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Good For You, Steve Bennett

I don’t want to hear Liverpool fans criticize referee Steve Bennett for dismissing Javier Mascherano late in the first half today. I just don’t want to hear it, simple as that.

It’s about time that a referee stood up for himself and didn’t take any BS. I’ve complained all year long about the referees and how they’re too weak and inconsistent to punish players for dissent. In midweek, I sat there and watched Ashley Cole, who was fortunate to not be sent off for his horrific challenge on Alan Hutton, turn his back on Mike Riley as if to say “Hey, do you know who I am?”. Cole gave Riley an earful, didn’t come over to receive the original yellow card, and still didn’t get the second yellow for dissent.

Javier Mascherano must be an idiot. Has he not been watching the news or reading the paper at all this week? Did he not see that the FA just came out with a “respect the referees” initiative? Did he not remember that he already had a yellow card and was walking on thin ice? Did he not see that his teammate, Fernando Torres, had been booked for dissent just a second earlier?

I guess not. Sorry, this guy is a moron. He had basically been begging for a second yellow card ever since he got the first one. He’d committed two or three additional fouls since being cautioned early and took every opportunity to give Steve Bennett a piece of his mind. He then went out of his way to question an innocent play right before the half ended. Bennett gave him a chance to be quiet and motioned for him to walk away, and Mascherano didn’t. He kept going, Bennett reached inside his pocket, boom, see you later.

Where was the captain, Steven Gerrard, in all of this? One would think he would’ve gotten in there and separated Mascherano right away, or tried to calm him down a little bit and then speak to Bennett himself.


Sure, after Mascherano had been dragged to the sideline by his teammates (where he proceded to rant and rave like a lunatic), Gerrard went to the Argentine and spoke to him, but that doesn’t exactly do much good.

Good for you, Steve Bennett. I applaud you for having the stones to do what Mike Riley and others haven’t done all season.

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  1. Michael

    May 11, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Sanjay, there is NO WAY that incident was worthy of a red card. First of all, it wasn’t a “tackle”, and so it definitely wasn’t “reckless”. It was a professional foul by Scholes to slow the tempo of the game down; we see those types of fouls all the time. Sure, he didn’t play the ball and it may have warranted a yellow card, but I was fine with the warning from Bennett and in no way, shape, or form was that ever a red card.

  2. Sanjay

    May 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Somehow, when it comes to Manchester United, fans and experts seem to think that reckless tackles dont warrant a red card. I believe that it did, but that Bennett was under too much pressure- this was after all the season finale. And if had sent Scholes off and the result didnt go United’s way, as usual Fergie would have gone on a rant and the FA would have done nothing to punish him.

  3. Paul Bestall

    May 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    I certainly didn’t think Scholes challenge warrated a red card. A yellow but no red. A body check on the half way line, thats a standard tactic straight out of Mourinho’s handbook. The best team has won the league this season, no argument about it. Liverpools pre Xmas results cost them their title challenge, drawing at Pompey, drawing with Reading, drawing with Tottenham. That’s 6 points they threw away through bad tactical decisions off the top of my head.

  4. Michael

    May 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Boro fan, that could’ve been a yellow card on Scholes at the end of the first half, but that’s not what I was originally talking about in this post.

    Paul Bestall hit the nail on the head with his last comment.

  5. Paul Bestall

    May 11, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Mascherano’s behaviour was a disgrace that day and he shouldhave given him a straight red, never mind a yellow card. They showed a highlight package of his behaviour that day and believe me, he was lucky to still be on the field as long as he was. The Torres incident was the fainl straw.
    I’m no fan of Steve Bennett, but to accuse him of pro Manchester United bias is verging on the ridiculous. He hasn’t refeffed all their games since 1990 has he??

  6. Boro fan

    May 11, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Good For You, Steve Bennett…. or no, wait, this is Man Utd, Scholes… no no, not red card…

    How about that?

  7. Michael

    March 26, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Everyone who believes that Steve Bennett is somehow biased towards Manchester United and against Liverpool or any other club, let me ask you this:

    Who was the referee who sent Ronaldo off against Portsmouth earlier in the season?

    Who was the referee who has sent Ronaldo off twice in his career?

    Who was the referee that didn’t award United a goal in the FA Cup Final last season in the first half of extra time, a ball that looked extremely close to crossing the goal line?

    Steve Bennett.

    Don’t give me any more rubbish about how Bennett favors United, it’s unfounded. Sending off Mascherano was the right thing to do; Mascherano’s petulant behavior and the fact that he came clear across the field to argue something that didn’t even involve him was stupid, and it left Bennett with no choice. Do you really think he wanted to show him the second yellow card in a game of that magnitude? I get criticized for not knowing the game of soccer, but if you believe that referees take some satisfaction in sending players off, it’s you who doesn’t know soccer.

  8. Taylor

    March 26, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    You can’t be serious?

    Masch question Bennett with a what’s happening? After Torres was book for being kicked three times before finally being hacked down near the halfway line.

    If you can’t question rubbish officiating, nevermind the fact that Bennett was picked by name by Sir Alex before the match, then why even bother playing the games. Let’s just award United the title every year shall we? Masch lost control that’s true, however, this was not until after he was sending off for defending his striker. Something Gerrard should have been doing long ago. Also if there was to be consistency then ban John Terry for life for touching an official, ban Cole for his display at White Hart Lane for at least two or three games, and look into why Rooney and Co weren’t carded when they talked Anderson out of a yellow. If you lot want to be sheep so be it, but if you can’t see crap for what it is then you’re obviously insufficiently educated to be reporting on such things.

  9. UnitedKick

    March 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I think people are harping on one call too long and trying to make excuses for their team losing. Everyone wants to whine that the first yellow was his first tackle of the game and he shouldn’t have gotten a card – no he shouldn’t have been late. I think he received the card because of the speed of the tackle and the way that Scholes landed. In real time at real speed, it looked nastier than it was, but again Mascherano immediately got up bitching at the ref. Reffing is a pretty thankless job, you will never please everyone, but if you get paid millions of dollars to PLAY A SPORT then the least you could do is have some self control and have respect for those who uphold the laws of the game. If you bitched at a judge the way Mascherano was bitching at Bennett, you would be held in contempt. I think outdoor soccer should implement a “sin bin” like the old blue card on indoor. Bennett could’ve given Masch a few minutes to cool off. He was just super wound up and there was no bringing him down. I don’t like the fact that Masch is claiming innocence. He needs to go back and look at himself on tape and see what a jackass he made of himself.

  10. Zan

    March 24, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    On one hand he chose to uphold the authority of referees, on the other hand he had indirectly led to serious doubts on the credibility of the standard of refereeing.

    I agreed that Mascherano should be sent off, that guy lost his cool and went over to ask a question when he’s over the other side of the field, but due to Steve’s inconsistency, he had failed to protect a player from getting roughed up.

    Is refereeing all about authority, and less about protecting the best interest of football itself?

    I think he ought to reflect on why he ever choose the path in the first place.

  11. Tim

    March 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Bennett is a useless ref, should be sent down to the Championship for the rest of this season. FA can say all they like about respect, but the problem is inconsistent referring and Bennett is the worst of a bad bunch. As just after Mascherano was booked Anderson committed a similar foul (lunged in and got the player not the ball) but didn’t get booked, stuff like that adds to an already volatile situation. A game like this the ref needs to be calm rather than adding to the rising temperature.

  12. UnitedKick

    March 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Look, it all comes down to respect. People are all saying he didn’t say anything, but if you were watching the game you would see that Mascherano was throwing F bomb after F bomb at Bennett. I kept saying to my friends he better shut his mouth. I applaud Bennett for letting it go on that long! Macherano got what he deserved and I think Benitez defending him is ludicrous. I could tell you that if I acted like that in the recreational league, I would be thrown out of the game, so it should be no different for Mascherano. If someone got up in my face like Mascherano did, I would punch them. How can people say he did nothing wrong? You wouldn’t walk up to someone on the street or in the office and get right in their face – that would be disrespectful!Whether the first call was a yellow card or not is debateable, but the second one was certainly warranted and he should’ve known he was walking on thin ice after the 30 F bomb he levyied at Bennett.

  13. tampasoccer

    March 24, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Mascherano’s first yellow was ridiculous. THAT WAS NOT A YELLOW CARD. That said, he knew he was on a short leash for the remainder of the game and had to be careful. The sending off decided the game, but, as a Liverpool fan, I have to admit that United were the better team even before the sending off and won deservedly. We are going further and further away from the title. The quality gap between us and the top 3 is obvious.

  14. Josh

    March 24, 2008 at 12:00 am

    As a LFC fan i believed the ref gave in to pressures of the home game- Big match wrong ref. liverpool had an offnight in terms of our defence against the relentless man u attack.
    regarding the Mascerano incident, you have to understand some players play the game with their heart in the heat of the moment, he made a bad decision to continue arguring but it cannot be helped with the unfair decisions previous that endangered a teammate and team’s chances. All those so called ‘neutral’ fans, I can tell most are everton supporters. Most are so happy over the loss of Liverpool, Please look at the game from the side of both teams before you run your mouth off about being in the middle and thus your opinion would be the most fair.

  15. Django

    March 23, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    PS–by “huge title implications”, I do not mean to say that Liverpool were on their way to a title by winning–I’m a huge fan, but not delusional.

  16. Django

    March 23, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I’m flattered you agree with parts of my evaluation, but I don’t want the other important part of my post dismissed. I do not blame Bennett for the loss, that is clear, but I do blame him for placing himself dead-center in a match with huge title implications. EPLNFL puts it about as well as I could–there have been many times in watching Bennett that I think, “He’s booking that player because he doesn’t know what else to do”. The best sporting officials are unemotional, calm, and collected. Bennett has never given me that impression. What do I know about officiating a footie match? Shit. But I do know that vindictiveness has no place in the world of officiating, whether it’s at the rec park or in the Premier league. A couple weeks ago a character in “The Wire” said “deserve got nothin’ to do with it”. That applies here–who cares who deserves what, Masch acted like an idiot, but all is not well with the FA and its officials when we’re singing an official’s praises for sending a player off. Objectivity among officials is a joke, it always has been. What is the next step…robots, maybe?

  17. eplnfl

    March 23, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    I have had the chance to see all of the action that caused the ejection and while it is clear that Mascherano was a clown and needs his rear end kicked by his manager, this is another instance of Bennett showing his complete lack of ability to be a Prem ref or any other professional league for that matter. Go back and review his record and you will seem either losing control of a game or trying to show his authority by being quick on the draw with the cards.

  18. Michael

    March 23, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Django, I agree with a lot of what you’re saying.

    I didn’t write this post at the end of the game, I wrote it at halftime, so there wasn’t the full 90 minutes for me to talk about. I agree, the bigger story in this game was that United took it to Liverpool and did so even when the Reds had 11 men. Mascherano’s dismissal forced Liverpool to change their shape, as you identified, and all-in-all, this was just a different Liverpool team than the one we’ve seen in the past month or so.

  19. Django

    March 23, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Die-hard Liverpool fan, and I had some similar thoughts, some different than what is posted here. I think it’s unfortunate that the game has been reduced to an argument about whether or not Masch deserved a second yellow. I saw a different Liverpool today than I’ve seen in recent weeks–early on I thought it was jitters, but even in the twenty or so minutes before Masch was sent off they looked unsettled. It may have been that Man U are that much better, but there was no flow. Tactically speaking, there is little to assess, as they didn’t have much possession prior to the sending off and after the sending off there was really no attack. Gerrard was forced to sit deeper, leaving Torres to be marked by two men at a time. I was upset at Masch for getting over involved, but I can understand the emotion. Liverpool were outclassed, which is difficult to say, and the huzzah over the red card will take most of the blame. I won’t say good for Steve Bennett, because a sporting event should never, NEVER, be about the officials. Clearly the FA has had problems recently, but the post-game story should not focus on the man with the whistle. Would have been nice to see the match without the three-ring circus, regrettably we won’t know, and I have a feeling the Pool would have lost anyhow.

  20. p itbull

    March 23, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    if mascherano had spent more time running after the manchester united players instead of the referee you might have kept it down to 2-0. as it was reina did his best to keep it down to 3-0. stop blaming everybody else and you might get somewhere

  21. please talk sence

    March 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Can someone please tell me what ashley cole kicking someone and mascherano asking “whats going on” have in coomon and i mean without bias. WHAT WE SAW TODAY WAS YET ANOTHER WEAK REF GIVING IN TO FERGIES MOIND GAME, WHICH AS BEEN PLAYING ALL bennet wont get a game at anfield in a hurry. they will linck the bafoon.

  22. dave norwich through and through

    March 23, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    i sat down today to watch what sky billed as another suoer sunday. thought this is going to be close. but that buffoon benett did it again . spoilt another good game for us nuetrals. what happened, torres asked for protection, and got booked. macherano asked whats hapopening, got booked for having the impertanance to ask a question and the game was over. i think his subsequent reaction will lead to trouble, but bennet also lost the plot and should be deciplined. but that wont happen. i wont pay for sky again as the refs are ruining the game. he should be relegated he ruin what i payed to watch

  23. Ringo

    March 23, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    It’s time all players ,including captains ,where told ,
    “under no circumstances do you talk to the officials”.
    Or would that be too simple?

  24. Michael

    March 23, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    He said “fuck off” in English multiple times! That wasn’t hard to pick up, and it revealed a very ugly set of teeth I might add.

    And yes, I do think Mascherano deserved to be sent off for dissent. He’d basically been asking for another card and ignored Bennett’s warnings to walk away; Mascherano persisted on talking to Bennett and put himself in a bad situation.

    As I said in one of my previous posts, Ashley Cole should’ve been sent off for his tackle on Hutton and was fortunate not to be, and then was very fortunate to get another yellow card for showing up Mike Riley.

  25. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    So if he was speaking Spanish how do you know he repeatedly said fuck off. And I wasn’t reading his lips straight of the TV Andy Gray said on the last word that Bennett said I’m going to send you off. Do you really thing that Mascherano deserved to be sent of for talking to the referee. I admit he did go to the ref one time too many. But if Mascherano is going to get sent of for that and Torres gets booked for it, what should have happened to Ashley Cole, he took talking the referee to a whole new level. His behaviour was ridiculous and disrespectful and what does he get, a yellow card…

  26. Michael

    March 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Ryan, let me ask you something.

    I believe, in post #22, that you asked “.. how can the guy a feww comments up say that he said “**** off” when he was talking to the ref in spanish”, so obviously you believe Mascherano was talking to Bennett in Spanish.

    And then, in post #25, you said “Masch wasn’t running his mouth he just asked why Torres had been booked. And Torres had just asked why he wasn’t getting more protection when Mascherano had been booked for nothing more than what Ferdinand was doing.”, and in post #27, you said “20 seconds? he walked up to big Steve and said “what’s going on” and big Steve said “I’m gonna send you off”.”

    Interesting. So not only can you read lips on TV, you can read the lips of someone speaking Spanish to the referee?

    Bennett didn’t even say anything to Mascherano, he pointed in the other direction to indicate that Mascherano needed to walk away or get the second yellow card.

    Oh, and by the way, Mascherano did say “fuck off” repeatedly, just not to Bennett. He said it earlier in the game after committing one of his multiple fouls.

    I’m not a Liverpool fan and I’m not a Manchester United fan; I could care less who wins the title. I just call it like I see it, and Mascherano definitely showed his immaturity today.

  27. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    We don’t know exactly what was said, but Javi walked up and said something, Bennett immediately said he would said him off. I’m sure he didn’t run 40 yards to say **** off.

  28. Shakira Graham

    March 23, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    None of us know exactly and ver baitum what Masch and Bennett said to each other so to say mach didnt say anything wrong is is well wrong. Get a grip ‘Pool fans.

  29. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    And I was watching the Andy Gray version on the last word 😉

  30. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Who do you support?

  31. RS

    March 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    I guess you were watching the”Liverpool” version of the match and I was watching the “neutral fan” version.

  32. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    20 seconds? he walked up to big Steve and said “what’s going on” and big Steve said “I’m gonna send you off”.

  33. RS

    March 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Masch kept going back numerous times in those 20 seconds to keep yelling. With a yellow card, YOU HAVE TO JUST WALK AWAY. Plain and simple. Time to get the Wambulance to pick up Masch and the boys and drive them straight out of the CL next year. wah wah wah Keep crying ‘poolers. See ya in 5th.

  34. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    RS shut your mouth, how will Liverpool finish fifth when there 2 points clear of Everton and will go 5 clear when they beat them next week. Masch wasn’t running his mouth he just asked why Torres had been booked.

    And Torres had just asked why he wasn’t getting more protection when Mascherano had been booked for nothing more than what Ferdinand was doing.

    Maybe you should use your head.

  35. RS

    March 23, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Whether the card was deserved or not you have to use your head in that instance. Mascherano kept running his mouth and now his team will end up in 5th after next weekend’s round of games. I love watching the ‘poolers bitch and complain after their team blows. It is so entertaining.

  36. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    ‘Ohbewant’ you said further replays showed Javier Mascherano said **** off, what’s your source?

  37. Ryan

    March 23, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Michael, you obviously don’t have a clue what it means the play like United and Liverpool. Steve Bennett had no right to book Torres oh simply asked him for some protection, he was getting kicked of the park all day, and we later found out that he damaged his ankle and ribs thanks to Rio Ferdinand. In a game like that Mascherano had every right to ask Steve Bennett why Torres had been booked and that was all he said. If a player can’t walk up to a referee and ask a question in a non-aggresive way it’s a very sad day for football. And how can the guy a feww comments up say that he said “**** off” when he was talking to the ref in spanish.

    One phrase sums it up really “The referee’s a ******”

  38. eplnfl

    March 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    I did not see the match. So maybe I should just keep my mouth shut. When I see Steve Bennett on the pitch I usually say oh no!

    Fans can recall big games that he let get out of hand. Maybe that it is in the back of his mind during a game like today with title implications. Just a thought, for all I know he was entirely justified. However, some of you here may take a similar view towards Bennett as I do.

  39. Ian Wood

    March 23, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I think the many people are missing the point re: Mascherano’s sending off. The referee had a poor game overall. He booked Mascherano for a foul on Scholes which warranted a warning. Clearly Mascherano only has himself top blame for being dismissed for dissent but that should have been his first yellow, not his second. I am a Liverpool fan, but even I can admit that Steve Bennett made bad decisions against Manchester United as well. Much as I dislike Rio Ferdinand, I thought the yellow card in the second half was a bit harsh. Conversely, he and Vidic got away with a lot of challenges, particularly on Torres, in the first half without the yellow card being brandished once. It was also interesting that a hard challenge by Torres on Vidic did not result in a second yellow. The reason for this, in my opinion, in the referee had already backed himself into a corner with the earlier soft yellow card to given to Torres for dissent and did not want to send off a second Liverpool player. I think the FA needs to set a rule that only team captains can talk to the referee. Furthermore, this rule must be clearly communicated and consistently upheld by all referees. If it is, perhaps dissent can be elimiated from the modern game.

  40. JohnnyCanuck

    March 23, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I am a HUGE diehard lfc fan, and I am extremely thankful that Gerrard didn’t go over to the ref as well. In his earlier years, he would have been over at the ref the second Torres got a yellow, and I applaud him for not. This may be a ‘canadian’ point of view, but I think Mascherano was an idiot for going up to the ref. Nothing that he could have said would have changed the ref’s descision, and there was no need to let down the entire team by getting a needless red card. If Gerrard or any other player had gone over the the ref as well, he would have gotten at least a yellow. Not that I agree with Bennet’s descision, but I think Mascherano brought it upon himself. He was too pumped up for the game, and although that is usually a good thing, I personally would rather have 11 okay, not passionate players than one who got sent off, ruining the entire game for the reds. Just an opinion, though.

  41. jatnic

    March 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Just a bunch of Liverpool gripers. Macherano or not, your team did not have a good game. He always gets on his high horse with a bad attitude every game. So he did what he always does and paid for it this time. Stop making excuses for him.

  42. Philip

    March 23, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I’ll admit I’m a die hard Liverpool supporter but even still you might as well given Bennett a red jersey because he was certainly looking out for them. Booking Torres for getting fouled then asking for a little help, it was discusting.

    Mascherano had every right to be a mad. He might have taken it a bit far but any footballer would be after the crap call he got. It’s like Bennett wasn’t even watching the way he called things. Someone should sit him down to watch the replays and see if he sticks by his decision because half the calls he made went the wrong way.

    To say Liverpool didn’t show up is just wrong. Even with 10 men they still gave a good showing and Reina might not of been on top form but he still made some spectacular saves. The game just turned into a farce and Bennett was against Liverpool from the start. If Man U didn’t pay Bennett off they should because he certainly did good to them.

  43. Mark Hollings

    March 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Both Mascherano and Bennett didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory. Yeah, I think the player should not have been surprised at the sending-off. But watching Clattenburg’s solid performance in the later match made me appreciate what a good referee does. He doesn’t sit back and allow things to escalate, relying solely on his cards to control the match. A good referee would’ve taken charge early on and told both the player (and his captain) that he was walking a very thin line. The thing about Bennett is that there are always surprises with him. When he gets a match, you never know what will transpire, and that’s a shame when it happens in one of the biggest matches of the season.

  44. Jane Higgins

    March 23, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I don’t support any of the top four so.. I’m not the Liverpool fan you may be looking for…. but I don’t agree that “… Liverpool didn’t show up…”. Certainly their keeper had a nightmare, which is unusual for him but, otherwise, they were playing well…. until Mr. Bennet decided that he should become the star of the show.

    Compare this game to the Arsenal/Chelsea game where football was the winner. Sure there were a few doubtful decisions but, generally, the game was not spoiled by the officials.

    Anyway, perhaps one of the other teams might still give Man U a good challenge depsite the obvious and constant preferrential threatment United receive.

  45. Shakira Graham

    March 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    And still no Liverpool fan has admitted that they didn’t show up. You would swear it was the ref that won the game for United not the poor play and mental block Liverpool have when playing United. Nice to know it’s never anyone at Liverpools fault for anything.

  46. Ohbewant

    March 23, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Further replays showed that Mascherano did say “Fxxx Off” .

  47. Daz sewell

    March 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Hold up, he done nothing more than ask a question. Why should Torres get booked when hes just been kicked twice. His first yellow was a standard foul, which did not warrant a yellow. Bennett was hell bent and issuing cards to Liverpool players from kick off.

    We’ve seen Man U and Chelsea of late pushing, sorrounding and bee aggressive towards refs with no punishment at all.

    Torres and Mascharano simply ask him a question. Can noone speak to the ref anymore?

    Andy Grays comments at half time were spot on.

    Michael is a scum fan by the sounds of it.
    I’m nuetral but the ref performance ruined this match as a spectical.

    (i support Hartlepool United by the way)

    Cheers Daz

  48. TheScout

    March 23, 2008 at 11:55 am

    He was not “talking” to the ref…he was having a go at him and disrepecting the officials is not acceptable. He was already on a yellow and should have showed some restraint and intelligence. He raced half a field to argue that call so clearly he had lost the plot at that point.

    I’m sorry but the “all the calls went United’s way” is just sour grapes.

  49. Emma

    March 23, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Ok, Masch was stupid to get invovled, but IT WAS NOT A SENDING OFF! You simply cannot get sent off for talking reasonably to a ref. He was just stating his authority with that one, its pathetic. Torres gets fouled and asks why its not a foul, and gets a yellow! Clearly the teammates would be angry. I was disappointed in Gerrard for not showing the passion that Masch did, but Gerrard did not talk to the ref about it, Masch did. And he was perfectly civil; didn’t swear/curse the ref or anything like Cole did. And yet Mascherano gets penalized for Ashley Coles mistake.

    And its not just that, all decisions went Uniteds way and they always do. It’s hard losing against 12 men all the time!

  50. Shakira Graham

    March 23, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Anyone notice how Liverpool didn’t turn up for the match today period. Instead of blaming it on the ref but I know its never Liverpools fault, how about blaming your players who didnt come to play instead of Bennett, just a thought.

  51. Jane Higgins

    March 23, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Another typical example of how Man U are favoured in any match at Old Trafford. Look back over the past seasons and tot up all of the ‘benefits’ bestowed upon United at OT. I like to think that these ‘bad decisions’ even themselves out over time but certainly not in Man U’s case.

    The referee turned this game into a farce and may well have had a major part in deciding who wins the league this year. Referees are good when they are almost invisible but it seems they want to be the stars now. We should be talking about the football… not the inability of the referee to do their job.

  52. Michael

    March 23, 2008 at 10:58 am

    To be honest, no, I didn’t believe Mascherano deserved the first yellow card, and yes, I watched the whole game, thanks.

    Whether or not he deserved the yellow card is a moot point, however, because the fact of the matter is that he got one. That’s the bottom line. Argue all you want about it, whatever, it doesn’t matter.

    Once he got that yellow card, he shouldn’t have put himself in a situation where he could easily get another one. As I said, Mascherano was whistled for two or three more fouls and by the letter of the law, could’ve been booked a second time for persistent infringement but wasn’t. He kept yapping at Steve Bennett every time he had the chance and then, when Torres got a quick yellow card, went out of his way to keep talking.

    Mascherano isn’t the captain; he shouldn’t be talking to the referee in the first place, especially when English isn’t his first language and sometimes things can be misunderstood. He put himself in a bad situation and paid the price, and he clearly hurt his team in a big way by forcing them to play 10 v 11.

  53. dragonki2012

    March 23, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I applaud you for being an idiot Michael.

    Did you watch the game?
    I hope so.

    I mean did you really think Mascerano deserved a yellow card inside 10 minutes?

    Torres, just a few minutes before his booking, dodged one rough tackle, and was hit by two United players, when he finally went down, he got a foul. All good, but I mean doesn’t he get the protection?

    It’s fucked up. He shouldn’t have been sent off.

    It sucks that the disciplinary action that should of been handed out to a dumb ass like A. Cole during mid-week were finally demonstrated upon a man that didn’t deserve it, Mascherano.

    Go back and read his lips, he says nothing awful.

    Don’t try to make this into Bennett standing up for himself because that’s not the case.

    The case that should be made is something that Rafa will say in his conference later, watch.

    English referees are horrible, after watching Serie A yesterday, you can see how refereeing should be done.
    With no influence from the crowd.

    I just hate seeing referees give out red cards for dumb reasons and ruin game after game.

    Sorry sir but you are wrong. And are probably just happy that United won & not that they won thanks to the referee, AGAIN.

  54. Shakira Graham

    March 23, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I agree there is no consistency in the reffing in the EPL but after all the press given to the Cashly Cole incidnet it doesnt surprise me that Masch got sent off. If your already on a yellow common sense tells you that you should be a little more careful. Liverpool lost the match by thier pathetic play and Masch got himself sent off but I am sure plenty of Liverpool fans will defending him whinging it wasnt fair.

  55. Moose

    March 23, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Yeah, let’s start cracking down with the respect shit during a Man U/Liv game.

    What a tool. Trashed the game. Masch’s first yellow was a joke, he saw he was late, tried to pull out, put all studs down, first tackle of the game, yellow. From then on Bennett ruined the game.

    Total bs.

  56. Michael

    March 23, 2008 at 10:34 am

    That’s exactly the point, Eric., you’re right. There was NO need for Mascherano to keep running his mouth, he already had a yellow card and Steve Bennett has a pretty short leash anyway. You would think that either Gerrard or Carragher, the captain and vice-captain, would talk to the referee about the Torres incident, but no, Mascherano had to persist on yapping.

    I think this brings up a bigger issue: Who should be allowed to talk to the referee and question his decisions?

    I know that in rugby, they’re pretty strict on only the captain being allowed to speak to the referee. In hockey here in the US, it’s usually either the captain or one of the two alternate captains who speak to the referees and/or linesmen.

    It’s a joke when four or five guys crowd around the referee in soccer and harass him. I’ve seen players make contact with the man in charge and not be punished. It’s ridiculous.

  57. Eric

    March 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

    He already had a yellow. You have to be smart once you’ve been booked — let one of other 10 guys talk to Bennett about Torres. Just not smart.

    And I’m an Arsenal fan, so I was really hoping Liverpool could have gotten something out of this.

  58. I speak Veritas

    March 23, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Having seen the replay any player worth their own salt would have stood up for their fellow team mate upon being booked for getting kicked by three man u players. Surely Torres’ plea to Bennett for protection which led to the booking illustrates how out of touch any man in black is to the game and to the players. Rather apt that this has all occurred a few days after Riley was made to look like a spectator in A. Cole’s petulant tirade. No consistency whatsoever, and when in one match an event was not refereed adequately, then why o why over referee it in the next. Grow up and use common sense if that’s not too taxing!

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