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Should Chelsea Fans Fear Howard Webb Appointment?

November 30th 2008: Ronaldo sent off
Cristiano Ronaldo received one of the most ridiculous red cards I’ve ever seen, thanks to Howard Webb, during the derby a couple of seasons ago.

Already on a yellow card, a corner was delivered in the direction of Ronaldo who had created the space for a free header. However, instead of putting the ball in the back of the net, he batted the ball away with his hands. It was obvious he was not trying to score and as he landed, looked confused to see the ref walking towards him. He mimed a ‘whistle’, making it clear he thought the whistle had gone, but Webb sent him off regardless.

January 11th 2009: Wrongly disallowed goal
At 0-0, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney took a clever corner, which Ronaldo scored from. Webb hadn’t been paying attention though so disallowed the goal.

The Telegraph: The official reason given by the linesman was that Rooney had not informed him as to his intentions, but Ferguson questioned whether this was in fact necessary. Dermot Gallagher, the former Premier League referee, backed up Ferguson’s assertion that the goal should have stood, describing the corner routine as “creative and innovative.”


April 25th 2009: Palacios escapes red card
The game that everyone talks about when Howard Webb and Manchester United are mentioned is the 5-2 vs Spurs. We were 2-0 down before he awarded a penalty after a challenge on Michael Carrick. In real time, it looked as though Carrick had taken the ball around the keeper before getting floored, when replays showed the keeper got his finger tips to it before taking Carrick out.

However, at 0-0, Wilson Palacios was guilty of a clear red card offence in the 7th minute for a two footed lunge on Ronaldo. Fortunately, our Portuguese winger got out of the way or he could have suffered a serious injury.

Ronaldo knows all too well that going in studs raised results in a red card, even if you don’t make contact, after he was set off for going in one footed and missing the player in the derby a few years earlier.


September 20th 2009: Stone wall penalty not awarded against Chelsea
At 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Ricardo Carvalho brought down Robbie Keane in the box, but no penalty was given.

The Guardian: Absolute 100%, 24-carat stonewall penalty to Spurs. Not given. Keane was through, but in by what may well have been an attempted control from Lennon, Carvalho slides in just as Keane is set to pull the trigger. Not a world class decision from the man who is supposed to be England’s world class refereee.

April 10th 2010: Stone wall penalty not awarded against Chelsea II
At 0-0 in the FA Cup semi-final, John Obi Mikel brought down Agbonlahor in the box but nothing was given.

The Mirror: No surprise that Webb bottled Villa’s nailed-on Wembley penalty claim.

In the same game, John Terry was guilty of making a horrific challenge on James Milner, clearly worthy of a red card, but was just shown a yellow card.

Stats from The Telegraph.

After 8 occasions when Webb has been in charge of Chelsea games, he has never awarded a penalty against them.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. MG says:


    It’s true – trolls only get off on United – not even Barcelona the worlds best team TM is news worthy as much as United are…

  2. TheRadLegion says:

    Are you color blind? This is United forum and it’s red everywhere. Go back to your beloveth city forum

  3. shebangsthedrums says:

    MG – That’s why we’re Hated, Adored,but never ignored!

  4. CedarsDevil says:


    My prayers have been answered………… Now fuck off you bitter cunt and dust off your empty cabinet…

  5. headhunter85 says:

    listen you can say all you want about refs when all is said and done we will beat you cuz were better than you simples KTBFFH

  6. wayne says:

    Listen you negative cunts on any given day utd can beat anyone I’ve never gone into any game thinking utd will lose what the fuck is wrong with you

  7. Costas says:

    It’s quite obvious who UEFA are pushing to win the Ch.League isn’t it? Mourinho comments last week were somewhat hypocritical, but there was a lot of truth in them too.

  8. MG says:


    Adoringly appropriate

    This time I love it that we are underdogs and have no hope

    No hope against chelsea no hope against Barca – if we get there

    We are just doomed – might as well start going to church or wherever anyone wants to go to :lol:

  9. willierednut says:

    Stop giving captaink9 any air time. Just ignore him.

  10. TheGreatSirAlex says:

    Costas if thats the case then we have to defy UEFA to beat those diving cunts…

    Im confident we will get our revenge for 2009.

    i will to see Rio lifting them up in final like he did to Cahill….

  11. MG says:

    In the game:

    “It isn’t a final of the CL if Barca aren’t there – Alan Smith ex Arsenal – therefore fuck Arsenal like Arsenal supporters were saying yesterday as long as Barca make it – what fucking unbelievable comments!

    The best team in the world – commentator – actually it’s Inter because the FSW did manage to win that for them lol ;)

    I could carry on – the Messi drool was epic-ly sick – the Barca wank fest was unbelievable the commentator next to Smith said of Barca v Madrid – it’s Good v Evil

    Now I know we have allegiances and all that and things can get heated – but for him to say that was nigh on deplorable – absolutely fucking disgraceful – at the end it’s all up to United

    That’s it.

  12. TheGreatSirAlex says:

    *i will love to see Rio lifting them up in final like he did to Cahill….

  13. MG says:

    Come again?

    Yep commentator in the game said of Barca against Madrid – Good v Evil

    And then you think of the arrogance – but hey we are no hopers – so with that hope of not hoping for hope let’s hope for the best that the Lord giveth to those that pray for hope


  14. Utd4life says:

    Barca make me puke..For a team thats so talented, why on God’s green earth would they resort to such disgraceful antics??Its fucking disgusting..And the fact that they are associated with UNICEF makes me puke even more..BAstards such as biscuits, pedro and mascherano should in no way be related to UNICEF..

  15. Scott the Red says:

    danny – The win % isn’t relevant, that’s why it’s not included. If in those games we won, it was always because of dodgy decisions, that would be different, but that isn’t the case. People claim that Webb makes more favourable decisions for United. The fact that he has so often made decisions in Chelsea’s favour, which aren’t highlighted by the press collectively, works nicely to disprove the hysteria from today.

  16. MG says:


    Knicking stats from the telegraph

    That’s a new one :lol:

  17. fergie is the boss says:

    the virus and barca are has bad has eachother, both disgusting clubs who behave so horribly in their own way.

  18. Ryandunny says:

    I had a bad feeling that Chelsea will get another decision over all the press the referee is getting…. I remember it was the same before semi-final of F.A Cup in 2009 against Everton where Moyes criticized referee and said he was a United fan and then we got denied a clear penalty.

  19. redrider says:

    expected too much apparently as i thought someone’d break biscuit’s and alves’s legs. Ooh…mascherano’s and pedrocunt’s too…
    Oh and messi’s too…

  20. T4M says:

    Chelsea shouldn’t fear Webb,they should fear United! :D

  21. Clint-IamYourPapii says:

    I am 100% Sure We Will The Champions League Final If We Win The Semi

    1- Barca are rubbish away from home (inluding League,CL etc) They struggle To adapt to Other Pitches and play to 100% at the Nou Camp.

    2- We have More Fans At Wembeley 60/40

    3- Barca have never played on a Wembeley Turf & Will Need Time To adapt to the Atmosphere and Pitch because the pitch is spongey,slow and the ball doesn’t move well. They need a good pitch and cant play ariel balls, nor do they have the players.

    4- Barca’s Weakness is being hit by Crosses and we have Vida, Rio, o’shea, Wazza, Chico, Carrick, Fletch as our presence in the air. With Great Crosses from Giggs, Valencia, Nani,carrick, Rooney, Evra, Rafael, Oshea etc.

    5- another weakness of barca is that they cover space very well ! However Xavi,Iniesta & Busquets do not harrass players on the ball they block space to pass. So guy like Carrick, giggs, rooney,valencia,nani etc will need to hit quick instinctive passes.

    6- Messi Likes to drop back from midfield to get the ball, it should be passed around in rotation who gets him. 1st carrick 2nd park 3rd Fletch Etc

    7-Shield the ball & pass quick to a wide man, so we can win corners & throw ins and hit them on the set pieces

    8-Rooneys gotta give them hell ! giggs needs to remain cool as usual, fletch has to shield the ball & cut out passes, Park Run Like Mad

    9- We Defend with 11, attack with 9 including VDs long accurate kicks.

    10- Most of all after rome 2009….revenge is needed….be cold,ruthless, agressive, fast, strong…epitomise English Football.

    Valencia —fletch —carrick—Park

    or if we’re really scared LooL


  22. captaink9 says:

    @ clint
    Behind u 100%, saying and doing are different though.

  23. brett1985 says:

    unless I missed it Howard Webb was also referee when he permitted Emmanuel Adebayor to score the opening goal with his hand in our crunch title deciding match. The game where Ronaldo scored a penalty and Hargreaves a freekick.

  24. FletchTHEMAN says:

    @brett1985, Was that Webb. Ha ha ha ha. I recall being amazed that he was selected for the WC. But then, who else to send…….

  25. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Myths. Simply myths that Webb favours us, he’s done us plenty of times. Ref are like coppers all a bunch of cunts. Press are going to run with this story all week in order to put pressure on Webb to favour Chelski. Didn’t like the Fergies press conference today about freshning things up in order to be ready for Chelski. It smelt like if we don’t rest players we’re fucked. Very unlike him, hopefully mind games but still makes me nervous.

  26. Alpha_RS says:

    Who gives a fcuk what the Rent Boyz think of Webb being the referee at Old Trafford?
    Fcuk me we’ve suffered enough by the hand of Atkinson. Now the tables are turned it’s great stuff.

  27. fergie is the boss says:

    Alpha_RS – has long has united do their job that is required on sunday thats all I care about

  28. Alpha_RS says:

    Plus all this chat about Barcelona makes me laugh.
    Should United get to the final I’m sure SAF has a plan.
    Let’s not forget he was analysing the 2009 Champions League Final the day after the loss.

  29. Alpha_RS says:

    @fergie is the boss
    United should have done the job against Arsenal and then the Chelsea game wouldn’t have been so important. But now any win for the Rent Boyz will take them top through goal difference. But since when have United done it the easy way?

  30. fergie is the boss says:

    Alpha_RS – well if you saw my past posts, how annoyed I was on our draws to everton fulham away, and the home draw with west brom. Lets not forget the screw job at SB

  31. Jeet says:

    I don’t like the smell of this intense Howard Webb-United publicity in the media. One way or other, it applies this reverse psychology thing, where Webb will feel obligated to show that no, indeed he is unbiased, by giving Chelsea the 50-50s, if not more. While we don’t need a ref who is biased towards us, we do need a ref who is “strong and fair”. I really, really don’t like the smell of this.

  32. shubhangmanred says:

    @kings The writer didn’t seem THAT big of a cunt to me. Though he accused SAF of influencing the referee, atleast he made it clear that the decisions get evened out.
    Also he sort of defended SAF’s post match rant against Atkinson.
    But the only thing that really pissed me off was when he accused SAF of not blaming his players for the defeat. I am sure he would have given them a piece of his mind, but do you expect him to do so in public?
    All in all i feel the writer is unbiased, and his other articles have been good reads.

  33. Stevr says:

    Fergie us stirring this one up. Watch Rooney go down in the area the first time Luiz touches him. That’ll decide the game and the title. Mark my words.

  34. redcrab says:

    @ Balaji Sivaraman says: not at all worried about Schalke or Barcelona.
    Much more worried about the league.
    On current form it’s not looking good.

  35. sandeep1878 says:

    but we are a different side at home, i think we went for a draw at emirates and we were on teh back wont be the case in the next two games..

    we are going to rip them apart..

    first we need to defend well against schalke, i m not sure of our attack in tonight’s game but i see a goal for us and then wrap it up by defending..

    we need to firing on all cylinders against chelsea, the 14 players team.

  36. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    I’m actually sick talking about refs. As long as we don’t mess it up, we will be fine and we’ll win come Sunday. I honestly can’t imagine the importance of the game, and that’s what the FA exactly wanted. We’re psychologically disadvantaging ourselves by constantly pointing out ref errors. But having said that, i heave a sigh a relief that it’s not chelsea’s bribed over ref atkinson. I’ll just pray and hope good and right decisions will be made.

    If we beat/draw Schalke today, we’ll go to the finals, and whoa is this the first time we are concrete underdogs in a game? Everybody will expect Barca to win, and that’s good for us. No pressure, and i’m sure our lads will be absolutely psyched up considering how we lost with our no-show in Roma 2009. I’m anxious about the game today, considering that it’ll be quite a changed team. And we have no choice. I hope Carrick, Valencia, Park,Giggs, Rooney, Chicharito and Pat gets a full rest. I’m guessing the entire midfield will be changed together with the front 2. Smalling in for Rio, don’t want to risk Rio after 3 games in a row, and maybe O Shea in too. We have to do the job fast and quick and i’ve got a feeling it may be Berba’s floodgates in Europe opening today. And possibly, if Berba does well today, he could start against chelsea. If you noticed, he made quite a bit of difference when he came on against Arsenal, he links up the front and the middle. This is a freakingly big week.

  37. devil without a cause says:

    barca players like pressing a lot………… atleast 2-3 players are available near where the ball is………. switching play from left to right and vice versa with long diagonal balls can really hurt them…….. plus they are a small team……… in height………. good headers of the ball can prove to be a real handful for them………. damn sure fergie would have learnt his lessons from rome and we shut them up for good…………

  38. KingOfStretfordEnd says:


    I agree with your first 2 lines. We are at home, where we’ve only dropped 2 points so far. So we shouldn’t be scared. I’m not saying we should be cocky/arrogant. We just should be calm focussed and confident.

  39. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    Ah and as we talk about complacency and focussing, let us fans do the job today. We must replicate the fantastic atmosphere during the barca semi-final 08, for both today’s and Sunday’s game.

  40. devil without a cause says:

    btw watched a few bundesliga matches this seasonand the playmaker that caught my eye is nuri sahin of dortmund………… excellent passer and vision………. good at delivering set pieces……….. 23 years old and just 1 year remaining in his contract…….. would be available on a cheap……….. found this video……. check if u wish

  41. CROoney says:

    please dont do this Scott – dont try to find excuses already…we need to be men and win this one… let us not have prejudices over the ref

  42. Scott the Red says:

    CROoney – Erm, you’ve missed the point. The media were yesterday claiming that United now had an advantage because Webb favoured us. I was just pointing out this clearly wasn’t the case. Nothing to do with excuses.

  43. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    The fact that every media has to talk about the appointment of a referee in a game as huge as this should strike home to the F.A. that referees are more important than they should be ideally. If the referees in the PL really did their job properly, the press would be talking about the teams that are taking the field. But the fact that so much fuss is made about the man in black, it means somebody in the League is not doing their job right.

    But, hey, what the hell, if they thought as rationally as that, we wouldn’t have so much problems, would we? :lol:

  44. CROoney says:

    oh, I see Scott….

  45. nmostonred says:

    @ Passe

    I noticed that too regarding Pedro last night twice blockling quick free kicks from 2 yards whilst on a yellow. Compare that to Van Persie for not hearing the whistle it makes you wonder………..just gonna jump on the met b4 a swift couple in the Trafford!


  46. RedManc says:

    The problem is, Webb is the best England has to offer!

  47. Hmm says:

    The last comment about him never givin a penalty decision against chelsea. I do remember him giving a few united’s way though (Liverpool or tottenham ring any bells?). Didn’t think to mention that though? Completely biased and misleading article. Maybe if teams such as United and Chelsea won games fair and square and possesed enough sportmanship qualities to point out a referreing error that went in their favour, then we would be talking about the great players of both team and the tactics rather than the choice of ref. Expecting some hate for this comment.

  48. Bla says:

    Sir Howard Webb.


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