In today’s Manchester derby, what was Cristiano Ronaldo thinking?
After a cross had been floated into the box, Ronaldo jumped up but instead of heading it, he decided to knock down the ball with his two hands.
Ronaldo indicated to everyone that he heard a whistle before the ball reached him, so thinking that the game had been stopped, he decided to stop the ball with his hands.
Most professional footballers know that it’s best to play the ball instead of the whistle. In a stadium of almost 50,000 fans, all it takes is one idiot in the crowd to blow a whistle to try to put off an opponent — and this time it worked. Ronaldo received his second yellow card in the game for handball and got his marching orders.
Co-commentator Alan Smith seemed oblivious to the images of Ronaldo putting his fingers to his mouth to tell the referee and fellow teammates that he heard a whistle. Instead Smith lambasted Ronaldo for an obvious handball. When a player is wide open in front of goal and has an opportunity for a clean header, he’s not going to handle the ball like that Mr. Smith unless he thinks he heard a whistle.
But, as I said before, Ronaldo should have the maturity as a professional to know that he should have headed the ball whether he heard a whistle or not.
Despite Ronaldo’s red card, Manchester United held on to win the derby 1-0 after Rooney’s 100th career goal in the first half after Joe Hart spilled Michael Carrick’s shot. City had few chances to equalize in this game that United dominated for large portions of the afternoon.