The most controversial incident from the weekend came at Old Trafford, where Wayne Rooney was sent off for a high, and late challenge on Stewart Downing. Rooney was clearly trying to stop Downing’s progress, clip his ankles and get a ‘tactical booking’. He misjudged his plan by a long way. A definite red card but some of the criticism he has received since, is embarrassing. It’s his first red card for United in five years and he’ll know he did wrong, but calls to be relieved of his England captaincy are ridiculous in my view.
After Rooney’s moment of madness, West Ham were on the front foot and had the ball in the net, only for the assistants flag to be raised in what was a superb decision. I was taken aback by comments from Sam Allardyce and Nolan who were adamant it was a legitimate goal. ‘Big Sam’ even stated that he had seen it back and was convinced he was onside. Clearly, his head was in an offside position, which backs the lineman’s decision, as any part of the body you can score with that is in an offside position, is offside.
Its about time Allardyce got a sanction from the FA. He continuously moans about decisions every week, even when the officials were proved right.
Elaquim Mangala didn’t have the best of days at Hull on Saturday its fair to say. Firstly, he headed in an own goal shortly after City took a 2-0 lead, then it got worse for the young Frenchman. A high boot in the penalty area connected with Abel Hernandez and Anthony Taylor was perfectly placed to make the correct decision. If both players use a high boot, then play on, but when the ball is chest height and one foot makes contact, it has to be a foul.
Gareth Barry was very fortunate not to be sent off after two late challenges, prior to a booking was followed by two further dubious calls which would have lead to a red card. The second decision left me baffled. Barry raised an arm in the box and blocked the ball with the arm in an out-stretched position. Referee, Martin Atkinson was seen defending Barry by saying he was protecting his face. Not for me. Definite penalty and a second booking.
Before that incident, Romelu Lukaku wanted a spot kick after a collision with Alberto Moreno. It was a 50/50 battle until it reached the 18 yard box, where a tug of Lukaku’s shirt was seen on the replays from the linesman’s view. There was nothing Atkinson could do there, he needed the help, but simply didn’t get it so he couldn’t make an assumption.