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Suárez hands Liverpool win against Mansfield in the FA Cup.

Luis Suárez was at it again, this time by scoring a winning goal with his arm to ensure Liverpool’s victory at Field Mill against fifth division Mansfield Town and securing his team’s place in the FA Cup fourth round.
 
Suárez put Mansfield Town in a 0-2 hole in the 59th minute of the match when he clearly scored the goal with his hand after Mansfield goalkeeper, Alan Marriott, deflected the initial shot. While we are no mind readers and, under the Laws of the Game the ball must be touched by the offending player in a deliberate manner, there can be very little doubt that Suarez intentionally handled the ball.
 
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Referee's red cards ruled as obvious errors by the FA!

In the last week’s English Premier League game between West Ham and Everton, the referee Anthony Taylor sent off West Ham’s Carlton Cole and Everton’s Darron Gibson for what he apparently perceived to be dangerous high-foot challenges that put the safety of their opponents at risk.  The first red card was awarded in the 67th minute of the game to Carlton Cole after he challenged for the ball with his leg fully extended and studs up while Everton’s Leighton Baines was challenging for the ball with his head. Mr. Taylor almost immediately pulled the red card from his pocket and dismissed Cole. However, even though the replays showed that Cole’s foot was dangerously high and close to Baines’ head, he was going for the ball and there appear to be no intent on his part to injure or intimidate the Everton player. What’s more, Baines was barely grazed by Carlton’s foot and, to his credit, he did not embellish any injury from the contact. The second red card was awarded in the 90th minute of the game to Darron Gibson for a similar high-footed challenge on West Ham’s Mark Noble. Like the Cole’s challenge, Gibson’s tackle did not appear malicious or retaliatory in nature and he did not appear to intentionally target his opponent. (See the video below.)

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Always Slightly Confusing Offside Law.

In the 28th minute of the Manchester United v. Newcastle match that took place on December 26, 2012, Newcastle’s fullback Danny Simpson drove a ball from the upper corner of Manchester United’s penalty area toward his teammate Papiss Cissé.  At the time of the shot, Cissé was clearly closer to the goal than the second to last Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and therefore was in an offside position. Both players were at the top of the goal area but out of the line of sight of Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea who could clearly see the shot hurdling toward him. As Evans attempted to turn and face the field to have a better chance of clearing the incoming ball, he appeared to slip on the wet pitch and went down to the ground. While Evans was falling to the ground, the ball ricocheted off his foot and into the goal without ever making its way to the intended target, Cissé.

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Bolton relegated from EPL after referee’s blunder.

There was plenty of drama in the Premier League during the last round. Understandably, a lot of attention was paid to the two Manchester teams that were vying for the title trophy of the Premier League.  Ultimately, after much drama and in an incredibly nail-biting fashion, Manchester City defeated QPR 3-2 and was crowned the Champion of the Premier League. But there was a similar and heart-wrenching drama at the bottom of the table as well. Before the weekend games began, everybody knew that only a win - and a QPR defeat at Manchester City - would have resulted in Bolton staying up in the English Premier League. 

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QPR denied goal reignites the Goal Line Technology debate yet again!

Regular readers of this blog already know that we covered the goal line technology debate in a number of posts. However, we seem to be unable to get away from this subject mostly because referees continue to make glaring mistakes and fail to award goals where they are clearly merited.  The latest error was committed by the referees who officiated a game between Bolton Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers this past Saturday, March 10, 2012.

 

At the time when the game was still scoreless, Clint Hill, QPR’s defender, headed the ball towards Bolton’s goal.  Adam Bogdan, Bolton’s goalkeeper, dove after the ball and desperately tried to stop it from going over the line but all of the replays and pictures (see above) clearly showed that the ball crossed over the goal line.  In fact, it appeared that by the time Bogdan got to it, the ball was already one foot over the line. QPR should have been leading Bolton by a score of 1:0.

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