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Did Nani Cheat With His Controversial Goal Against Spurs? (Video)

On Saturday, Manchester United’s Nani scored a goal against Tottenham Hotspur which was extremely controversial and will be the topic of many conversations over the next few days. Looking at it again and again, the goal was a result of poor sportsmanship by Nani and a mix-up in communication between Spurs goalkeeper Heurehlo Gomes and the referee and assistant referee.

The incident happened after Nani made a run inside the Tottenham box late in the second half. There was minimal contact on Nani but he continued to run into the box and then dived to the ground and handled the ball. At this point, it appeared that Gomes believed that a free kick had been awarded to Spurs, so as he prepared to take it and waited for his players to get into permission, Nani ran near the ball and poked it past Gomes into the net. Nani celebrated in front of the Stretford End as Clattenburg ran over to his assistant to discuss the incident. After a brief discussion, the goal was awarded to Manchester United. And the Tottenham players went berserk, surrounding the referee and assistant referee in complete disbelief that the goal had been given.

The goal was legitimate but a cheap one. Nani shouldn’t have dived in the box in the first place. And second, a free kick should have been given for Nani’s hand ball. Then Gomes made the mistake of misunderstanding what call the referee had made. To make matters worse, Nani was unsportsmanlike to kick the ball into the net. Sure, the ball was live but it was a cheap goal made even cheaper after his ridiculous dive in the box and hand ball just seconds earlier.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson blamed the incident on Gomes by saying,

“You can look at the referee and look at the linesmen and blame them, but the goalkeeper should know better. He’s an experienced goalkeeper. I thought he made a mess of it. The referee played on because the goalkeeper took possession of the ball. He then went to take a free-kick thinking it was a foul. He made an error.”

And, not surprisingly, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp saw it the other way around:

“It was handball. He put his hand on the ball and dragged it down. He should have been booked. The referee didn’t see him handball it, that’s why he’s allowed play to go on. The assistant referee has seen it, that’s why he’s flagged. He’s handled the ball. If he’s handled the ball he should be booked and it’s a free-kick. Gomes puts the ball down to take a free-kick. It’s obvious. Why would he stand there and leave the ball there after he saw him handball it?”

What do you think? Did Nani cheat? Should he have exercised better sportsmanship? Should the goal have stood? Who was right, Ferguson or Redknapp? Share your opinion in the comments section below.

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  1. Leiuh

    March 10, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Play the whistle. play the whistle. play the whistle. This is what i usually advise my players of. Please, play the whistle. Gomes made an error by assuming that the erring referee and his assistant referee had awarded a free kick. For Nani, i don’t think he bleached the 17+1 law of the game. The referee had not awarded a free kick and Gomes was in possession of the ball and he played it by releasing from his custody and Nani was looking for goals for his team. What else did you expect him to do?

    • NotTheNoob

      March 10, 2011 at 3:23 am

      Four months later, and this goal is still being talked about. Have you seen the whole sequence in its entirety, without any cutaways?
      See it here:

    • Manchester U Freak

      April 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Some people just don’t get the point! The reason you don’t see the goal as an ungentlemanly thing is because you are a Man U. fanatic!!!!!
      It would be pointless to explain how, or to use an analogy to make the point of Nani’s disgusting display of poor sportsmanship.

  2. Manchester U Freak

    January 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    So many typical responses from hooliganish, Manchester United fanatics who are blinded by their team loyalty till it makes onlookers sick to their stomach.

    Any ass who knows the difference between the ‘the letter of the law’ and the spirit of the law’ will see this whole disgusting episode for what it truly is.

    You Nanis need some poo.

  3. man u foreva

    November 3, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Im a big man u fan but im sorry to say that Nani is a diver and im very sad to say this but i thought we got rid of one diver ie ronaldo now we have a guy who is a lot worse .
    The ref that day was a joke ,if that had happend to my man u team id be fuming and so would mr ferguson and so would our fans (do u think he would of said yeh it a fair goal ) nani is a cheat end of and not very sportman like we had won the game whys he got to go so low.
    sell the diver to real madrid he can learn all about cheating there .

    • Premierleaguered

      November 4, 2010 at 3:30 am

      I don’t think you are a United fan .A true United fan will never call his club as “MAN U” .I think you are stupid cry baby or looserfool or rent boy or tottingam fan

  4. Bob

    November 2, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Nani’s attitude towards the game is shocking. How on earth could you be so arrogant as to celebrate a cheap goal like that? A disgrace to sportsmen everywhere.

    Even if there was the chance to score, I would like to think many a player would have left it, on principle, especially if they had knowingly dived and handled the ball mere seconds before without punishment.

  5. Joey B

    November 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    There are several individuals at fault. But the way I see it, the responsibility lies with the assistant referee. Compare it to a goal that was scored from an offside position. There isn’t a whistle. The ref consults the AR, is informed of the infraction, a free kick is given, and no goal is awarded. Something similar should have followed.

  6. Premierleaguered

    November 2, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Gaffer ,Nani dived????

    Look at some of the explanations by referees ,including Alan Wiley ,the man who Sir Alex labeled Unfit .Then decide who is to be blamed.

    • The Gaffer

      November 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

      Arjun, Nani dived, plain and simple. He was flopping like a salmon out of water.

      Who cares what Wiley or Poll said? The truth is in front of our eyes! 🙂

      The Gaffer

      • Premierleaguered

        November 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

        The truth is that you are ignorant ,you are contradicting the referees views ,who have great experience in the game n have handled these kinds situation (i’m taking about the penalty claim) n obviously know more football than you n me.You also claim that pulling a player by his shirt n hugging him is no foul n to your notice a player doesn’t get a penalty unless n otherwise he falls down.Nani tried to stay on his feet ,but lost his balance in the process n fell down.

        Regarding his goal ,any player in the league would have done that.No player would be so stupid to hand the ball to gomes.This goal is mainly due to the dumbness of a circus man Gomes,even kids know PLAY TO THE WHISTLE ,you can’t assume things on your own in the field.

        If it’s unsportsmanlike ,then what you would say when Bale rolled the ball over the line n continued to play ,winning a corner for his team (stating that the referee didn’t notice that ,in Nani’s case this applies.The linesman or the ref didn’t notice the handball).If the corner has been converted will the Spurs players say the ball rolled over the line ,we don’t deserve the goal as it is unsportsmanlike???
        Will you label Bale a CHEAT???
        Think Gaffer ,before you label some one as Cheat.

  7. Cid

    November 2, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Handball or no handball, whistle or no whistle. If you’re a goalie and there’s some forward from the opposing team standing next to the ball pointing at it and talking to the ref, DO THE SAFE THING AND JUST KICK IT. Downfield, out of bounds, whatever- just get it off your doorstep!

    People act like this all happened so quickly- it really didn’t. There’s a good 3-5 seconds after the ball is on the ground where Gomes is looking at Nani, Nani is looking at the ref, the ref is looking at Nani, and one of the United midfielders (sorry, can’t remember who now) is making all kinds of exaggerated arm movements telling Nani to kick the ball.

    If I’m Gomes and I see all this arm waving and confusion going on, I’m kicking the ball. Don’t care where it goes- at least it doesn’t end up in my net.

  8. Alex

    November 2, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Are we all missing the fact that Nani’s shirt was actually grabbed? Whether he dived or not, the penalty was still there, so chances are he would have scored anyway…

  9. joseph marshall

    November 2, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Kaboul was all over nani, arms around him, then a pull on the shirt, i think a strikers entitled to go down as a result of a shirt pull/

  10. Tom R

    November 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Sorry David The Yank – but you are mistaken here.

    I have played football at some level or another for 15+ years to know this much:

    ‘The laws are quite clear on when a handling is worthy of a caution: when a player “deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession”’.

    Nani handled the ball with the SOLE intention of stopping a Spurs player getting that ball, and to dictate the run of play (in order to persuade the referee by insinuation) by picking the ball up for a penalty that he believed he had won.

    He hadn’t.

    Therefore he did just what you said: “deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession”.

    You think he deliberately handled the ball to control it onto his foot? He was sprawled on the ground!

    • David the Yank

      November 1, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      Hi, Tom. Please, please please do not put me in a position of defending Nani. I cannot and will not do so. (The only player more disgusting this weekend was Chamakh who immediately goes into the flying airplane pose if you just breathe on him. Referees have been trained to look for the flying airplane pose as an obvious signal of a player who is diving, yet Chamakh gets away with it week after week after week.) Your original post (along with many others, just look above) simply stated that Nani should be booked for “a deliberate handball”. My main point is that people in the games I play every weekend constantly call “hand ball” for inadvertent balls-to-hand, whereas deliberate handball is the ONLY handball that can be called a foul. And no, Nani did a lot of terrible things, but he never stopped any Spur from playing the ball. I’ve watched the highlight at least 30x, and, in fact, after Nani handled, with no Spur within 5 yards of him, Gomes came running over and picked up the ball, and Nani never prevented Gomes from taking the ball in hand. He deliberately handled the ball to express his displeasure that Clattenburg didn’t call a penalty. Clattenburg would have been well within his rights to book Nani for both the dive and the petulant behavior, so we are in agreement on that. (I have refereed for over 30 years and regularly write a column on refereeing.)

  11. John

    November 1, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    This is ref classical mistake. If he gave the advantage and that did not realized, then he should have whistle for a handball. The advantage rule clearly stated that if the ref gives and then in the next few seconds it does not materialized (like it happened here). Then the ref should have call the prior foul (handling). He should have also give a yellow card to Nani for deliberated handling the ball (and might be another one for diving). That ref should not be allowed to ref a premier league game. Nani should be suspended for his lack of “fair play”.

  12. Tom R

    November 1, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Arsenal Station: see above. It happens every season at OT.

    – how can advantage be played for a deliberate handball when that is a yellow card offence? (I assume you think the advantage was played for Spurs for handball — I do not think advantage was played at all Clattenberg was just waving play on as if nothing untoward happened at all). Yellow card offence means immediate booking and free kick, you cannot play advantage there pal.
    – Even if it was an advantage being played for Gomes (which the guy obviously did not realise was happening), I ask you have you EVER seen advantage been played in a keepers area with the team still in their own half, United players in similar positions still marking up?) That is probably the only situation where you can never play advantage!
    – Gomes saw hand ball as did everyone else in the stadium, except MC. Therefore he put ball down whilst that diving retard Nani was still writhing around simulating being injured (a yellow card in itself).
    – Wake up mate. This kind of football can’t go on. (You must know, Nasri and Eboue are Hollywood performers)… Stop the rot

    • David the Yank

      November 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm

      Hi, Tom. Not a United fan here, and you can see from above I think both the linesman and Clattenburg erred but I’ll answer your questions.
      1) It was NOT a yellow card offense on Nani. Somehow people think a deliberate handling is a yellow card offense. Not true. Actually a deliberate handling is a FOUL. A non-deliberate handling is NOT a foul. The laws are quite clear on when a handling is worthy of a caution: when a player “deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession” or if he “attempts to score a goal by handling” (like Maradona). Nani did neither. He was petulant. He threw a fit. But he could not be given a yellow card for his deliberate handling. It was just a foul.
      2) As I’ve said before, referees should be EXTREMELY cautious about ever giving advantage when a team is deep in their own half. But the exception is when a keeper has ball in hand. The error I think MC made was not screaming to Gomes or running over to tell him he was playing advantage. Or even blowing his whistle the second Gomes put the ball down just to clear things up. I was surprised to hear today that MC is adamant he DID see the handling. (On MoTD, it looked like MC was clearly screened and the linesman never flagged, which is almost criminal.)

      3) MC could have booked Nani for diving!

      4) Gomes could have just waited for Nani to clear the area before playing the ball or putting it down. I am sure he has learned that lesson. Remember, he has now been red carded and made this horrendous error in quick succession. He has a lot to learn about being a professional goalkeeper…

      • Why?

        November 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm

        So let me get this straight then David, why do you think Nani pulls and holds the ball then? And what was the outcome of him handling the ball?. I’ll give you a few options:

        A) Clean some mud off an otherwise spotlessly clean ball.
        B) It was an accident as he was reaching for his chewing gum in his pocket.
        C) It was the same Martian mind control ray that made the otherwise non-cheating ,very sporting Nani do the two dives he did in this game.
        D) He deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession.

        Do you think if was to stop the opposition gaining possession?

        Two parts of the rulings:-

        ‘Disciplinary sanctions
        There are circumstances when a caution for unsporting behaviour is required
        when a player deliberately handles the ball, e.g. when a player:
        • deliberately and blatantly handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining

        ‘handles the ball to prevent an opponent gaining possession or developing
        an attack (other than the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)’

        If he threw a fit or not his action WAS and DID to stop the opposition gaining possession and it’s always a yellow.

        A massive part of baldy’s fxxk up was his grinning face while shrugging his shoulders to Nani as if to say what up carry on. I now believe he didn’t play any advantage and he simply played on. Meaning when the liner tells him about the handball, which he clearly does wiggy just ignores it, now that does need some explaining if indeed it is the case.

  13. Reno

    November 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Simulating injury when Gomez taps his shoulder in passing-yellow
    Result- goal for Nani
    Business as usual.

  14. Arsenal Station

    November 1, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Not sure the goal was “unsportsmanlike…” Clattenburg played advantage which was completely in his right to do so. It’s not his fault that Gomes just wasn’t paying attention to what was really happening rather than what he thought should’ve happened. I don’t fault Nani for putting the ball in the net. Hell, a Spurs player would’ve done the same if it had been at the other end. The only problem there is that against United at Old Trafford, it more than likely would not have been given somehow.

    • Why?

      November 2, 2010 at 6:01 pm

      Please explain the advantage Clattenburg played? I’d love to know what it was.

  15. the devil himself

    November 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    and when bale saw the ball going over the line and played on that was fair play? I dont see you writing an article calling him a cheat

    • Bishopville Red

      November 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      Amen. And all these people talking about Nani lacking sportsmanship but conveniently forgetting the grabs by Kaboul in the box.

      Convenient use of the “facts” to ignore the fact that Spurs just aren’t there yet.

  16. B

    November 1, 2010 at 10:32 am

    There is no doubt that the referee made a tremendous error. But what I’ve been thinking is: what’s the meaning of fair play in football? Does it stand only for injures during the game? Earlier this summer Uruguay’s Suarez stopped a goal with a handball and “saved” his team, Suarez was considered as a cheat!
    Nevertheless, Gomez shouldn’t have made it easy for Nani.

  17. Sir Guy

    November 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I see on the Prem’s official site that Nani has declared, “Now I can say I’m one of the top players in the world.”

    Give me strength.

    • The Gaffer

      November 1, 2010 at 10:12 am

      Nani is now one of the top cheats in the world, more like it.

      The Gaffer

  18. Mike

    November 1, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Back to basics. Mancheater United scored TWICE. The disputed goal was and is irrelavant, it was NOT the winning goal. Tottenhams real problem is that THEY DID NOT SCORE A GOAL..

  19. brazilian

    November 1, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Nani should take a long look at himself. Yes Gomes should play to the whistle, and yes the lineman/ref got it wrong, but Nani knew that he intentionally handled the ball after he went down like a sack of spuds 10 yards after his shirt was actually pulled. For me that is two instances in 10 seconds of a player cheating and being un-professional.

    Plus, i don’t know how a referee can claim to play advantage to a team who is 5 yards from there goal.

  20. fan

    November 1, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Nani is there to play & to win in addition to the Golden rule. I agree with fergi.. The keeper should follow the central referee not the assistance b/c he is assistance. Rather Nani should be appreciated b/c he gave a lesson to spurs keeper.

  21. Tom R

    October 31, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    This issue has little to do with “playing the whistle”, refereeing mistakes, or (incorrectly) incompetent goalkeepers.

    It is about the worsening state of the attitude of certain footballers (growing number), starting and most prevalent at the upper reaches of the Premier League.

    The (starting with) Klinsmanns, Robbie Savages, C. Ronaldos, Nanis, Nasris, Eboues, Drogbas, the list is sadly growing with every new campaign. Mainly foreign p*ss-takers and cheats are bringing this game we all love to its lowest level, to its knees eventually – resulting in managers having to defend their players’ actions making those middle aged men look like complete brainless puppets/muppets.

    “He dived but the goal was OK”

    If you believe the above statement regarding this goal on the weekend then you are either extremely immature (mind of an under 10 year-old), or morally bankrupt beyond belief – but most importantly you miss the point at hand completely.

    It is not about winning through cheating, it is through playing like real men, winning with integrity, with utmost respect for your opponents and the referee. Without this, there is ZERO point in sport. Man United vs. Tottenham Hotspur might as well be a game of poker. Oh no actually you’d need IQ levels a bit higher than 20 for that.

    Nani should not have even considered playing that ball having dived but more importantly HANDLED THE BALL intentionally in the Spurs box.

    Nani and his type are ruining football and we ain’t concerned at this long-term level who wins the three points on the day, it is about our sport becoming even more of a joke – and kids will literally grow up to be cheats. Literally. Yes they do copy what they see on TV.

    FA – stop the rot and reprimand cheating — after games — There is simply no other option.

  22. Mike

    October 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    The goal is classful, maybe you’re classless!

    • Nick

      October 31, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      Not the goal. His celebration. Or maybe your definition of class if different from the rest of the world’s.

  23. Nick

    October 31, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Had in been in Nani’s position, I probably would have kicked the ball into the back of the net as well, but I wouldn’t have gone on to celebrate in the classless way that he did. Not even against Spurs, and I’m an Arsenal fan.

    • Nick

      October 31, 2010 at 5:20 pm

      Had I*

  24. Mike

    October 31, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Always play to the whistle, the goal was a legit one and there’s nothing anyone can say to call it back.

  25. Squiz-Wolf

    October 31, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Irrespective of what the laws of the game say, the one thing that this goal was missing was SPORTSMANSHIP.

  26. Terry

    October 31, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Nani “the diver” has never exhibited sportmanship at any time in his career. Why would he start now. What he did was against the spirit of the game. That said, the biggest complaint goes to the officials for not getting the initial call correctly.

    The officiating in the EPL is absolutely terrible. Today, in the Newcastle-Sunderland game there were four straight yellow cards that were not deserving. Unfortunately the FA won’t do anything about poor officiating as they are always defending the referees. Too bad.

  27. Football Souvenirs

    October 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    He clearly used his hand in the build up to the goal but as this wasn’t given Spurs and Gomez shoudl play to the whistle. Basic error from Gomez really

  28. James

    October 31, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I think that gomez was directly responsible for the goal, because the ref didn’t give a freekick, gomez could have played it like it wasnt a freekick and nani would not have had the chance to put the ball in the back of the net. Gomez should listen to the referee. No one would be blaming the ref for this decision if gomez hadn’t had played it like a freekick.

  29. Pete

    October 31, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Firstly as a Spurs fan, I must admit that Utd were more incisive throughout and deserved to win BUT the blame for the second goal debacle clearly lies with the referees assistant for not flagging IMMEDIATELY for handball when Nani went down and handled the ball which the lino clearly saw and Clattenberg may not have from where he was positioned.
    Lino only raised the flag after Nani had stolen the loose ball. TOO LATE.
    One other major gripe, 1-0 down, 6 mins to go, Spurs back line stroll away as though sleepwalking, at least Gomes was on the hurry up.

  30. d rock

    October 31, 2010 at 11:59 am

    when the ref says play the ball, you play the ball. end of.
    all you United haters can stuff it, your team would do the same.

    and since we kept a clean sheet, it doesnt matter anyways. 1-0 or 2-0 we still won the match.

  31. This One Guy in Detroit

    October 31, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Wherever one stands on this particular incident, I think we can all agree that football remains infinitely entertaining. Every week it’s something else.

  32. jleau

    October 31, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Wow that was a mess of officiating. I don’t want to get into calling players cheaters, but there was some sort of call there. It looks to me that all players on both sides thought that to be the case. Hell even Nani thinks a couple of times before he kicks the ball into the net.

    I don’t get all these calls that Nani should not have played the ball. He asked the ref, and was told it was a live ball. If the ball is live you play it no matter what. At least in the US that’s what your taught in every sport from the time that you start.

    Should not have been a goal and Clattenburg didn’t have any control over the situation which is his job.

  33. RVPFan

    October 31, 2010 at 10:37 am

    I agree with Mr. Why here.
    Nani, dived, and then deliberately handled the ball. This is at least a yellow card offense if not red. Yes of course the umpire waved play on, but this is not an advantage at all because Nani was right behind him and about to pounce, and when Nani gets the ball, advantage stops right there and then. Advantage is when the team is in a very good position to create something and there is no opposition player that has an ounce of a chance to get near the ball for at least until he makes a mistake passing the ball or tripping on it, or something else, but not when he can’ t pass it or shoot it. This is ridiculous. The call yesterday by Mark, in my opinion, is simply wrong.
    Another reason I don’t blame Gomes in this case is because of the loudness and whistling by fans. When you play in Old Trafford, there is too much noise. Maybe that’s the factor.
    When Barcelona’s Pinto got banned for fake whistling when the opposition player was in a very good position to score. The player thought ref had whistled and hence he simply stopped playing. He went for the whistle and got fooled.
    Since Nani has no decency or sportsmanship to allow Gomes to shoot the ball, after he ridiculously dived and then deliberately handled the ball, is a prime example of how far our beautiful game has come along. Players like Nani, whilst a very good player, and a decent gaol scorer, hampers our game.

  34. pat

    October 31, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I agree with most comments the goalkeeper should know better and have held the ball a lot better than he did,

    My comment is something I didnt see many complain about
    The ref waved away all the spurs players and would not listen to them, now thats understandable. He then went to the linesman who didnt exactly i think know what to do he looked like a rabbit caught in headlights, anyway RIO FERDINAND was allowed to go over and have his say with the ref and the linesman yet the Ref wouldnt talk to any spurs player what was all that about? he was not waved away, Is this because he is the english captain I wonder. If the ref wont talk to one he shouldnt talk to another and frerdinand like others should have been sent packing.

  35. Why?

    October 31, 2010 at 6:56 am

    Offside does not come into this at any stage at no point is there even a suggestion of off side.
    After auld hide my slap thod awards a goal Gomes runs over to the liner or Ref’s assistant (no longer linesMAN cos it’s sexist apparently) gesturing hand ball to the liner who then mouths repeatedly I’ve seen it, that’s when he raises his flag as he obviously thought it was a free kick as well, infact he even lines up with the ball when it‘s place down for the kick, so hethen needs to let the Ref know as he must feel he‘s missed it. Dumbo then chooses to stick with his decision to allow a goal, why?

    If he seen the hand ball he cannot give advantage (not that there is any advantage) as it’s a yellow card offence no exception for deliberate hand ball, this Ref is known to be a stickler for the rule book but it seems not on this occasion.

    If he didn’t see it he has to listen to his assistant and disallow it as well as book Nani.
    If he has given advantage he has ignored the rules of the game but what sort of advantage is given when practically the whole team is in defensive positions? Granted Gomes can throw the ball quick but all his team mates are still back in there own defence, surely this so called advantage does them no good what so ever?

    If he gave the free kick it allows Spurs to move back up the field which in reality is the only option as they are all still in there own half. In other words there is no advantage at all especially when you add to this the opposition scoring. Why didn’t the buffoon take back the play as is done when a Ref realises that there is no advantage at all, in fact he played a disadvantage to Spurs it’s laughable.

    Something strange happens when baldy’s going over to his liner he starts shouts ‘go away’ and pushes the Spurs players back who are approaching him and the liner and Assou Ekotto even moves them away as he has obviously heard the liner saying he knows it was hand ball thinking it‘s straight forward, as it should have been. The strange part is he allows Ferdinand to stand there goading him to give the goal the whole time!! Can you imagine this the other way around, no? nether can I as it would not have happened.

    I still think Utd would have won this game and cannot understand why Utd fans here are trying to defend this embarrassingly inept Refereeing as it is not the fault of Man Utd F.C or the players only that of a piss poor Ref who does similar every other game but actually has people saying he’s a decent Ref go figure. His back catalogue of errors is hilarious.

  36. David the Yank

    October 31, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I am generally not a conspiracy theorist and am a West Ham fan, but I would like an explanation for this: Clattenburg goes to talk to the linesman. Assuo-Ekotto is 100% confident after A-E talks to the linesman himself that the call will be reverse so A-E starts shooing his own players away. Nodding his head vigorously, he knows the call is going Spurs way. Clattenburg runs over, motioning 5 or 6 times: Spurs players, away. Do not come near me. I am talking privately to my linesman. Even the Spurs captain is shooed away. MC goes to talk to the linesman, and here comes Rio, who JOINS THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION and is never shooed away. Hmmmmmmm.

    • d rock

      October 31, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      don’t hate us because your mess of a team will be relegated

  37. WoAd

    October 31, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Mark Clattenburg! Mark Clattenburg!! Mark Clattenburg!!!

    If that was a legitimate goal, what then is the offside rule all about when an attacking player is coming back as the last man in a move and goes to score a goal. Please correct me if i am wrong Mr. Mark Clattenburg; was’nt Nani offside coming from behind. THE GAME IS BEEN MESSED UP BY INCOMPLETE INTERPRETATION OF THE RULES WHATEVER BE THE CASE NANI WAS OFFSIDE, I GUESS THIS IS A NEW TWIST TO THIS ARGUEMENT.

    • David the Yank

      October 31, 2010 at 5:59 am

      I think most people on this group understand the offside law. But just for completeness, to be offside you not only have to be in an offside position (Nani was), but the ball has to be played forward from your teammate. Once Gomes plays the ball (he dropped it with his hands) then Nani or any other offside position Red Devil can legally play the ball.

  38. SSReporters

    October 31, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Free kick should’ve been given for the handball I assume as he nearly picked it up. However the notion that it wasn’t a penalty is ludicrous.

    A grab and an even clearer shirt tug and I’ve seen less given. Penalty.

    Everything else is Gomes’ fault. The whole situation was a disaster started by Crappenburg’s useless officiating and Gomes’ mental blunder. And I’m a Man Utd fan.

    • Earl

      October 31, 2010 at 8:47 am

      It’s obvious you are a ManU fan, because that cannot be called a penalty. If you call that a penalty, the ref would have to call 7 or 8 penalties a game…on set pieces alone.

      I’ll guarantee you if the tables were turned, each of us would likely have a different interpretation of the results.

  39. brn442

    October 31, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Don’t understand your point Gaffer – there is no such thing as a cheap goal. The ref should’ve blown for a free-kick for Nani handling the ball but he didn’t, Nani looked at the ref, he shrugged so Nani scored – end of story.

    • The Gaffer

      October 31, 2010 at 12:30 am

      End of story, but it’s still a cheap goal. Nani cheated by taking a dive and handling the ball.

      The Gaffer

      • Andrei

        October 31, 2010 at 12:50 am

        In a way it is similar to the handball by Thierry Henry in France vs Ireland WC qualification game. Henry handled the ball the referee didn’t notice it France took advantage of the situation and scored the goal.

      • Sir Guy

        October 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm

        “cheated by taking a dive” Actually, I think that is what “Nani” means in Portuguese.

  40. RomaChelsea-American

    October 30, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Glad to see the EPL has rules snafus just like every other sports league. And of course the controversies seem to always favor the bigger clubs.

  41. Andrei

    October 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    The whole point is that Nani should not have taken advantage of the situation. This is just bad sportsmanship. And it was totally unnecessary – United controlled the game with Spurs clearly out of their depth to produce and equalizer.

  42. Sir Guy

    October 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Opinions can vary, but can’t change facts. Look at the video supplied above by MrRichPeoples. The linesman never flags the handball. Bishopville Red has it right.

    • MrRichPeoples

      October 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm

      Sir Guy, you are sort of right. The linesman didn’t flag the handball as it happened at 83:31, but he did flag something. Was it a late call on the handball?

      Nani kicks the ball into the net at 83:45. While he is celebrating, the cameras cut to the linesman at 83:55 with the flag raised. This flag was overruled by the referee at 84:36, and the goal stood. What exactly was the linesman trying to flag? He must have seen something.

      A plausible thing he could have been flagging was a late call on the handball.

      So what exactly was the call on the overruled flag?

      • Andrei

        October 30, 2010 at 10:53 pm

        My guess is that the linesman thought that the free kick was given and signaled infraction by Nani. He didn’t see/signal the handball. The referee consulted with the linesman and overruled the infraction call because there was no free kick given in the first place.

        • Sir Guy

          October 31, 2010 at 1:04 pm

          That’s it in a nutshell.

          All in all the whole episode looked like a Keystone Kops routine.

      • David the Yank

        October 30, 2010 at 10:58 pm

        The linesman is most at fault here for failing to flag the initial handling offense by Nani. The video makes it clear he never flagged for that. The linesman clearly believed that MC had whistled for something as he lined himself up with the ball (free kick) rather than the second-to-last defender. When nani played the ball (into the goal) the linesman flagged for a free kick infringement. MC went over to him and asked why did you flag? Linesman says I thought he iillegally played a Spurs free kick. MC says I never whistled. Linesman then says well then I rescind my flag. MC then points goal

        So fault 1: nani for diving
        Fault 2: mC doesn’t whistle and caution for the dive
        Fault 3: nani for handling
        Major fault 4: linesman doesn’t flag for #3
        Fault 5: mc doesn’t yellow nani for deliberate handling
        Fault 6: gomez, ball in hand, drops the ball. Why? He assumed but never heard whistle

        After that, you can’t fault the linesman. He screwed up on #4 and that’s where it all went wrong

        I’m a neutral who was watching

        • Durandal

          October 30, 2010 at 11:07 pm

          I think this is the best explanation I have seen.

  43. jammer

    October 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I was on the floor laughing

  44. Up the Chels!

    October 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    No matter how you look at the calls, what Nani did was unsporting. Should have been a yellow to Nani for unsporting behavior. Allowing the goal to stand as it was scored was ridiculous.

  45. Ryan

    October 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Should have been a free kick for multiple reasons. I’m not implying that Spurs would have come back and tied, but that was a cheap shot by Nani. Poor sportsmanship in every way, but with his record for diving and under performing on the pitch, I guess he needs all the self-confidence he can get.

    And that refereeing? Horrendous.

  46. MrRichPeoples

    October 30, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    This is the only video online that shows the entire sequence that lead to the controversial goal. Fox Soccer Channel missed the live shot when they were replaying Nani’s dive. The full replay was not aired until 4 minutes after the fact.

    • Durandal

      October 30, 2010 at 11:03 pm

      Just as an FYI: Fox Soccer did not miss the live shot. FSC just gets the same feed every other broadcaster gets.

  47. farlieonfootie

    October 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Obviously written by a Spurs fan? Nani dived? Really? Sure looked as if he was pushed over to me…. In any event, the final scoreline doesn’t matter. Whether Nani’s goal counts or not, it doesn’t change the result. If you threaten goal only 2 times during the entire game you can’t expect to win. Spurs were just not good enough today. Nani’s goal is the storyline, but not the reason Spurs lost. Spurs fans and Uncle Harry may want to focus more on how Rafael had the Welsh Wonder Bale in his pocket all night long, and Van der Vaart’s injury problem — much more important to Spurs in the long run, because he was THE ONLY ONE IN THEIR ENTIRE SIDE today that looked as if he might score!

  48. Matt

    October 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    There was a clear foul (the hand ball).

    If the ref didn’t give the foul at that point, it’s because he was giving advantage.

    There was no advantage, so the play should have been called back.

    You see that happen in the outfield all the time, the ref tries to play advantage but the team loses the ball right away, and so he calls it back to the spot.

    The point is- the ref must have seen the foul play, and either called the play dead for the free kick (which he didn’t) or played an advantage, of which there was none.

    Clattenburg was at fault, Gomes was silly but the goal should not have stood. Same old, same old at OT.

  49. Dave C

    October 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Once when I was a kid playing in goal, something similar happened to me. The opposition played a throughball, but I got to it before the chasing striker and picked it up. At that point, I noticed that the linesman had flagged the striker offside. At the time, I assumed that this meant a free kick would necessarily follow, so I put the ball down on the ground, ready to take the free kick. The striker gratefully poked the ball away from me and dribbled it into the net.

    I learned my lesson, and I was only about 11 yrs old…Huerlho Gomes should have learned the same already.

  50. fivefouls1987

    October 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    It was a heads up play by Nani, hard for me to get too terribly upset about it.

  51. Ian

    October 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Nani cheats every game – why should this be different? He is one of the worst divers in the EPL.
    Having said that Gomes should know better and play the whistle

  52. Gooner

    October 30, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Play to the whistle. How much does Gomez get paid and get’s rule #1 wrong. Very funny…

  53. Andy

    October 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    As I saw it, the ref messed this one up from the start. It looked like Nani was fouled for a penalty, but the ref never gave it, Nani then handled the ball so it should have been a free kick – which is what I am guessing Gomes thought it was. But Gomes then put the ball about 5 yards in front of where it was handled.

    The linesman (when did they start calling them assistant refs??) flagged for an infraction but then changed his mind. It probably never affected the outcome of the game because Tottenham never looked like they were going to tie it up, but it was just another example of poor refereeing (again).

    • Charles

      October 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm

      Andy, you have pointed out the obvious straight down the line. Excellent call, sir.

    • Matt

      October 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      apparently there is a rule that says you don’t have to take free kicks inside your own 6 yd box or something like that. someone i know who is a ref mentioned it.

      • Bishopville Red

        October 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

        Yes, but you don’t get to move it out past the penalty spot.

        • Matt

          October 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm

          so then he should move it back 3 yds, not award united a goal for nothing.

          • Bishopville Red

            October 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm

            If a free kick was called, sure. But it wasn’t. Putting the ball down puts it into open play.

  54. Fernando

    October 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Ferguson would’ve gone mental had that happened to United. Nani cheated/took advantage of a Spurs mistake.

    The result was bad enough for Spurs but losing Van de Vaart is going to be the lasting memory of this result.

    Mark Clattenburg is another fine example of a terrible ref.

    • Tom R

      October 31, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      it wasn’t a spurs mistake!! it was a refereeing mistake and Nani for grabbing ball intentionally should have seen yellow – and shown an OUNCE of sportsmanship! all we ask is he show a TINY bit of sportsmanship, knowing he handled the ball.

      I feel sick knowing there are so many people on here thinking Nani was in the right.

  55. Carolyn

    October 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    It’s all about good sportsmanship. Nani displayed none of it. It’s become all to common to find players cheating, not showing respect to the opposition, and not playing within the spirit of the game.

  56. JW

    October 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Agree Bishopville. Nani even looks as if he’s getting encouragement from one (or more) of his teammates before slotting it home.

    • Earl Reed

      October 30, 2010 at 8:55 pm

      I understand the whole point of taking advantage of a situation given to you, but either way it’s the referee’s fault. He had a handball that was observed by the linesman, and he went against the linesman because he figured it would be nice to see himself all over the evening news.

  57. jezz09

    October 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    well bloody said Bishopville Red, i don’t think any fan, spurs, arsenal, chealsea, abu or anyone else can argue against your comment

  58. Bishopville Red

    October 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Why bother even replying? Gaffer’s judge jury and executioner all in one with this hopelessly biased article.

    *Not everyone agrees that it was a dive. Kaboul’s two hands around Nani’s waist make it less than cut and dried.

    *If you want to pull lines from Fergie, why not this one:

    “Nani looked back and looked at the referee and the referee said play on, so what can he do but put the ball in the net.”

    Watch your own video again. He looks back TWICE before striking the ball home. He had consent from the ref to do it.

    *Clattenburg watched the play throughout. Either he didn’t see the handball or, just as likely, he played advantage. Having the ball in the keeper’s hands is superior to a FK from the floor.

    *Linesman never put his flag up until Nani scored. He never flagged a handball, he flagged what he thought was an infringement on a free kick. A free kick that was never given.

    Bottom lines:
    (1) Gomes bottled this 100%.
    (2) Press will want to write yet another “wah wah Spurs got screwed article, when the article should read, “Spurs – Sill can’t beat big 4 on the road: 17 years and counting”
    (3) Gifting United wins? last time I checked it was 1-0 with Spurs doing nothing productive prior to Nani’s goal. Other than a Modric save and a Van der Vart post (united hit two), Spurs were not a threat all day.

    • MennoDaddy

      October 30, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      Bull. Only a blind Man U supporter can say that this wasn’t a completely skeezy goal based on multiple blown calls by Clattenburg.

      MIssing the penalty on Nani was probably the right call. Missing the handball on Nani was egregious. Allowing the goal after overruling his linesman who had a better position and view was completely off the effing reservation.

      • Bishopville Red

        October 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm

        Except for the fact the linesman never called the handball, you might have a point. Flag stays down. Watch the video and get your facts straight.

    • Matt

      October 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

      so how exactly did they have advantage when nani had the ball in his hands??? that is impossible. cite one instance in the history of football where advantage was played when a player grabbed a ball intentionally cuz he was mad about not getting a call. the press will call it controversial when really it is just a downright travesty. lol at you thinking the press is pro-spurs. the press is so biased towards united chelsea and arsenal its sickening.

      • Bishopville Red

        October 30, 2010 at 6:16 pm

        Gomes is at an advantage distributing the ball from his hands or feet from anywhere in the box and getting a counter-attack going quickly instead of the ref stopping play and forcing him to take a free kick from a locked location which, by the way, would not have been a good 12 yards away from the infraction.

        That’s advantage. Unless you aren’t paying attention and put the ball down.

    • Solskjaer24

      October 31, 2010 at 12:58 am

      This post is the most complete of all. We don’t know why linesman flagged, but it was definitely way late if it were for the handball. What I can’t figure out is what Gomes was thinking. If he did think it was a foul and he was taking a free kick, did you notice how far away from the ‘foul’ spot it was? Also, Gomes was wildly gesticulating as Nani looked to the ref. It was almost like he was warning his team to come help because he couldnt touch it or something? Gomes just stood there flapping as Nani approached even. Why didnt he kick it? Weird.

      The ref is supposed to prevent cheating and Nani checked twice with him before doing anything. Why would Nani suppose he could even play the ball at all? It was a clear misunderstanding and I agree with SAF when he said he felt for Spurs on that one.

  59. C Dub

    October 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Whats that saying?

    “If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying”

    Its the same in every sport. Get over it.

  60. jose

    October 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    if anyone cheated it was the ref, nani was just taking advantage of the situation that the ref allowed.

  61. joseph

    October 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I think your post is in spur fervour. Mind you nani didn’t dive, he was held by the shirt by spur defender. It should have been a pen. Through out the match the ref fervoured spur, their was many man utd un unwarded freekick. The linesman and gomez is to blame. Firstly it was a pen and both the ref and the linesman did not blew or flag it. Secondly, nani held the ball the ref did not see it and the linesman did not flag it. The ref was shouting play on when gomez stupidly award himself a freekick. As a player what you are first thought is to play by they whistle which nani understode very well. Nani waited and the ref was still shouting play on. He have no option than to put the ball in the net. Gomez was stupid, nani was smart.

    • Charles

      October 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm

      Nani took 2-3 steps then fell down. If he wasn’t so easily knocked over — like Hernandez — I might believe the fall. But…it was Nani, who falls looking for calls.

  62. jezz09

    October 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Whats everyone on about dives 4 lads? fair enough he wen’t down slightly after the FOUL, but watch it again lads, it was undoubtedly a foul and a penalty! I dont like the fact this incident has overshadowed a deserved win, spurs never would have scored, they had nothing once VDV was gone off. And kudo’s to Mick Carrick who looked more than a shadow of his former self for the 1st time in a long time, not perfect by any means, but much more promising. His performance seems to have gone unnoticed. And fair play to rafa who had bale in his pocket all evening, sorry to see him go off. And one last point, forget Bale, and VDV is too old, but fair play to Luka Modric for impressing on his audition 4 United, expect a call soon

    • Why?

      October 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      Jezz, a foul is not a foul unless a player is put at some sort of disadvantage the fact is that Nani didn’t get put at a disadvantage when there was contact as he choose to good down 3 or 4 steps after the contact, that is known as diving. He did the same in the first half when he tripped on his own foot and then shamefully tried to get the penalty the Ref should have booked him for simulation the same as he should for deliberate hand ball (which is always a yellow). If that was a penalty there would be 7-8 every premiership game! Nani could have gone down when he felt the touch but that is still diving even though he’s a lot more likely to get the pen, but there was nothing to take him down as he proved by staying on his feet (well until he thought about it a few steps later). But any diving or penalty talk is irrelevant to the point which is a terrible decision by the slap headed goon known as Clattenburg, if he did see the hand ball he has to issue Nani with a yellow which means stopping the play, if he did not see it then when the liner is telling him it was deliberate handball he has to bring back play and still give him a yellow but the moron did neither, I do not blame Nani for putting the ball in the net it’s unsporting but that’s modern day football.

    • Earl Reed

      October 30, 2010 at 8:49 pm


      I know no league where that would be called, unless the referee was absolutely incompetent. Try again.

    • Matt

      October 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

      VDV is 27 i believe. what does that make scholes, giggs, VDS? you start like 4 players younger than him lol. maybe luka will get a call, too bad fergie won’t be able to shell out the 25m+ it would take to get him. maybe he will find another bargain bin homeless guy or something.

  63. proper eyesight

    October 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    yes October 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm
    He cheated when he dived. The goal was ok.”
    What great sporting comment. Surely an idiot can see what a contradiction it is. What no handball? Whoops Homer Clattenburg has done it again.

  64. Ringo

    October 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    The referees the culprit here. Absolute garbage.

  65. theymake mesick

    October 30, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Reading all these “he dived but the goal was OK” make me realise the sickness and money in football at the top level. These fans only follow the myopic and moral-lacking ilk of Ferguson. What else could he do? The concept of sportsmanship has always been alien to this nasty specimen. The commenters like their aging hero seemed to refer to the dive but seemed to forget the deliberate handball. I can see these icons turning decent kids away from football in the future and future supporters representing the dregs of life.

    • Tom R

      October 31, 2010 at 8:04 pm

      Exactly. I agree 100% with the above comment. This issue has little to do with “playing the whistle”, refereeing mistakes, or (incorrectly) incompetent goalkeepers.

      It is about the worsening state of the attitude of certain footballers (growing number), starting and most prevalent at the upper reaches of the Premier League.

      The (starting with) Klinsmanns, Robbie Savages, C. Ronaldos, Nanis, Nasris, Eboues, Drogbas, the list is sadly growing with every new campaign. Mainly foreign p*ss-takers and cheats are bringing this game we all love to its lowest level, to its knees eventually – resulting in managers having to defend their players’ actions making those middle aged men look like complete brainless puppets/muppets.

      “He dived but the goal was OK”

      If you believe the above statement regarding this goal on the weekend then you are either extremely immature (mind of an under 10 year-old), or morally bankrupt beyond belief – but most importantly you miss the point at hand completely.

      It is not about winning through cheating, it is through playing like real men, winning with integrity, with utmost respect for your opponents and the referee. Without this, there is ZERO point in sport. Man United vs. Tottenham Hotspur might as well be a game of poker. Oh no actually you’d need IQ levels a bit higher than 20 for that.

      Nani should not have even considered playing that ball having dived but more importantly HANDLED THE BALL intentionally in the Spurs box.

      Nani and his type are ruining football and we ain’t concerned at this long-term level who wins the three points on the day, it is about our sport becoming even more of a joke – and kids will literally grow up to be cheats. Literally. Yes they do copy what they see on TV.

      FA – stop the rot and reprimand cheating — after games — There is simply no other option.

  66. Why?

    October 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    The liner flags to say he’s seen the handball and tells Mark ‘the wig’ Clattenburg this but wiggy decides ruin the game anyway and goes on to trash any chance of getting somthing out of game for Spurs, well done again baldy. He is and will continue to be a sxxt Ref.

  67. yes

    October 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    He cheated when he dived. The goal was ok.

    I cant believe they cant get rid of diving in football. Its so ridiculous every game has so many dives nowdays.

  68. Earl

    October 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I guess EPL has to gift ManU as many wins as they can get, seeing that they seem to choke them away most of the time anymore.

    • Earl

      October 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      With that being said, it’s about time someone gave Nani something to dive about, say, a broken tibia.

    • Charles

      October 30, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      I don’t think they give away a goal 1-nil or 2-nil.

      United kept the ball in front of them the whole game.

      • Earl Reed

        October 30, 2010 at 8:46 pm


  69. Charles

    October 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Horrible call by the referee and stolen goal by

    And I say that as a long time United supporter.

    1. Nani dove looking for a call.
    2. Nani committed a handball when no cally was given.
    3. Nani did sink the goal kick, but it was very strange how it came about.
    4. The referee should have listened to his assistant, who was insisting that it was no goal.

    The Spurs probably don’t tie anyway, because United was playing solidly. But that whole sequence was not only strange, it was as much the fault of the man with the whistle as Nani.

  70. Enorme Nuez

    October 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    “The referee’s a wanker, the referee’s a wanker!”

  71. kale

    October 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Of course the goal should have stood! It’s not even a debate

    Yes, Nani dived BUT you play to the whistle. If the ref doesn’t blow his whistle, then it’s not a free kick. It doesn’t matter how blatant it is – the ref decides when a free kick is given, whether a keeper “thinks” it’s been given or not. Gomes made the mistake and Nani was smart enough to realise the whistle hadn’t been blown. Too bad, so sad.

  72. dada

    October 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Sorry, but the entire blame should be put on the goalkeeper.

    Harry is wrong because as far as I know the players are not the referees. If that were the case and Gomes can decide on a whim when and where to take his freekick, then Nani would have had all right to grab the ball and take his penalty if he so pleased since he believed he was fouled inside the box.

    If you dont hear a whistle then you play on. Harry is simply defending stupidity.

    • The Gaffer

      October 30, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      Personally I think Clattenburg was the one who made the mistake. There were two instances where a free kick should have been awarded to Tottenham. The first was when Nani dived. The second was when Nani handled the ball. Clattenburg may have signalled to play on when Gomes picked up the ball, but either Gomes didn’t see or hear that call or he believed that the ref had called a free kick instead.

      The Gaffer

      • Bishopville Red

        October 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm

        So… it’s Clattenburg’s fault Gomes isn’t paying attention? I like to blame a ref as much as the next guy. For example, I like to blame the linesman who tried to take away Nani’s legit goal. I also liked blaming him when he missed a pretty obvious offside for Drogba in Chelsea’s win at Old Trafford last year. Seems to have a history trying to stick it to United.

        But blaming Clattenburg because Gomes isn’t paying attention? That’s a pretty big stretch.

        • Matt

          October 30, 2010 at 5:40 pm

          couldn’t be more wrong buddy. gomes should never be in that position because its as clear as day that he handled it. the linesman 100% knew and it would be hard for clattenburg to miss in all honesty. he actually handled it twice. it is not a matter of him not paying attention, if anyone wasnt paying attention its clattenburg. gomes knew he handled it and it has to be a free kick. its one of those situations where he probably didn’t whistle because everyone knows whats happened and has acted accordingly. nani didn’t, he tried to nick a cheap goal when he knew best of all what had happened.

        • cgncgnd

          October 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

          Wasn’t a legit goal. A history of trying to stick it to United? typical delusional United fan.

          And boo hoo why are you still talking about last season

        • Jim

          October 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm

          It’s terrible how they are always sticking it to man u!! I mean their goal against Chelsea last season was a handball and Spurs goal several years ago was a few feet over the line but wasn’t given. But hey you keep on the red specs and believe that man u always get shafted.

          • Marc

            October 31, 2010 at 3:50 pm

            @Jim. Macheda handled the ball?!! And I suppose that Drogba was onside?!!! All teams get calls for and against them during the course of a game or a season. Some make the difference in the outcome of games.

            The point of this discussion is whether Nani cheated:

            1. He was fouled. The referee did not see or call this.

            2. Nani handled the ball. The referee did not see or call this.

            3. Without a call the players cannot “assume” a penalty or free-kick. Play continues.

            4. Gomes spotted a live ball. Nani was alert to this, looked to the referee for confirmation then took the shot.

            Nani did not cheat, the referee did not get the call wrong (unless he had alrady blown for the penalty or handball), Gomes made a mental error for which his team was punished.

            Haters on this post know they would praise any member of their team who was as alert to the mistake as Nani.

            Finally, Tottenham were outplayed, outshot and down 1-0 and the “controversy” is delusional. The result would have been the same 3 points to ManU, 0 to Spurs.

      • Why?

        October 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

        Gaffer if he signalled play on he gave Spurs the advantage then right? Great advantage eh? But when the liner then spots the handball and lets wiggy know this he should only do one thing ever and that give the free kick a pull the play back yet for some reason only known to himself and his little furry head sitting friend he doesn’t, Incredible!

      • jm

        October 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm

        It seems to me that the debate about who made the mistake is besides the point – they both made mistakes. Clattenburg was wrong to not award the free kick. Given, however, that he made that error, Gomes then made a mistake in playing the assumed foul. That one mistake is causally prior does not thereby show that neither made a mistake.

      • fan

        October 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm

        there should have been a penalty for Nani goin down, coz the replays shows… he was definitely pulled to the ground.. he tried to stay on his feet… but he couldn’t.. and well… he thought he was gonna get a penalty for that, so he tried to take the ball quickly… that was no dive by Nani… to be fair..

      • Maik

        October 31, 2010 at 2:03 am

        Dived? I know he’s a known diver, but he was graved by the shirt with two hands when closing on goal. That’s a penalty and at least a yellow.

  73. MattL

    October 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    If Gomez put the ball down and there was no call by the ref, than the goal should stand. That would be his fault. Play to the whistle.

    • Earl

      October 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm

      And you know that if Gomes punts the ball that the ref calls it back as a free kick. It’s alright, sometimes you just have to help the home team give the fans something to cheer about.

      • Why?

        October 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm

        It’s not a case of ‘play to the whistle’ his assistant had seen something illegal that he apparently did not, surely handball is a offence that is punishable by a free kick at the very least. The Ref may never have seen it but the liner did and he told the Ref. The question is why would wiggy not give clear handball as foul after his assistant had seen it and pulled it up? Call it cheating, call it bias, I’d just say the this wig wearing buffoon is incompetent and as many people try to cover this imbecilic behaviour with crap like ‘play to the whistle’ it still is what it is.

        • Tony

          November 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

          The linesman only put his flag up AFTER the goal, not before. After the ref consulted with him, it was clear there had been no flag or whistle, so the goal was allowed.


        November 3, 2010 at 1:49 am

        Debating the semantics of this is not relevant. The point is soccer fosters a culture of cheating, diving and poor sportsmanship. Its caused by lack of goals. Lack of goals means the rewards for cheating, diving and poor sportsmansship outway the risk. It pays off. You can score 100% of your teams total score by doing it. It’s the nature of soccer. The players are making best use of the poor tools they have at their disposal.

  74. Fitzy

    October 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Golden rule – play the whistle!

    • canyid

      October 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm

      Spurs fan, and I agree. Crap call or not, play the whistle.

    • fan

      October 30, 2010 at 7:58 pm

      completely agree …. play the whistle.. plus we do see Nani asking the referee, if he could play the ball… and the referee said he could play it…

      • retards annoy me

        October 31, 2010 at 9:18 am

        it was handball u titheads simple as that

        • Leiuh

          March 10, 2011 at 3:02 am

          Yes a hand ball. but what did the referee do? Thiery Henry handled the ball during France’s much needed win to qualify for world cup South Africa, and many more. Players should be told to play the whistle and not just assuming its a free kick or the other.

    • handball

      October 31, 2010 at 9:21 am

      nani didnt play to the whistle no matter what u say thats why he had his hand on the ball he assumed it was a free kick.

    • David

      November 6, 2010 at 8:44 am

      Exactly………the ref hadn’t blown and Gomes had the ball in his hands so could have started an attack (Spurs were losing 1-0). If Spurs had then gone on to score the ref would be a hero not a villan. Full marks to Mark Clattenberg for sticking to his guns. Anyway, if Gomes thought it was a free-kick, why was he taking it a full 10 yrds away from the incident (he obviously doesn’t know the rules as well as being totally daft)?

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