What constitutes a red card offence one when player smacks another in the face?
Three incidents over the weekend showed the lack of consistency in referee decisions across the continent as one player appeared the be harshly sent off, another got off on the technicality that no-one saw, while a third player was caught in the act but got away with just a telling off.
Mr. Unlucky was none other than the pimply hulkster, Cristiano Ronaldo. Poor C-Ron ruined an otherwise fabulous display against Malaga on Sunday night when he was served with a straight red card for smacking Patrick Mtiliga in the face with a flailing arm. Haters may argue that players ask for trouble when they swing their arms on the pitch, but undoubtedly Ronaldo had his eyes on the ball, and not his opponent, when he managed to break Mtiliga’s nose, and the world’s most expensive player will now be suspended for what appeared more an accident than a vicious assault. (Watch here.)
Contrasting Ronaldo’s red card, Rio Ferdinand continues to appear to have got away with a blatant attack on Craig Fagan during Manchester United’s 4-nil win against Hull on Saturday. Compared to CR9, Rio appears to have intentionally and purposefully clubbed Fagan around the ear when no-one was looking, with the Tiger’s striker incredibly being the one who was cautioned.
Now, while referee Steve Bennett (and his officials) may have fairly missed Rio’s unceremonious whack on his opponent at the time, how it is that there is no suggestion that the FA are set to investigate is simply mind-boggling. TV footage clearly shows the incident unfold. This inaction is simply a disgrace!
Lastly, we head to Holland and Sunday’s league match between Ajax and AZ Alkmaar.
!3 minutes from time yet another footballer took an unwelcome cuff in the gob, as Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez took a clear-as-day smack in the mouth from AZ’s Hector Moreno right in front of both the watching referee and the two dug-outs. In this instance, Suarez had managed to release the ball under pressure from Moreno and his teammate, but despite the play having moved on, the visitors’ number four steamrollered into the home striker and raised his left fist in the process.
Unlike Ronaldo, Moreno seemed intent on hitting his target. And unlike Rio, Moreno’s foul was caught in full view of the ref. So the red card was forthcoming, right? Unbelievably, only a yellow card was brandished!
Elsewhere, Celtic’s Darren O’Dea must be named and shamed for his fantastic miss against St. Johnstone at the weekend as theÂ defender fluffed rolling the ball into an unguarded net from four yards out.
Onto the list, where too many good goals have swelled this week’s selection to fourteen. Every goal on the list is a cracker, and all we ask is that you sit back and enjoy!
1. Seydou Kieta (Mali v Malawi, Jan. 18, 2010)
2. Jamie Milligan (Fleetwood Town v Farsley Celtic, Jan. 19, 2010)
3. Ernesto Chevanton (Bologna v Atalanta, Jan. 20, 2010)
4. Martin Olsson (Aston Villa v Blackburn, Jan. 20, 2010)
5. Ola Toivonen (PSV v NEC, Jan. 22, 2010)
6. Arjen Robben (Werder Bremen v Bayern Munich, Jan. 23, 2010)
7. Xavi Hernandez (Valladolid v Barcelona, Jan. 23, 2010)
8. Dani Alves (Valladolid v Barcelona, Jan. 23, 2010)
9. Christian Maggio (Livorno v Napoli, Jan. 24, 2010)
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid v Malaga, Jan. 24, 2010)
11. Marc-Antoine Fortune (St. Johnstone v Celtic, Jan. 24, 2010)
12. Kader Keita (Ivory Coast v Algeria, Jan. 24, 2010)
13. Sylvinho (Scunthorpe v Manchester City, Jan. 24, 2010)
14. Luis Orozco (Leon v Merida, Jan. 24, 2010)
Narrowly missing this week’s list were goals from Freddie Kanoute, Gael Kakuta, Andre Santos, Gonzalo Colsa, Papa Kouly Diop, Dimitris Giantsis, Alessandro Del Piero, Emanuele Calaio, Goran Pandev and Paddy McCourt.