Once again it’s that time of the week – to have a rant about the latest batch of poor refereeing decisions and the midweek group of games provided plenty of talking points. This week Harry Kane was caught in an offside position, while Olivier Giroud was handed one of the harshest bookings in Premier League history.
Kane was offside, not that it mattered.
Harry Kane probably can’t believe his luck because it’s all falling for him right now. Two goals to seal the North London derby started off his week perfectly and he was quick to pounce at Anfield to put Spurs level at 1-1 on the night.
At 2-1 down, Christian Eriksen’s free-kick was pushed out by Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet before Kane crossed for Mousa Dembele to finish it off. Kane was indeed offside and the linesman missed it. Fortunately for the Reds, a late Mario Balotelli winner prevented any controversy. On top of that, it was probably a soft free-kick in the first place!
Poor Giroud’s punished for having a back
There was a day when some of the funniest goals in football were scored from bad goalkeeper clearances. Now, you’re booked if you dare get in the way – Chris Smalling knows, as it led to him receiving a red card in the Manchester derby earlier this season.
But the booking for Olivier Giroud on Tuesday night was quite bizarre. Mark Schwarzer looked to get Leicester on the attack as they chased a last-minute equaliser but his clearance struck Giroud’s back. The Frenchman wasn’t looking; he didn’t seem to be intentionally getting in the way and most bizarrely of all, referee Mike Jones didn’t even appear to see the incident. Another one that didn’t matter in the end, but it capped off a poor all-round performance for the man in the middle.
Milner is a lucky boy
James Milner has been very impressive for Manchester City this season and it appears he’ll leave on a free in the summer – but he was incredibly lucky on Wednesday night. Peter Crouch’s header was goal-bound until Milner slyly stuck out his right arm to block it. Both whistler Lee Mason and linesman missed it, and given City went on to win 4-1 with Milner shining, it was a game-changer.
It probably won’t be any consolation to Stoke boss Mark Hughes, but Mason DID spot Sergio Aguero’s handball later in the game, however, the damage was done.
Ivanovic could face retrospective action to add to Jose’s displeasure…
As if it wasn’t bad enough that, minutes earlier, Branislav Ivanovic had inadvertently turned in Nemanja Matic’s strike, causing the offside flag to go up but he’ll do well to escape a three-match ban when the FA have a good look at the chaos that ensued as Gareth Barry was getting his marching orders.
It’s one of those that you can’t necessarily blame anyone for missing. It all kicked off as tempers flared in the last few minutes and the Serbian was caught on camera moving his head towards Everton’s James McCarthy as well as wrapping his arms around him. Fortunately, his deflection didn’t cost Chelsea the game but surely a suspension is coming his way.
Janmaat also strikes lucky
By all accounts, Daryl Janmaat had a superb game for Newcastle against former boss Alan Pardew. He did all the hard work for Papiss Cisse’s opener, but was lucky not to hand three points to Crystal Palace on a plate late on.
Luckily for him, nobody spotted him knocking the ball out for a corner with his hand while under pressure from Wilfried Zaha in the last few minutes. Inadvertently, the Palace winger was probably the man blocking everyone’s view and as it is, both teams walked away with a point.
Read more from Rich Laverty here.