It was the last thing Everton needed to do against Manchester United, give up a penalty. But that was exactly what they did towards the end of the first half and Cristiano Ronaldo made sure they paid the price as his goal from the spot gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory.
When I first saw the penalty live, my first reaction was ‘you have to be kidding me…another United gift’. It just didn’t look like a legitimate decision. However I’ll be the first to admit the live angle wasn’t the best angle to be looking at and once I saw a better camera angle, it confirmed in my mind that it was a right decision.
Mikel Arteta has to know not to keep his foot out that close to the penalty area and he had to realize that once Michael Carrick was heading his way, the contact was going to be inevitable. While the contact looked accidental, according to the laws of the game, it’s still a penalty.
It’s decisions like this one that makes me wonder again if it’s time we get rid of using the words ‘soft’, ‘harsh’ ‘and ‘tough penalty to give’ when we are discussing penalty decisions. It’s either a penalty or it isn’t, regardless of what our interpretation is in terms of severity. While from my eyes it the penalty looked soft, it was indeed a penalty and that’s all that matters.
Everton didn’t have much of a threat and only seven shots in ninety minutes isn’t going to cut it against a Manchester United side. To think if Tim Howard wasn’t on song today, this could have been a 3-0 victory earily. We know David Moyes is going in search of a forward or two on loan before the end of the transfer window, and they need it badly.
Another stand out moment was the Kevin Davies goal that gave Bolton all three points against Tottenham. It gives Bolton some temporary breathing room from the relegation zone. His header towards the end of the match was just in my mind and serves as a reminder to Harry Redknapp that regardless of who’s in the posts, it’s the people in front of him that matter just a little more.
The game should have been done and dusted when Davies made it 2-0 but defensive lapses did Bolton in inside of three minutes. But Kevin Davies was not to be denied. Off the corner kick late, Davies wasn’t afraid to get his head in the mix, and the mass of bodies between him and Cudicini did the rest to make sure it wasn’t saved.
A deserving win for Bolton, a loss that will make Harry Redknapp keep the phone companies happy over the next 2 days.
Other Thoughts From Today
* Credit to West Bromwich Albion who fought back twice after going down. However I wonder why Myhill wasn’t in goal. I am sure I probably missed something.
* Is Tony Adams fixing to be out of a job? If you’re to believe the Times, it’s highly possible. It didn’t help that Fulham just tore them apart today.
* Middlesborough and Blackburn has to qualify as one of the worst matches of the season.
* Manchester City…wow. Stoke City dared them after going 1-0 up at the end of the first half to get the equalizer and win and they simply couldn’t do it.
What were your thoughts on today’s action?