• Manchester United Message Board

  • Guru Guru May 7, 2009 18:43 Flag

    Now say the ref last night is not biased

    Tom Henning Ovrebo is unlikely to get any Christmas cards from the Stamford Bridge dressing room after his refereeing performance in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona.

    The Norwegian has not been without controversy in his career. Having made his major tournament debut at Euro 2008, he was sent home after two games when he admitted to wrongly disallowing a goal by Italy's Luca Toni against Romania.

    Nor has he done English clubs any favours in the past. Ovrebo has refereed English clubs 12 times in European competition and has never once awarded them a penalty. In contrast, he has awarded three penalties against Premier League sides.

    One of those penalties came in the first leg of the Standard Liege-Liverpool match in the third preliminary round of the Champions League this season, when Andrea Dossena was deemed to have handled inside the box.

    Replays showed the incident actually happened outside the area. As it happened, Pepe Reina saved the spot-kick.

    In this season's Champions League he has refereed four matches involving English sides - Standard v Liverpool, Celtic v Manchester United, Villarreal v Arsenal, Chelsea v Barcelona - all four of which have finished in draws.

    In those games he awarded nine yellows cards to players from English clubs and just two to opposing players - plus Eric Abidal's red card in the semi-final.

    The semi-final was the second Barcelona match that Ovrebo has officiated this season. In the other, Barcelona beat Lyon 5-2 and the French side had seven yellow cards and one red, compared to just one Barca booking.

    In his defence, Ovrebo is very popular with players in his native Norway and has been voted referee of the season on five separate occasions.

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    • In the top ranks of the modern game. Clubs/Managers/Players and even fans are more than happy to walk off with the big shiney trophey if a member of their star studded team dives or feigns injury to get someone sent off.

      What difference does it make if the referee was not quite being fair (and that might not be true, it could just have been a poor game by him)?

      No. Sorry guys.

      Wipe away those tears and wake up. The game at the top is rotten to the core. The vast majority of top Prem, La Liga,Siri A players would happily cheat to win.

      Bitter pill for ANY club to swallow, but swallow it they must.

    • Absolutely, we should have went for the kill when they went down to 10 men. United probably has the best balance, great defence and great attaking players. Good luck for the final

    • I have no problem with the way chelsea played for most of the match. As you quite rightly say vlad a team has to play to its strengths not its opponents. Besides defence is as much a part of football as attack and great defending is just as much an art as great attacking - indeed the very best team are able to do both. However, I was disappointed that chelsea continued to play that way even after barcelona went down to 10 and their failure to go for the kill is as much to blame for them missing out as the ref`s poor decision making.

    • We played to our strenghts, there is nothing wrong with that. We don't have the players to play Barca openly. Look what happened to Real Madrid, they got raped. We gave a master class in defending and should be proud in stopping arguably the best attacking team in the world.

    • I think Drogba's penalty calls are weak, but I do think the handball with Pique was a stick on penalty.

      I also think Ballack & Drogba should be banned for a long time for their pathetic displays. Passion is needed yes, but they are professional sportsmen.

      • 1 Reply to Red_Till_Im_Dead
      • I don't know how Ballack prevented himself from doing a nasty injury to the ref after the Eto handball.

        Ballack is one of the best players in the world. He has come close to winning the biggest prizes (the world cup and the CL) but never won either. Time is running out. He played incredibly professionally last night, I thought, and yet saw Chelsea denied a CL final place from a refereeing performance that you could not call professional, in the normal sense of the word. Simply, the referee has cheated Ballack and all the others from going to a CL final, perhaps their best/last chance to win the CL. If I was Ballack, I'd be might angry with the referee. Wouldn't you?