score. Just as Kaboul was dishonest when he pulled Nani’s shirt in the box. The stats for a single game charting whenever a player was dishonest would be off the scale though. For any fans to claim any of their players wouldn’t have taken advantage of the goalkeeper’s stupidity is kidding themselves. Nani no doubt felt aggrieved after not getting a decision on the shirt pull, so will have happily taken advantage of Gomes’ mistake, just like any other player in the league would have done.
5. Any set of fans would be livid if a goal like that went against their team, United included, but that’s how football works. When a decision goes against you, you’re wild, when a decision goes in your favour, you’re over the moon (or hysterically laughing, as many of us were on Saturday). Spurs fans do need to get over themselves though. Yes, we get it, the Mendes goal 6 years ago was ridiculous. Everyone could see it was miles over the line without even needing a replay. But that’s when it has to stop. To bleat on about Michael Carrick penalty two years ago is pathetic. United scored a further FOUR GOALS that day and played against 11 men for 90 minutes when we should have played against 10 men for 84 minutes. That’s football. But the paranoia and victim playing is far too scouse for my liking. Minutes silence and black armbands all round.
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.