Before we move on to Sunday’s slate of games in the Premier League, we’ll take a moment to look at player and manager reactions from yesterday’s action – which there was plenty of.
Manchester United claimed all three points at Old Trafford against Stoke CIty, despite trailing for most of the match.
In-form Wayne Rooney leveled at 2-2 and Mexico’s Javier Hernandez nodded home the winner with little time remaining.
However, Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that Hernandez shouldn’t have even been allowed to continue after a challenge on Robert Huth, which left the Stoke City defender in a crumpled heap and needing shin treatment on the pitch.
“In my opinion he shouldn’t have been on the pitch anyway for the challenge on Robert Huth” said Hughes. “It was a reckless challenge, I’m sure the lad would agree himself. It’s dangerous and you’ve seen players sent off for lesser chances than that many times before. So we’re disappointed with that decision. Why the assistant referee didn’t see fit to do something about it I don’t know. We were disappointed with the decision by the referee. It is very difficult to go against a 70,000 crowd here. Sometimes you have to be strong as a referee.”
The referee at Old Trafford Saturday was Lee Mason.
Hughes also called United “lucky” to come away with the win, something that many were feeling after the escape by David Moyes and the Red Devils.
Sportsmanship prevailed at Carrow Road Saturday, despite a moment of controversy that left the Norwich City fans a bit confused following the 0-0 draw with Cardiff City.
With the ball kicked out of play by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall so Alex Tettey could get treatment for an injury, Marshall waited for a return ball in the form of a sporting pass from Leroy Fer.
Instead Fer kicked the ball into the back of the net, but referee Mick Jones disallowed the goal. Cardiff manager Malky Mackay believes the decision was correct, and that cooler heads were prevailing even if the goal had been given.
“Whether that was the exact ruling or whether he should have given the goal and let us walk up and put the ball in the net, which would’ve been a complete mockery” claimed Mackay. “I don’t think that’s something that anybody in the stadium would’ve wanted, maybe with the exception of Leroy Fer. Immediately Colin and Chris came up and said, ‘If Mick Jones gives it, we’ll let you walk it into our net. There was complete calmness from both benches. The boys were a little bit heated, but I think common sense prevailed.”
For what it’s worth, Norwich City manager Chris Hughton suggested that he believes the goal should have technically stood, however he reiterated that’s not how he would have wanted to win and therefore would have allowed Cardiff to walk up and score a goal before the final whistle to even things out.
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta believes he was harshly sent off at Selhurst Park in Saturday’s early match, given an early shower by referee Chris Foy for a last-man challenge on Marouane Chamakh.
Both men were sent tumbling to the ground on the right wing just over the mid line, but it appeared the break had caught Arsenal out and the Palace striker would have been all by his lonesome had Arteta let him through.
However, the Gunners midfielder says he never meant to fell Chamakh, and that Foy didn’t take into account a number of factors.
“It was a very harsh decision to send me off” Arteta said. “Chamakh kicks my fight foot, I have seen it on television. It is 40 yards away from goal too. It is true that I tried to block him with my hand but then he came with his left foot into my right calf and then we were both on the floor. It was never a tackle from me.”
The replay does appear to show the players simply crashing into each other as both men flew at a high pace, but the lack of defenders behind the ball gives Foy little choice in the instance.