No self-respecting Manchester United fan would celebrate Sunday’s 3-2 win at Chelsea. United’s first Stamford Bridge win in 10 years came against 9 men and a shitton of botched calls.
Mean Jerk referee Mark Clattenburg ruined an otherwise beautiful football game. He got two many calls wrong, handed out too many yellow cards, and allowed his grandstanding to get in the way of good officiating. As if that wasn’t enough, he also allegedly called Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata a “Spanish twat” and verbally abused John Obi Mikel, according to the London club.
Some of the crucial calls Clattenburg flubbed:
- Ivanovic’s clang on Young early in the game was a bookable offense
- Torres’ “dive” after United defender Johnny Evans clipped him was not a yellow card offense. According to Graham Poll, the FA’s directive to referees w/r/t diving: don’t card a player if there’s contact, even minimal contact.
- Valencia’s “dive” after Mikel challenged him was neither a dive nor a yellow card offense
- Chicharito’s late goal, which sealed the game, should’ve not been allowed. He was CLEARLY offside
There are good calls and bad calls in every game. Referees are humans and, without the benefit of replay, they’re prone to errors. That’s understood by all involved. But when a referee gets too many big calls wrong and his incompetency ultimately decides the outcome of a game, he’s not fit for the job.
Clattenburg ruined a great fixture with arguably the two best teams in the English Premier League. United went up two goals early (one of them being an own goal) and sat back to admire their work. Chelsea fought back tirelessly and eventually tied the game 2-2.
It’s telling that the Red Devils did not get a single shot on goal until the Blues were reduced to 9 men. And when United finally found the winner to mark their first victory at Stamford Bridge since 2002, it came through an offside goal. All things considered, the Red Devils only managed one legitimate goal. Chelsea lost, yet it feels like they won.
Inept officiating eclipsed a 5-goal thriller. As a football fan, I hope Clattenburg never gets to officiate another English Premier League game for the rest of his career.
Hey Drogba, your thoughts on Clattenburg’s performance?