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Nani played the whistle, Gomes did not, United 2-0

Manchester United moved level on points with Arsenal after a 2-0 victory against Tottenham at Old Trafford. Nemanja Vidic nodded United ahead with his second of the season before Nani put United 2-0 up with a controversial goal that left Spurs fuming. Referee Mark Clattenburg looked to have given a free kick against the winger after he handled the ball when he went down in the box. The ball ran on to Heurelho Gomes who placed the ball down for what he thought was a free kick but Clattenburg had not blown his whistle which allowed the Portuguese to tap home unchallenged.

Despite Spurs’ protests the goal stood and while it was certainly bizarre, there should have been no controversy about it. Clattenburg simply allowed the game to flow because the keeper had the ball completely in his control but then Gomes broke the cardinal rule in football which is ‘play to the whistle’. Nani did, the keeper did not, and a highly unusual but totally legitimate goal wrapped up the points for United.

Manchester United  2  v  Tottenham Hotspur  0

The Guardian – Tottenham have never won at Old Trafford in the Premier League and United’s impressive record against them was never in danger this evening, when goals from Nemanja Vidic and a certainty for A Question of Sport‘s “What Happened Next?” round maintained their recent improvement. One always seemed likely to be enough but the second, with time running out, provided the talking point.

Mark Clattenburg has not been Spurs’ favourite referee since he failed to give Pedro Mendes’s goal on the same ground when Roy Carroll had clawed the ball out from two yards over his line in 2005. He won’t be getting a Christmas card from Harry Redknapp after allowing Nani’s strike after his tussle with Younes Kaboul left Gomes throwing the ball down expecting to take a free-kick for handball. Full Report

Manchester Evening News – Nemanja Vidic’s first half header and a controversial goal from Nani handed Manchester United victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford. Skipper Vidic finished Nani’s cross after 31 minutes to put the Reds ahead. And with just a few minutes remaining Nani scored a bizarre goal. The Portuguese winger drove into the box and went down under the challenge of Younes Kaboul. No penalty was given, and in his exasperation Nani handled the ball on the floor.

Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes assumed a free-kick had been given and rolled the ball out towards the edge of the box and backed off ready to take the set piece. However, Nani jumped to his feet and kicked the loose ball into the goal, taking advantage of the fact that a free-kick had not actually been awarded. Full Report

London Evening Standard – A controversial late goal from Nani and a first-half header by Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic ensured a 2-1 win which meant Tottenham’s 21 year wait for victory at Old Trafford continued. United captain Vidic opened the scoring after 31 pulsating minutes before Nani reacted quickest to some goalmouth confusion to prod home five minutes from time.

Spurs, who have not won at the ground since 1989, were furious with referee Mark Clattenburg for allowing the second, scored after goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes placed what he believed to be a dead ball. Full Report

Manchester United – Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Rafael (Brown 65), Park Ji-Sung, Carrick, Nani, Fletcher, Berbatov (Scholes 64), Hernandez (Obertan 87)  GOALS Vidic 31, Nani 84

Tottenham Hotspur – Gomes, Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Modric, Jenas (Palacios 66), Bale, Van der Vaart (Crouch 77), Keane (Pavlyuchenko 62)


No Responses to “Nani played the whistle, Gomes did not, United 2-0”

  1. Stratty says:

    So do you blame Nani for trying to take advantage of a blatant handball, or Clattenberg for not penalising him (i.e. yellow card, and free kick)? It’s not clear.

  2. Jamie says:

    Dirty diving cheat! Nani has no intergritty and is a disgrace along with the useless Ref!

  3. Frank says:

    A bit of common sense please. Spurs were a goal behind with less than 10 minutes remaining. I would have thought that Spurs fans would have appreciated the ref helping them by not stopping the game and waste time. But then Gomes stuffed up big time. Can you possibly blame Nani or the ref for it?

  4. anon says:



    END OF

  5. mike says:

    let’s be real, if this happened to united, all other premier league fans would have to deal with you horrible united fans from hampshire and whereever else you come from miles away from manchester, moaning and whinging, and we’d probably have to deal with it from ferguson as well

  6. Jamie says:

    Of course you can blame Nani, he is a blatant cheat! He was diving from the first minute until the last! He then handled the ball, got up and scored… hardly sportsmanlike behavior is it!? Yes Gomes should have known better but that doesn’t detract from the fact that goal was a farce.

  7. Tempoman says:

    This needs stopping because in the last week Utd have stooped so low there in the the gutter with the smell of sewage/.Let me explain its not Nanies Goal that bothers me but a more controversial theory why he left Portugal’s Training Camp in Mysterious circumstances . The official line from the in form Nani camp was he had hurt his shoulder but he never returned to Utd like Ferdinand for treatment. Then the story gets very interesting because his manager was then also shrouded in scandal for not letting his players be tested by the drug testers. This man was the one time assistant to Ferguson when he was there Ferdinand also run away from testers this is the real reason Utd have suddenly up there tempo and are getting the refs decisions Utd are being protected by the FA the premiership and from the drug testers and the Massive weight loss from Fletcher Nani Carrick Ferdinad Park Vidic does not surprise me especially when Sir red nose was against target testing of his players i wonder why expect the returning Rooney to be flying soon.

  8. Prattenburg says:

    No way would Twattenburg have allowed the goal if VDS had done the same thing. Ref wouldve blown whistle as soon as there was a sniff of danger. Too much pressure on refs at OT. Decision not a result changer, but symptomatic of big teams getting the big decisions. I don’t blame Nani – it’s simply in his nature to do whatever it takes, even if it shits on the spirit of the game. 20 years ago he wouldve had the crap kicked out of him in the tunnel!

  9. Frank says:

    I have always loved conspiracy theories myself and have been a super cynic for years but hey Tempoman, please go and sober up…or get your brains checked out!

  10. Ed says:

    No qualms about losing the game, great header from vidic albeit a freeby.
    But it must be said that once again Clattenburg shat on Spurs. He is a poser who is scared of Fergie.
    Both Spurs centre halves booked early for run of the mill fouls.
    Ignores Nani’s constant diving and subsequently a handball. No bookings there I notice !
    I’m sure if Utd were on the wrong end of his decisions every time he refs them, their point of view would be dramatically different !

  11. Frank says:

    Can you guys please ask yourself this question. The handball incident happened well inside the area. Gomes LOOKED as though he was preparing to take the free kick yards away from where the incident happened. Why? Gomes was clearly attempting to play on after the advantage was given by the ref otherwise he would have placed the ball for the free kick where the handball incident took place. Full marks to Nani for summing up the situation in a flash.

  12. Prattenburg says:

    Frank. Doesn’t explain why Gomes walked backwards away from the ball. I don’t blame Nani (it’s his natural instinct) but I clearly blame Clattenburg for being more influenced by Rio than his own linesman. In truth UTD would be better off without the “goal” as it tarnishes the result and once again questions ref bias at OT.

  13. Seb says:

    Frank – In the laws of the game it states that “a free kick awarded in the goal area may be taken from any point inside that area”

  14. Stoney says:

    Frank. You’re not kidding anybody but yourself. Nani dived and then handled the ball. How many more reasons do you need to chalk off what obviously should not have been a goal? Get real and try a bit of honesty. Stop trying to justify the unjust. Your lack of morality very nearly surpasses that of nani and the incompetence of clattenburg.

  15. Mick Groarke says:

    Firstly, Gomes should have played to the whistle, so he has made a mistake. But even so, the goal should still not have been allowed. The referee has made a huge howler, and this is why…
    Assuming that the referee did see the handball, he must have let play go on in the spirit of the advantage law. If there is no advantage, then he should then blow the whistle and bring the play back and give the freekick. There may be an argument that the ref can only bring it back within a given time frame, or sequence of play. But let’s not go down that route as anyone who knows anything about football knows this is within the ‘bring it back frame’.
    So perhaps the ref didn’t think there was a handball? Well, that is why the linesman flagged. The linesman is thinking that the ref couldn’t have seen the handball. So what was the three way chat with Ref, lino and Ferdinand all about?
    I am afraid the truth of the matter is this… The ref thought it might have been a penalty, but wasn’t sure so didnt give it. He then thought that booking Nani for deliberate handball would be harsh as he hasn’t given the penalty, so best to ignore it. He then totally lost it when the lineman is telling him that there was a handball. He bowed to the pressure of Ferdinand standing beside him, the Old Trafford crowd and the thought of Alex Furgerson after match slating.
    Does it really matter as Man Utd won 2-0. Well, yes! Of course it does. There was plenty of time to get an equaliser.
    The thing is, it is getting beyond a joke now. Mendes goal and that joke of a penalty two years ago when Spurs were 2-0 up at old trafford.
    It would be good if there was a statement on why the goal was given, but I won’t hold my breath.

  16. Frank says:

    All you people are missing a very basic point. The whistle was NOT blown to stop the game, Nani continued to play while Gomes stuffed up. What was the ref supposed to do, belatedly change his decision? Why was the goal allowed to stand? Simply because the laws of the game gave the officials no reason to disallow it. Why did Clattenburg not stop the game to give Spurs a free kick? Because he was trying to help them by not wasting time. Had Nani not been so quick witted and an equaliser resulted from Gomes’ clearance instead, you guys would have been applauding the ref for allowing the game to go on. Why did Gomes “walk backwards away from the ball” Prattenburg? Who knows, maybe he’s crazier than the average keeper.

    Further, if Gomes was aware that “a free kick awarded in the goal area may be taken from any point inside that area” as stated by Seb, he should have also been aware that you must NEVER stop playing until the referee blows his whistle. Honesty, morality and “trying to justify the unjust” has absolutely nothing to do with the debate Stoney. Nani simply did what any professional player would have done AND what you yourself would have expected from one of your own players had the circumstances been reversed.

  17. Stoney says:

    Frank. So let’s forget the blatant dive and the handball from nani? It’s all gomes’s fault because clatterberk hadn’t blown the whistle? I wish I had such a selective and simple view of things like you do; my life would be so much easier and stress free.

  18. Manure says:

    Don’t be an idiot.
    The only reason the game continue without the whistle after the ball has being stopped by the blatant handball, is play advantage to Spurs, as Gomes technically continue play. If that cheat come from behind and pull the trigger into the net, the right decision is to stop the play, and blow for deliberate handball with a yellow card. The goal should NEVER stand. Period.
    Nani is a cheat, so is Clattenberg, and the rest who supported the goal, you either do not understand soccer, or you are cheat just like them.

  19. Walter Mitty says:

    Wow, some people sure are sore losers. Pity it had to end in controversy; it had been a cracking game until then.

    In any case, Christ, it’s just a GAME. It’s not as if anyone here has killed someone. Equating a game and the opinions on that game to ‘morality’ and hysterical shrieks about Frank ‘being a dick’ and asking him to ‘die’ – seriously. Get some perspective. It’s a GAME. -rolls eyes-

    To be fair, Tottenham MIGHT have equalised at 1-0. Then they might have gotten the one point that could decide whether they get to play in the Champions League next season. If you want to be fair, though, why aren’t you Spurs fans berating Tom Huddlestone for scoring the winner against Fulham despite Gallas being offside? Why didn’t you castigate Crouch for not ‘fessing up that the perfectly legit goal Stoke got against you lot had actually crossed the line and should have been awarded? If you’ve not done that, and are condemning Frank for expressing his opinion on his own blog- well, you’re all just hypocrites.

  20. Kev says:


    What you seem to miss in the red bias comments is that continually whether it’s Tottenham or any other team who play at OT oh so many ref decisions go your way due to error of judgement by refs and we’ve had a fair few ourselves. It’s a shame you cant have an unbias objective view on this incident but then you, fellow fans and Sir Red Nose himself never will. One final observation you may have beaten us yesterday but you have an aging team and if you’re not careful the seventies era will be back with you as I remember quite vividly.

    Finally suggest you choose a differing makes you look a little cheesy and stupid..hang on a minute if the cap fits then…….

  21. Walter Mitty says:

    On referee bias: it happens in every home ground, and academic studies regularly suggest that, across every sport, players/ teams playing at home usually have some referee bias in favour of them. To suggest that Manchester United is the only team which enjoys referee bias at home is disingenuous.


    Manchester United is by no means the only beneficiary of referee bias when playing at home – and they are not immune to poor officiating decisions against them, even at home (e.g. the game played against Chelsea at OT last season).

  22. Frank says:

    There seems to be one obvious fact that you and your fellow Spurs fans refuse to accept Kev. There was one man to blame for the Nani goal and only one. Once he cools down, Gomes will be the first to admit that he committed an absolute howler and nobody else was responsible for it. Frustrating for you? Of course it is but you cannot argue with that reality. Yes, I also clearly remember the seventies which is why I have enjoyed the last twenty years so much. As to the future of United and Spurs, only time will tell so there’s little point in speculating. Finally, choosing a different photo will not improve my “cheesy and stupid” appearance, it’s how I have looked all my life and can comfortably live with it. I’m also wondering why you prefer NOT to post a photo of yourself, it only leads one to suspect that you cannot be all that pleased with the appearance you were born with!

  23. Kev says:


    It’s simples…..a good looking lad like moi doesn’t want you to feel bad about yourself. Not only am I objective but also caring to people like yourself. If you wish to air your views that’s absolutely fine but pl take off those red tinted glasses. You & Eamon Holmes have a lot in common…bias comments that bore the pants off the non Man U nation…wont make the obvious derogatory comment I’m taking the high ground on that one

    Onward & upwards I say…one final thought I trust you now the way to OT (it’s up North just in case you’ll not sure)


  24. Kev says:


    Some one bought you a dictionary…like Frank get those glasses off.

    In otherwords remove one’s glasses in your speak.

  25. Mick Groarke says:

    I read with interest in this thread about the goal was within the laws of the game. This is indeed true, but I wonder what the reaction would be if a Spurs player went down injured, Man Utd kick the ball out. The ref does a drop ball and Man Utd let a Spurs player have it, thinking he is going to kick it back to the keeper. But the Spurs player runs with ball and scores.
    No rules broken Man Utd, so dont complain!
    Of course, this would never be allowed to stand and the player would probably get booked for unsportsman-like behaviour. I see this incident in the same light.

  26. Seb says:

    Frank – I do think a goalkeeper of Gomes expierience should have played to the whistle. The main reason for the farce was Clattenberg not expressing his decision to the players. He didn’t blow his whistle, or signal for advantage so presumabley he didn’t see it? Then he over ruled the linesman who did signal for a hand ball? It’s not clear what decision has been made which is what caused the confusion and controversy.

    I don’t think it had a huge impact on the result though, for all our good possession without Defoe we lack a goal threat up front so United can effectively play out a 1-0 with relative ease after scoring the first goal. We’re still a work in progress but the respect United gave us shows we’re moving in the right direction.

    Also Frank I don’t think we’ll agree on the incident but well done for keeping your composure despite the name calling. Class act

  27. King Eric says:

    At the end of the day..United won 2-0 …whatever you had said .. we got the three points .. Good luck for spurs in getting a seat for Europa Cup next year

  28. Danny Salford Red says:

    Kev, you lost all respect for anything said when you resorted to giving a guy stick for his looks in a football forum. Get yer self off and watch Queer eye for a straight guy on Bravo or something

  29. Frank Scicluna says:

    Like Seb said, we are never going to agree on this but I’m sure that when everyone cools down agreement will be reached that Gomez and Gomez alone was the villain. The ironic part in the entire incident is clearly that Clattenberg was actually trying to HELP Spurs by allowing the game to go on as they were a goal behind with less than 10 minutes remaining. Imagine if Gomes had made a quick, long clearance, caught the United defence on the hop resulting in an equaliser. The ref would have been an absolute hero with Spurs fans for playing the advantage. And Seb, thanks. We are all football fans first and foremost irrespective which club we support. There should never be a place for insults.

  30. Seb says:

    Gomes the villain? Never! Do you not know he’s the love of our life!

    To be honest though I think it was a perfect storm between an experienced goal keeper being very careless and naive, a referee who lost control with vague and ambiguous signals (which didn’t make his decision clear) and a slightly ponderous linesman who didn’t act until after the horse had bolted.

    A disappointing climax to end any game but at least it didn’t affect the result and if all goes well we’ll use it as motivation for a barn storming display against Inter Milan

  31. Walter Mitty says:

    Oh Kev, all because I try to be a little more objective, you’re taking issue with the way I use English? Seriously? What a laugh.

    If you want to take issue with something, take issue with my arguments; don’t bother attacking the way I write. This is neither the time nor the place.

    Oh, and if you were in any way as objective as you seem to imply (“take off those red tinted glasses”) you’d have accepted that the person most to blame in this whole farce is Gomes. I believe Alan Wiley and Graham Poll – both professional referees at some point – have come out stating similar positions. Don’t bother trying to vilify Frank for not being objective when you’re not.

    You’re funny, but not in the way you think.

  32. davison udeh says:

    my fisrt son must pray in manchester united and his name will be manchester
    becouse i love them so much



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