Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
It was a massive moment in the Premier League title race and post-match everyone was in agreement. Fulham should have been awarded a penalty in the 89th minute at Old Trafford on Monday night and only referee Michael Oliver disagreed.
Bryan Ruiz looked to have slipped Danny Murphy into the box and Michael Carrick was the wrong side and climsily brought down the former Liverpool midfielder. Carrick looked guilty, he turned to the referee straight away and Matt Le Tissier on Sky said “it should have been a penalty.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Yes, I think Michael has caught him. I don’t think it’s a stonewall but it may have been a penalty. It was certainly a claim no doubt about that.”
And, Fulham manager Martin Jol was yet again aggrievedovert a a big decision at Old Trafford: “Everyone in the stadium expected a penalty, you have to be brave to give an away penalty at United. “It was a difficult decision. If he had given the penalty he would have had to send Michael Carrick off. A few years ago, the ball was a metre over the line and they did not give it. Maybe the linesman was not quick enough that time. But the referee was there in line.”
Jol added: “It needed a brave decision because it was either a dive and he should book someone or he has to give Carrick a red card. I don’t want to see Carrick sent off but it needed a brave decision and I think it was a penalty kick.”
Of course, we can but imagine what Roberto Mancini’s reaction to this decision was but it is another blow for Manchester City who are now three points behind Manchester United at the top of the table.
With these kinds of decisions, it is impossible to know whether Fulham would have put away the spot kick had it been given by Michael Oliver but the Cottagers have every right to be aggrieved after a dogged defensive display had kept them in the game.