Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No shame

It was a fantastic game. Not the best in the world, but played with passion by both sides.

I thought a fair result would have been a draw, but that's the way football is, right? How many times have United not deserved to win but somehow managed to? It's the same here, just reversed.

Let's take a gander at some of the highlights.

Rooney's goal was first class. The turn, the little push to take him into space and a ferocious shot that travelled just above the ground till it went past Cech before it finally touched ground just before crossing the line. It travelled so fast that it hit the net before I even realised it was a goal.

That triple save from van der Sar at the end of the first half was also eye-catching. Let's give Lampard some credit. What a scorcher of a freekick. Absolute rocket. I don't think I've ever seen Lampard hit the ball harder than that. If I were a defender, I'd get out of the way of that kind of shot.

But Lampard's freekick -- as amazing as it was -- will, unfortunately, be forgotten thanks to the heroics of the MU keeper who intends to retire at the end of the season. That he saved that freekick was good enough, but to somehow manage to get his "huge paw", as the commentator put it, onto the subsequent attempt by Ivanovic, then scramble the ball away when it bounced off Vidic, doing both while still on the ground, was even more amazing than the freekick.

The introduction of Drogba and Zhirkov for Anelka and the terribly ineffective Malouda (I have never liked him. I don't think he's good enough for a team like Chelsea) proved a shrewd piece of business. Both substitutes were fantastic, and Torres played better after that.

But let's talk about David Luiz. First of all, I think he's a smashing buy for Chelsea. Fantastic player. Definitely the man of the match for me in this game. He was all over the pitch, defending and attacking and that goal was simply outstanding. Let's face it, it was at a difficult height and he really had to twist his body to wrap his foot around the ball and smash it in.

But let's look at his fouls. I counted at least five bookable offences, and he received only one yellow card. Just before that yellow, he committed one which referee Atkinson waved on because MU had the ball. Maybe Mr Atkinson forgot about it after that.

When Luiz finally was carded, he protested his innocence saying he only committed one foul and he was going in the book. First of all, that was his second bookable offence. Secondly, he committed a series of other minor fouls before that as well.

This sort of thing has to stop. Almost every player protests his innocence after a foul, even if blatant.

After that, there were three more, with the more blatant ones being against Chicharito and then Rooney. How he managed to stay on the field is beyond me. Ancelloti did the smart thing and substituted him soon after. I think one more foul and he would have gotten his marching orders!

The penalty. Was it or wasn't it? Despite what Fergie had to say, I think it was. The commentators said Smalling just stood his ground but it was still a penalty. I disagree. From replays, I saw Smalling moving his foot to trip Zhirkov. That was a penalty. No doubt about it.

As for Vidic, well, I'm surprised he didn't get the second yellow for the foul just before, against Drogba I think it was. In both incidents where he was carded, he took it for the team. But now we're without him against Liverpool at Anfield. It's going to be tough!

Kudos to Chelsea. They may be still 12 points behind, albeit with a game in hand, but even if they are too far behind to catch up, what they've done is to make the run-in for the title even more exciting.

Let's put this defeat behind us and look ahead to Anfield. The double over Liverpool, though tough, is achievable.

No comments: