Posts Tagged ‘UCL’

Lots has been said about the Champions League game last night between Manchester United and Real Madrid. A game, which in most parts, produced an excellent quality of football. But unfortunately will be remembered for one incident, which seems to be the norm these days in elite football.

The incident involved Nani, a Portuguese winger for Manchester United. As the clip above shows, contact was made between the two players and this created controversy, as Nani was then sent off due to the contact being deemed as dangerous play. Included in the clip are the opinions of Roy Keane, former Man Utd Captain, Lee Dixon, former Arsenal right back and Gareth Southgate, former England International.

Now lots of people will have different opinions on the incident. Some of the ones I’ve heard today have included Nani’s intended controlling of the ball mid air, something he does on a regular basis. Others, mainly fans of rival teams have said he didn’t pull his foot out, which implies intent. I have even read people say, I agree it was dangerous but given the implications and magnitude of the game, the referee should have given him a yellow card. Roy Keane has been labelled a Judas for simply saying what he saw of the situation and giving the honest opinion that is asked of him.

My own opinion is simple and unbiased. If the contact deserved a card, a red card was the only fair card to give, baring in mind the laws of the game regarding dangerous play. The play was dangerous and could have resulted in a serious injury. If Arbeloa hadn’t jumped to head the ball, Nani’s foot would have been level with his face and could have broken his nose or worse. This can’t be disputed as anything other then dangerous. I completely take on board the fact that Nani was in fact watching the ball the entire time, toes were up, ready to cushion the ball and he couldn’t pull out due to the speed of play. But should any players foot be level with another players head, albeit on this occasion the player jumped and fortunately took the impact in the chest.

Intent isn’t always mentioned in the rules. That’s why so many good tackles are being deemed dangerous and so many dangerous tackles are being unnoticed. I also have to mention the conduct of the players and Sir Alex Ferguson. If anyone has displayed as much pride and passion to win a game, the emotions they display will sometimes be out of character when a decision of this type gets made. Which is why I think it is wrong to question the managers post game, when a debatable decision has been made, it’s obvious it will be mentioned at the height of adrenaline and shouldn’t really be judged fairly for disciplinary action.

I’m sure if people read this, they will no doubt have their own views on the incident. But that’s the beauty of football, we all have different views, we all sit in different seats and see play from different angles. The referee had one shot and in my opinion got it completely right.

Hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to comment…