I will start this post by congratulating the team and the King for a wonderful performance. We may have been knocked out of a cup which has little significance this season, but we bow out with heads held high. I was tremendously impressed by Dalglish’s substitutions. He was spot on and to me that shows that he hasn’t lost touch with football management. The future looks bright under the auspices of Kenny!
I posted this brief article to highlight how wrong Howard Webb was in giving the penalty barely half a minute after kick-off. The image hereunder shows the incident in six frames. The first shot (1) depicts Berbatov and Agger right after the pass was made to the United striker. Nothing much here. Frame (2) shows Berbatov in a sudden burst forward with Agger quick to react although, inevitably, he was left lagging a foot behind. Frames (3) and (4) are the focal point of the whole incident. Agger thinks he can tackle Berbatov and deprive him of the ball (3) but re-thinks and pulls off at the last moment (4). In frame (4) Berbatov is evidently stable on his feet, however a few milli-seconds later, frame (5), he blatantly initiates a dive which ultimately led to Webb awarding the penalty. Amateurish decision I must say. A decision which forced Liverpool to throw caution to the wind from the start. The video clip can be watched here: http://www.caughtoffside.com/2011/01/09/manchester-united-1-0-liverpool-fa-cup-third-round-highlights-video/.
Click on the image below to have a full left-to-right view of the incident.
** Adding a frame from the Gerrard incident too – isn’t this showing two players “going” for the ball with intent? Nothing malicious and anyone could have been hurt! So why send off Stevie?! One can also note that Webb had his back to both players initially and couldn’t see Carrick throw himself towards the ball. He only saw the last part of the action when Gerrard and Carrick are in close proximity. To me, Webb jumped the gun and assumed Gerrard was at fault. Case for an appeal here!