With the Spurs players going mad that the 2nd goal against them stood six minutes from time, Rio Ferdinand said to William Gallas: “If you had scored when the ball went out in the first half would you say ‘no goal, the ball was out’? No! It was handball by Nani but the ref didn’t blow so how can it be a free kick? If it’s a free kick, why did Gomes put the ball 10 yards away from incident?”
We know they wouldn’t admit the ball was out of play if they went on to score because they quite happily continued on with play, despite knowing they should have conceded a goal kick. The same linesman who missed what should have been a goal kick also didn’t flag when he saw Nani touch the ball with his hand.
Anyone who thinks Nani shouldn’t have put the ball in the back of the net, when Gomes put the ball on a plate for him, is kidding themselves. Nani knew he had been fouled in the box and no penalty had been awarded. He also knew that he had touched the ball with his hand and no freekick had been given. So, what was he expected to do when Gomes assisted a goal for him?
The fact that Gomes picked the ball up and threw it 10 yards from where the handball had occurred was just a minor detail. As was Rio Ferdinand’s permission to listen in to the referee’s conversation with the linesman, after the ranting Spurs players had been waved away.
But the underlining factor here is that footballers do whatever they think they can get away with to give their team a better chance of winning. And would the fans have it any other way?
When Younes Kaboul pulled on Nani’s shirt in the box, he did it because he thought he could get away with it (which he did) and because he knew it would give his team a better chance of winning if he fouled Nani in a goalscoring position. No penalty was awarded so Spurs will have been glad of his quick tug.
Just like Palacios thought breaking Ronaldo’s leg would put Spurs in a better position to win the game two seasons ago. Fortuntely Ronaldo jumped out of the way, but the player got away without even a booking, let alone the red card his challenge on 6 minutes deserved.
When Mike Dean allowed Tom Huddlestone’s winner against Fulham to stand two weeks ago, after the linesman had correctly flagged William Gallas offside, did the Spurs players protest? Did the Spurs fans? Of course not. They will have been very happy that an officiating error gifted them a win against another London club.
When Stoke City had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out at the beginning of the season, with Peter Crouch’s attempts to keep it out failing, did Spurs protest? Did they confess that actually the ball had crossed the line and that they didn’t deserve their 2-1 result and three points? Unsurprisingly, no. They smiled sweetly at Chris Foy then got out of that shit hole as fast as they could.
We could go on and on, looking at results teams get because of poor decisions by the officials and dishonesty of players, but what purpose does it serve? On two occasions already this season, with just ten games played, Spurs have picked up three points when they should have collected just one.
Which is why their controversial goals differ from the one that was scored today. Essentially, 1-0? 2-0? What difference does it make? Spurs didn’t score a goal whilst United scored two, one fair and square and one in controversial circumstances. Would it have been better if one had been scored from a penalty from a tug of the shirt in the box? It’s irrelevant.
Any set of fans would be outraged with the performance of the linesman in this situation. Why he didn’t put up his flag is a real issue. But I don’t quite understand pointing the finger at the ref, other than his failure to spot the shirt pull or handball. I suppose he assumed that the linesman had a better view of what was going on and if he didn’t see any wrong doing, then he hadn’t missed anything. He didn’t give Nani extra insight on what to do than he did Gomes. Nani didn’t hear a whistle, because there wasn’t one, and Nani didn’t see the linesman raise his flag, because he didn’t, so he played on. Why didn’t Gomes?
You can’t help but notice that Spurs are becoming the Liverpool of the south, whining about everything that goes against them whilst holding an oblivious stance to everything that goes in their favour. They will probably be pleased to know that Simon Beck, the lino who didn’t flag for the shirt pull, hand ball, or Bale running out of play, is the same lino who didn’t spot Drogba being offside in his goal at Old Trafford in their 2-1 win last season. Don’t say it too loudly though, otherwise they may feel as though the mourning has to stop.
Shall we get out the black armbands for their next visit?
The RoM 2016-17 Season Preview is available for just £5. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Mikael Silvestre, a Q&A with the country's top journalists about our transfer targets, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.