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I don't think any of our EPL officials are cheats. They make mistakes and there are ever-pressing arguments for the use of technology that has made Rugby and even Cricket incident reviews more exciting - and more fair. The issue on Martin Atkinson is that he was picked for 3 consecutive Chelsea v United EPL games and he consistently got the crucial decisions wrong in Chelsea's favour in all 3 games. I am not saying he cheated, I am saying he has had a consistent run of errors in favour of Chelsea. Possibly over-compensating for the media hype about refs allegedly favouring United. Last season there was the Cashley Cole dive that resulted in the free kick from which Chelsea scored at Stamford Bridge; the Drogba 'mile offside' goal that resulted in the victory at OT. And this year at Stamford Bridge (I was there!) the Luiz incident and Vidic penalty incident. Overall, however, I genuinely believe over 38 games the table never lies. These incidents even themselves out over a season. Whoever is top of the table at the end of the season will deserve it. Chelsea won in London, but I left with no doubt that United are the better side. I share Jose's optimism - but not his cynicism - that it will be United!
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Welshmu, you were doing so well in your first two sentences. And then with "he consistently got the crucial decisions wrong in Chelsea's favour in all 3 games" you became Sillymu.
Ashley Cole didn't dive for the freekick - that's ridiculous - he was knocked off the ball by Darren Fletcher. You see ten freekicks given for fouls like that in every match. But give one against United which a goal is scored from and it's an "error"?
Drogba's goal, Chelsea's second, was indeed offside. Macheda's subsequent goal was scored by him knocking it in with his arm. Strike them both out and Chelsea win 1-0. You might also remember both teams could have had a penalty (Park and Malouda brought down in the box in the first half) but neither did.
Yes, Luiz could have had a second yellow. Vidic could have had two or three before his second yellow. So the ref had a resistance to sending players off. Many refs do. Did you see Barca - Real last night? How many yellow cards could or should Carvalho and Diarra had?
To see these decisions as errors in Chelsea's favour, whilst ignoring all decisions which go for you, just shows a silly bias as bad as your esteemed manager's.
'the Drogba 'mile offside' goal that resulted in victory at OT'
Care to comment on the Macheda goal that was palmed into the net in the same game that the same ref allowed to stand? No? Thought not......