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Why preview United at Anfield? It's all about the ref

Referee Martin Atkinson proved it once and for all on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge. Forget the vastly experienced managers, the highly paid talented footballers. Matches AND Premierships are decided by little tin gods with the simple ability to blow a whistle. So what’s the point of even attempting to preview a game? It’s a complete waste of time because all logic goes out the window once the man holding all the cards decides that he has a God given right to settle the outcome of a game. Does it sound as though I’m still angry about Manchester United’s defeat at Chelsea? Bloody oath I am. Why shouldn’t I be when even opposition players, manager and former referees admit that some of Atkinson’s most critical decisions completely dudded United?

So who’s to say that the clash at Anfield on Sunday will be any different, why bother making an effort trying to analyse what’s likely to happen when one man has the authority to play a crucial role in deciding the destination of a Premier League title while completely turning a game on it’s head at the same time – just as Atkinson did in West London?

Let’s instead look back at the sensational events at Anfield in March 2007 when United’s underrated defender John O’Shea delivered an injury time killer blow to Liverpool and virtually assure United of another title. The Irishman remembers that “The goal was one of the best moments in my career. It was a huge win for us and was a sickener for our rivals given how late we scored. Two months later we were champions

Wins over Liverpool don’t come much sweeter than this. On March 3rd four years ago, United staged the mother of all smash and grab raids at Anfield en route to the 2006-07 title. The Reds survived the late dismissal of Paul Scholes, for lashing out at Xabi Alonso, to snatch all three points through an injury time John O’Shea strike. The Irishman, on as a substitute for the injured Wayne Rooney, smashed home the loose ball after Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina had parried Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had posed the hosts almost no attacking threat but, after weathering a second half storm, grabbed victory to go 12 points clear at the top with nine games remaining. Ferguson would no doubt settle for the same outcome on Sunday. Enjoy that O’Shea winner once again.

Liverpool – Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise, Gerrard, Alonso, Sissoko (Crouch, 79), Gonzalez (Aurelio, 60), Kuyt, Bellamy (Pennant, 69)

Manchester United – van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra (Silvestre, 63), Carrick, Scholes, Ronaldo, Giggs, Rooney (O’Shea, 73), Larsson (Saha, 67)

Will it be too much for the old ticker if United wins it in injury time again on Sunday?

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14 Responses to “Why preview United at Anfield? It's all about the ref”

  1. Daniel says:

    Hm… Shame about the loss at the Bridge. Suppose it was because Chelsea could afford to pay the ref MORE! 🙂 YNWA

  2. POOL OF LIFE says:

    OH I SEE !!!!!! dont preveiw a game you may lose !!??? how insular , tell me did you preveiw your gift of a “game” with wigan ??? no referee issue there i see !!!! oh and stoke , oh and spurs , oh and the mighty redmen , oh … you see where this is going ?? just cos this ref or that ref aint in your pocket , i have givin up , sadly MY BEAUTIFUL GAME IS BENT !!!!, all down to the corrupt winedrinker down at the swamp, and you cobblplodding pigeon eaters have the gall to complain BEFOREHAND , WHATS UP ??? COULD’NT YOU PAY THIS REF TO “SWING” IT FOR YOU SHOWER ??? baconface has held on for too long , he shudda left at the top , instead ,sculk, and sneak away into the night (sic) YNWA , PAST , PRESENT , AND FUTURE, OUR FUTURE … AW STOP CRYIN fRANCIS , REMENBER THE GOOD TIMES , YEH , GO LIVE ON YOUR HISTORY , IT SARTS THIS WEEKEND WHEN YOUR SEASON FALLS IN ON YOU HAHAHAHAHAHA

  3. Frank Scicluna says:

    Pool how bitter can you possibly get? What’s all this YNWA bullshit anyway? Do you REALLY mean ‘You’ll Never Wank Alone?’ You have no idea how true that is! And all this “COULD’NT (sic, did you mean COULDN’T?) YOU PAY THIS REF TO “SWING” FOR YOU”. You should ask that question to Mr Atkinson. Then you go on about “PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE” You don’t seem to understand that Liverpool’s future IS in the past. When you ask me to “REMENBER THE GOOD TIMES , YEH , GO LIVE ON YOUR HISTORY”, it is Liverpool that has nothing more than HISTORY to talk about. 1990 is 20 years ago, most likely before you were even born.

  4. POOL OF LIFE says:

    now now frankie , no need to get bitter and twisted ,what with the blue moon rising , and the mighty reds sort of on the right track, some raw nerve you got goin on fella hahaha, so now its eveyone elses fault you swamp dwellers cant afford to buy your usual quota of bent ref’s this time round !!@@??. and for you info , 1st game , boys pen 1972, ANFEILD ( hence my ref to your upcomming soon to be history) , STILL ON OUR PERCH , AND LAFFIN AT THE WINEGUZZLIN BULLY AT THE THEATER OF SQUIRMS. just who is that wino gona complain about , and or verbally abuse now he banned himself from doin the MEDIA !!! OH THE IRONY

    p.s. you fall for it every time , now re-read this several times and see how meny mistakes you can find hehehehehe

  5. Frank Scicluna says:

    Hate to offend you Pool Of Life but are you on some sort of mind altering substance?

  6. POOL OF LIFE says:

    oh dear francis , seems to be your stock retort !!! nowt else to say ??, go have a lie down , all this reallity seems to be giving you a fever , shame .
    but hay-ho , you can search the internet for gems of wisdom from the baconfaced wino, cos there aint gona be anymore hahahahahaha

  7. lefthanded says:

    I didn’t see you complaining when we played you in the FA cup and you got that penalty in the 1st minute?
    those things happens to utd once every blue moon, while other teams have it more often…so please stop complaining about the Referees!

  8. Mersey Reds says:

    Manure waited 26 years before they won their next league title since 1968. Liverpol’s 20 years title drought is still well short of this Manure record.

  9. Yurij says:

    C’mon!

    Talking about being hypocritical…

    How many times have not you (United) had the ref on your side this season? In fact, how many times have you NOT have the ref on your side in the most important decisions this season?

    Except the Chelsea game, you lot have been so mindblowingly (“)lucky(“) with the ref’s decisions that corruption actually should be taken seriously. Especially when you see how Rooney got away with that horrible, totally unmotivated, elbow on McCarthy against Wigan…

    Ashley Cole should’ve been charged by the police and sentenced to about 1-2 years in prison (which normal people would have to do for shooting someone, even though it was an accident). Rooney should’ve been out for a month of Premiership football, just like Pepe (Real Madrid) got when he did a similar thing in La Liga. While that little, rednosed fella you got managing your team should be out for a couple of weeks for the comments he made towards the ref.

    The last person I mentioned there, like you, suffers from being hugely hypocritical, as he was one of the persons that fronted the RESPECT-campaign for the refs some years ago, while he has also been one of the worst at respecting that campaign, if not the worst, but he seems to get away with it all too often..

  10. LFC for life says:

    haha! man u gonna lose like shit! couldn’t agree more with u Pool Of Life. YNWA

  11. Jammathon says:

    Not to side with the ranting Pool but you pretty much have had the ref’s rub of the green the entire season, with Rooney’s assault just the latest of a string of things you’ve gotten away with this season. Now one result goes against you and you start throwing your toys out of the cot. Swings and roundabouts. The rest of the EPL is smiling quietly.

    If you lose out to Arsenal this season, it’s because you drew far too many games and mistook that for an historic unbeaten run. It’s not down to one match and one ref.

  12. Stonyk says:

    In all honesty, football has not been football for a while now. Its been all about the FA and premier leagues attempts to make certain teams win the league. Thr problem starts with the fact if man u winnthe cup, league etc it will bring in more money for the sponsors and organisers as well as firms like Sky. Do you think sponsors who pay millions are going to accept it when their outcome of choice doesn’t happen? If united aren’t in the FA cup final and their majority fans don’t watch the game then they’ve paid their money for nothing.

    I work in london and the majority here support united. I have to listen to them wine about how the refs are anti-united ignoring th fact that 95% of games the ref will be biased to them an only recalling the 5%. They have no respect for the teams like Bolton, Stoke etc who get docked on by refs during those 95% of games. How can anyone respect ferguson and the united fans when they have such anti football opinions?

    Unfortunately I think the ref will decide the game against Liverpool and it normally is decided for united. So te money would be on the ref to help united out this time. I feel there may be added pressure by the powers above to enforce it.

  13. Dave says:

    I wish our fans wouldn’t do that – just sets us up for the fall: hubris, my friend, and hush.

    That said, there’s an irony in the first half of the blog ranting about a poor reffing decision, and the second half glorying in a goal scored from a free kick you gained courtesy of a poor reffing decision in your favour.
    You’ve gained more than you’ve lost and the country may hate you less if you had the grace to acknowledge that.

    Dave
    Liverpool

  14. petemanc says:

    I’d Rather Walk Alone….

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