Liverpool Message Board
Was it a great match......yes it was unreal the way the goals happened. The defending throughout was terrible, the goalkeepers largely played as though they had never been between the sticks before, (especially Cech, but Reina's howler was horrendous too), and my last point and the thing that stuck with me throughout the game was Chelsea's diving.
The Ref was poor but Chelsea players quickly cottoned on to the fact they could buy a free kick whenever they wanted one, in any area of the pitch. We expect it from Drogba, and he lived up to those expectations. But Essien was at it regularly, Lampard blantantly dived twice at least for free kicks and it was like watching a cheating spanish side apart from the fact we had the spaniards.......if Benayoun and Torres had played like chelsea, we would have won that game convincinly because Bennie was half tripped numerous times in the vicinity of the box BUT stayed on his feet. toores was kicked a number of times, but just got on with it like he does.
Is it clever, or is it cheating. I know my thoughts, and they are what stay with me today and ruin the drama of an exciting game. Lampard especially, showed that diving is NOT a foreign trait.
My playing days were long ago but I was on the right wing when all formations were 2-3-5. You were left back, were you? Well, that explains everything! Here's me trying to run rings around you and you sticking your clogs in.
I don't mean to suggest that Arbeloa intended harm. I doubt he did and claiming intentions of this sort is too problematic. I do mean to suggest that he intended a foul (that is clear) and the foul was a dangerous one. That's enough for a red card. If you intend to harm someone and end up inadvertantly killing them you get put away for manslaughter.
I don't see Drogba's actions as any more deliberate and calculated than Arbeloa's. We all know that defenders and midfielders make deliberate fouls to prevent the other side making breaks. Arbeloa clearly did here. What's the difference?
I suppose one reason I may see them is a little different is the factor of intent. I agree Arbeloa's challenge was rash, dangerous, and if fully seen by the ref, very likely a red card. But I'm not sure I agree it was deliberate in terms of causing harm. Yes he deliberatly tried to take the player down, but did he deliberatly try and put his studs into Essiens leg? The difference between getting your foot in front of a players leg to tip him, and pushing your foot into a players leg, is a fraction of a second.
I have no idea what Arbeloa's intentions in terms of causing harm were, but based on his very quick reaction to see if Essien was okay, and the fact he is not known as a player who goes around hacking at players legs, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. But maybe as a Red, I might be a little more deferential than a blue?
Drogba on the other hand, while his actions were not dangerous, or rash, they were in my mind completely deliberate and calculated. And while I'd love to give all the benefit of the doubt, Drogba has a slightly different history in terms of trying to win decisions that Arbeloa.
It maybe a fine line that seperates our disagrement here, but as you point out its often the details that create the best arguments. Or maybe I suspect you were a striker in your playing days, while I played left back, so we may never be able to see eye to eye on these types of matters.
It's all a mountain out of a molehill. But when we start off by agreeing and being nice to each other over the main issues, there's no place to go for an argument if we don't pick on something trivial.
No problem with the penalty and no problem describing Ivanovic's bear hug on Alonso as cheating in the same way as Arbeloa's bringing down Essien. And you can regard Drogba as cheating in the same way if you wish, deliberately breaking a rule in order to gain an advantage. (Or, in Drogba's case, not give the other side an unmerited advantage.) These transgressions can all be in the seen to be of the same type.
But in addition, what makes Arbeloa's offence worse is that it was dangerous. Studs in the knee is potentially career threatening, particularly for Essien with a recent history of knee injury. When you look at in slow motion you are really forced to the view it should have been a straight red as it was (i) deliberate and (ii) dangerous. You may remember a few years ago the fuss from Liverpool management/players/fans about a nasty challenge Essien made on one of your players. (Hamann?) This was just as bad.
By comparison all Drogba was attempting to do was get the game stopped so Liverpool didn't get a 11-10 man advantage they didn't deserve. Why you think that is worse than a career threatening deliberate foul I can't think. But I suspect it is to do with it being Chelsea's bete noir at the centre of it.
Robert, trying to work out if your making a mountain out of a mole hill here, or just getting the old proverbial wooden spoon out!
Overall I don't think we can call what happened the other night cheating, unless we put a fairly low definition to it. In which every match where a ref has to blow his whistled would have to be condemed as a disgraceful display of overpaid cheats. Even a player trying to claim a throw in or a corner kick could be accused of cheating.
I don't condem Arbeloa taking down Essien any more or less than Alonso getting a feel up to win the penalty. While the penalty might be considered on the weak side, it was a penalty IMO. Alonso was pulled down to stop him from getting a jump on the ball, Essien was brought down to prevent him breaking. Both, you could define as cheating, as they are both violations of the laws of the game, and both were punished according to the laws of the game.
My only point is, while I did my usual biased screaming the other night "of he went down easy" "that not a foul ref" I can accept after the match that Chelsea players went down no easier than Liverpool players. The ref made it clear that contact was not going to be allowed, so players went along accordingly.
But at the time, and even in hindsight, I felt Drogba went beyond that by rolling back onto the pitch. When I saw it I thought what's he playing at, he was just on the otherside of the touch line a minute ago. And when the ref blew up, I thought, here we go again, he's conned another one. For me at least, and I really don't think this is looking through red lenses, going down a little easy after being kicked, nudged or pushed, is not quite the same as rolling back on to the pitch. For me that is closer to actually going down, or diving when there has been no kick, nudge or push, and fits my definition of blatent cheating.
But I am glad it did not have a direct impact on the result. It was a fantastic match, a fair final result, so all we left with now is argue over semantics on one players behaviour, and like I said before not sure if that is a mole hill, or just a turning wooden spoon.
I'm not saying we were hard done by in Arbeloa getting a yellow. The fourth possible reason is that continental referees don't have it in their heads to give straight reds for such fouls as Premiership referees have recently been doing in arbitrary ways. I don't mind that being a yellow even though I have seen Chelsea players get straight reds for less bad fouls (including once against you) and Essien getting a retrospective ban for a similar thing against you.
In fact, if his thinking was your third reason (and I doubt it was) then he made precisely the wrong call. It's the referee's job to police the rules, not make political judgements about what or who should stay on in order to influence the balance of the match.
What I am objecting to here is the refrain from Liverpool fans that they don't mind the losing, what they mind is the alleged cheating by Chelsea. You expressed it just up there as a great match spoiled only by Drogba crawling on to the pitch. Well, hang on - Drogba's misdemeanour is worth way less than Arbeloa's misdemeanour, as I have described above. If you can't see that then I think you're just looking at it through red-tinted spectacles.
Think we may have to agree we have a different point of view here.
I see what your saying about the Drogba, and actually agree with your conclusion. My only difference is your assertion it was a foul. It may have been, but it was not called as a foul, and therefore its only a foul in your opinion, but on the pitch it was play on. Players see that outcome every week, and should have learnt early on you just get on with it even if you don't agree with the ref.
On the second point, Arbeloa on Essien, I agree it was a rash, and potentially dangerous challenge. Although to be fair I did not see the studs into the side of the leg until the slow motion replay. It was no doubt a card offense, and he did get a yellow. Why he did not get a red I can only think of 3 reasons: one the ref missed it. He saw plenty of pushing, but might have missed the studs being up. second he did not see intent to hurt, so a warning was prefered to a red. Or, third he did not want the balance of this match be decided by him by sending off a player rather than the players on the pitch.
Now maybe at the time I can understand a Chelsea fan thinking you got hard done by, but if you accept the last reason, maybe he did make the right call. Despite our little niggling compliants, non of them should, or did change the outcome of what was a thrilling match.
Well we all have our points of view.
Drogba appeared to deliberately come back onto the pitch to get the play stopped. This was either to gain an advantage for his team or not to have his team suffer an unfair disadvantage, depending on your point of view. I said at the start that I thought he should probably have been booked for it, even though if he stayed off after being fouled then Liverpool would have gained an advantage from fouling the Chelsea player.
Arbeloa saw Essien collect the ball and start an attack. He deliberately kicked out at Essien in order to foul Essien to stop the attack. This was clearly an attempt to gain an unfair advantage for his team with a foul. Worse, he put his studs into Essien's knee. He could have put Essien out of the game for six months. Fortunately he didn't.
Now, why do you think Drogba's offence is worse than Arbeloa's?
Now Robert, we're not going to have one of those "my dad's bigger than your dad" debates are we?
Yes I've seen Gerrard go down a little easy in the box before, just like I've seen many players do the same. But I've not seen him go down as many times as many claim he has.
But I think the question of the thread was not who goes down more easy, or who dives most, but was asking questions about Drogba's antics the other night.
I don't think anyone is doubting his ability as a player, but I have to say the other night I saw two horrible goalies, and 20 other never die performances. But the one spoiler from a vastly entertaining match was seeing Drogba rolling around off the pitch, then rolling around on the pitch, for what looked to me, and I think its hard to arugue otherwise, to get the play stopped.
Call me Cynical, but that is what I saw Tuesday.
And you've never seen Gerrard fall over in the penalty area as if he was tripped when the replay shows no contact at all?
Who's the bigger cheat - one who goes over when he is fouled or one who pretends there is a foul when there is no contact?
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