Even if Ashley Young diving and winning a penalty kick that shouldn’t have been awarded to Manchester United by Jonathan Moss wasn’t the only goal the team scored in their win over Crystal Palace it’s clear that the controversial moment at the end of the first half made most of the difference in the match, casting a huge doubt on the legitimacy of the win.
Ashley Young has won more penalties (tied with Agbonlahor) than anyone else in the Premier League (12) since 2006. How many of them were dives? The recent ones at least have all been very controversial, not to say wrong.
Young began the day with a dive that got him booked, justifiably, as he kicked an opponent while falling down, attempting to make the contact look like it didn’t come from him. At the end of the half, with minimal contact coming from Kagisho Dikgacoi, outside of the box, Young made another dive.
This time, Moss wasn’t positioned very well to see what happened. He wasn’t sure, which should make it clear that he shouldn’t call the foul at such a crucial moment with the repercussions it carried with it (red card).
He got not help from the assistant referee, so he decided to make the decisions many referees have at Old Trafford over the years: Benefit the home side – send off the Crystal Palace player, and give United a penalty they didn’t deserve.
There was never any doubt Manchester United will be pressing and dominating throughout the match. They found themselves getting two or three excellent chances before the spot kick that Robin van Persie converted. Later it was a Wayne Rooney free kick to set the score at 2-0, although United struggled to create clear cut chances against 10 men.
The Premier League is busy rejoicing the fact that the goalline technology is finally used, but the big problem are mistakes like these. Manchester United did win as the better team from the first minute, but the most important decision went their way when it shouldn’t have, leaving a very bad taste in the mouths of those who watched the match, hoping to see a fairer fight.