Chelsea did crush Tottenham 5-1, so there’s no doubt about who was the better team in the London fight to see who gets to meet Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. But English football this season is filled with refereeing controversies, and the FA Cup Semi Final couldn’t be any different. This time? A phantom goal by Chelsea, which could have been denied if only we’d have goal line technology.
But for now we’re stuck with bad, arrogant referees. Martin Atkinson, who’s seen his fair share of bad decisions, didn’t even look at the linesman to consult with him. He just waived it in, and so Chelsea were up 2-0. Juan Mata got himself a phantom goal, Tottenham were in for an uphill struggle which they began well, replying with a Gareth Bale goal quite quickly. Everything turned South from there.
You’d love to say that Chelsea put on a show. That Roberto Di Matteo’s incredible work with the club is paying off. But again, injustice just creeps up on you and takes over every good patch of feeling you’ve had about the match. About Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba living it up at Wembley once again, trying to win a fourth FA cup in six seasons.
About how Di Matteo has turned Ramires into a winger of sorts, making much more use of his speed and talents than in the middle of the park, where he failed to dominate. About Tottenham’s missing people at the back, and how William Gallas simply gave up on his team. About Frank Lampard’s brilliant free kick goal, helped by a slight touch on Scott Parker’s shoulder.
How Harry Redknapp ant Tottenham can’t take that next step towards greatness. The wagon has truly fallen off the wheels in recent weeks, and getting this kind of embarassment on the biggest stage of English football could mean that Tottenham keep slipping further and further down the table, maybe even missing out on a Champions League spot that looked clinched and sealed about a month ago.
That Chelsea look like a team ready for a Cup tie, more than anyone else right now in England. That the Barcelona Semi Final in the Champions League has come in perfect time for them, despite their battle in the Premier League for that elusive final Champions League spot.
But we’re left with a bad taste in our mouths. Not only for the goal decision, but mostly for it. Juan Mata’s shot never crossed that line. It wasn’t even that hard to see. But referees don’t whistle what they see. They call it due to team’s colors, prejudices and hunches. They are human, and they’re affected by reactions of players instead of concentrating on what they actually saw. The 5-1 result masks Atkinson’s terrible match, but it’s getting harder and harder hiding the truth – Football needs a technological change. Not soon. Now.
New footage has emerged that may suggest that the ball has crossed the line. I still think it’s too close to tell, probably a hair still over the line. You be the judge.