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17th March 2014

An interesting weekend with many talking points. Hull City entertained Manchester City and the title challengers cause was not helped by the early dismissal of Vincent Company. In my opinion referee Lee Mason was correct to dismiss the City captain.

City hung on to win despite playing the majority of the game with ten men. George Boyd tried in vain to get Hull back into the game when he tried to win a penalty. Again the referee got it right as the Hull player threw himself to the ground. Mind you, Joe Hart's reaction, whilst understandable, could have seen him get himself into trouble.

The old case of an England player in a World Cup year not getting into trouble. I would hope that the FA take action against Boyd for his despicable reaction of spitting at the goalkeeper. Boyd though should have had a penalty when he was barged in the back.

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In the Villa v Chelsea game Willian was correctly cautioned for a late challenge but was very unfortunate to pick up a second yellow card. I'm not even sure that it was a foul.

Chelsea had a goal ruled out for handball; I don't know how the assistant referee could have seen it though as he was looking through the back of the Chelsea player.

There was talk that Joe Bennett should have been dismissed but I felt that there was a covering defender and it was not a denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

There was no doubt though about the Ramires red card; his was a disgusting tackle that could easily have broken his opponent's leg. The rules don't allow it but it's worthy of much more than a three match ban. Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth Mourinhio was once again at his sarcastic nasty best. He'd cause trouble in an empty house.

In Stoke City v West Ham, a Nobby Nolan goal was correctly ruled out. Nolan was level with a Stoke defender but the goalkeeper was further forward so there was only one defender.

West Ham should have had a penalty though when in an aerial challenge with Andy Carroll a Stoke defender had his arm in the air and definitely handled the ball. Stoke then went on to score another to clinch the match so the Hammers would feel rightly aggrieved.

In the Fulham v Newcastle game the benefit of goal line technology was there to see and had it of not been in force I am sure that a lot of people would have been claiming that the ball was over the line. Mind you, it was only millimetres away from being a goal.

Newcastle were very unlucky not to get a last gasp penalty, the goalkeeper's shot was at point blank range but the defender did raise his arm and perhaps he got away with it because referee Howard Webb appeared to be unsighted.

Now there is a belief that refs don't give penalties against Manchester United at old Trafford. Well Mark Clattenburg totally dispelled that conspiracy theory. He gave three, one of them incorrectly and also missed another.

I think Vidic should appeal his dismissal and he should get it rescinded. Sturridge was guilty of a very clever piece of simulation. If only the FA had a pair they would retrospective action against cheats like the Liverpool striker. Perhaps poetic justice that the spot kick was missed and the England forward then was denied what would have been a fourth spot kick.

Only other talking point was the referee not issuing a second yellow card against the United fullback who handled the ball having previously been cautioned. A handball is not a definite yellow card as many think but quite often because of the circumstances of the offence a card is issued. Fabio was very fortunate.

The north London derby is always a feisty affair, I know from experience. Fortunately on this occasion it passed without major incident on the pitch.

In the final minutes though Tim Sherwood, who I always found to have a bit of an edge about him, could have caused problems as his frustrations got the better of him. Fortunately Sagna did not overreact and a potentially awkward incident did not escalate.

Have a good week.

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