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  • Well I don't think United stand much chance. Not that Barca are better, but whatever happens in the match the officials are certainly going to be under instructions to favour the Spanish. The ref tonight was a disgrace. If United win they will have beaten at least 14 men, the opposition and the officials.
    Chelsea should have scored a second in open play, but I feel very sorry for them.
    Not one Barca shot on target before the goal.

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    • Don't forget the ludicrous sending off of Abidal. If that wasn't a huge advantage then I don't know what would be.

      At the end of the day Robert, you can cry and cry about the "penalties" that weren't awarded. But you were 1-0 up and cruising against a below par Barcelona side playing with 10 men at home. You should have easily been able to see them off. And yet, Barca still dominated possession an Chelski still couldn't get their passing sorted out. You should be blaming Chelski for throwing it away.

      1-0 should have been enough against 10 men.

    • What about Barca's penalty claim in the first leg? That wasnt given either.

    • It's rather too simplistic to say it's all Chelsea's fault for not scoring again. The match was 180 minutes** of tight football, won only by the away goals rule. Had the referee given any of the penalties which all independent observers say should have been given almost certainly we would have won. Had he given us two or three penalties out of the four or five possible we would probably have stuffed them.

      The biggest factor in the difference between the two teams was the referee not doing his job. Simple as.


      Robert

      ** More than 180, unfortunately.

    • Ian, take a look at this. Bayern look pretty healthy and might be a good bet for long-term success and not shafting the support to repay debt. The TV money is, at best, precarious. Problems will arise, and the mythical Arab or Indian buying United might not be as certain as the complacent think:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes'_list_of_the_most_valuable_football_clubs

    • Oh, and it's universally known that the Spanish royal family bankroles Real Madrid

    • I have to say, I think this theory on a UEFA "conspiracy" to prevent two English teams from contesting the final is pretty ludicrous.

      I think the far more likely explanation is that the ref had a stinker. End of. But then, I also hear Chelski fans complaining about the ref dismissing "3 or 4 clear penalty shouts". This is also an exaggeration in my opinion. The first pen shout was when Alves was holding back Malouda in the box. I must admit that was a bit of a cop out from the ref when he gave the freekick instead, but it would have been a VERY soft penalty had the ref gave it, and I'm pretty sure 99% of refs wouldn't have given it.

      Then we have the Drogba incident where he fell in the box. Yes there was a slight shirt pull and a bit of a tangle of legs, but the way Drogba fell was very theatrical. If that pen was given to Barca, Chelski fans would be livid. And yes, Cristiano wouldn't have gotten that decision either. Besides, Henry was hauled back by his shirt in the Nou Camp and that wasn't given either. So I guess that one makes you even.

      On to Pique's handball. Yes. No arguments. CLEAR penalty. But Sky have already confirmed that Anelka was blocking the view of the ref. And this "but the ball clearly changed direction" argument does not hold water with the ref. Just ask poor Darren Fletcher! The linesman should have helped the ref out, but if the ref didn't see it, he wasn't going to give a pen.

      I'm not even going to bother with the Eto'o "handball" because that's a non-starter. NO REF is EVER going to give that. I have no idea what Ballack was complaining about. Those kind of decisions will never be given.

      Chelski were very unlucky. Although, Drogba should buried that chance and when Abidal was sent off (thanks to another bad decision from the ref in Chelski's FAVOUR), Chelski should have been able to retain possession of the ball much better than they did against a 10 man Barca at home.

      At the end of the day, Chelski had maybe 2 bad decisions go against them and one big decision go for them (the Abidal sending off). But conspiracy? You're having a laugh.

    • According the post match phone in on Sky, there was a UEFA referee seminar within the last 2 weeks. Here they discussed known divers and how to deal with them. That may well have influenced the unbalanced performance by yesterday's ref. and the one last week when Barca had a penalty appeal turned down. Platini and his idiots are making a mockery of this competition by using inexperienced officials at this level. Decisions are bad enough with the current system, but this is just a joke.

      • 1 Reply to RAr
      • I personally do not buy into this UEFA conspiracy theory but think its more a case of inexperienced officials being appointed to big games where they are out of their depth.These officials get picked because their home federation is affiliated to UEFA and this most likely entitles them to get a quota of games.

    • The words from Taylor ( Uefa gen sec) on Fletcher are kind, but its doubtful Uefa will allow 'unofficial' routes to overturn their rules, but we can hope....
      I don't for one minute believe Uefa directly or indirectly influenced the ref to be 'anti-english' , however two issues are pertinent.
      Firstly he was completely inadequate. If Uefa want to maintain standards in their premier competition, what on earth we they doing giving this guy the semi , especially as he has 'previous'?
      Secondly, Uefa have encouraged an atmosphere, an environment, where everyone believes they are not happy with english club success. This may or not be true, but it sure as hell seems that way. So if an official is put in a position he can't cope with and becomes 'frightened' of decision-making, he will tend to err on the side he believes 'his masters' want, ie if in doubt don't give anything to the english club.
      The only way for Uefa to ensure this situation is rectified is to appoint the very best officials at the knock-out stages, ie those that have a personal reputation to maintain. Platini's 'idealised' world of encouraging small nation clubs and officials will just lead to a 'dumbing-down' of the competition. The Guardian etc may choose not to notice it, but in the corridors of power in Nyon and Zurich there is a strong German/Italian influence and its not generally well disposed to the english.

      • 2 Replies to jim w
      • Jim, Platini is trying to clean up the whole thing. He believes clubs should not carry crippling debt, and is also adamant that corruption should be weeded out. Hence his opposition to Porto and Milan (not English clubs) being readmitted:

        http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=752297

      • The referee was appalling and yes chelsea should have had penalties, but any sympathy i had went straight out the window with the pathetic antics of ballack, drogba and terry. If twelve year olds had behaved like they did they'be be told to grow up. Terry seems to think that he can just tell the ref what he should and shouldn't give and spends half the game chirping in his ear. I've never seen a player chase the referee down the wing with his arms round him screaming in his face like ballack did ever before. And as for drogba's reaction at the end! He was like an 8 year old with behavioral problems from some channel 4 documentary

    • Shocking. Absolutely scandalous.

    • Unfortunatly i agree,it will be United V Barca...Blatter...Platini....If we get beaten fair and square than fair enough....but i agree,i feel,Barca can hold the ball,for 90 min's and still get the desisions...Yes i'm making my excuses now,co's after what happened to Chelsea,i dont hold out much hope for us with the officials...still hope we can wrap up the Prem soon...

      • 1 Reply to seven of eleven
      • well the ref was either utterly incompetent or bent....i know which i believe!....irrespective of whether chelsea should have done this or that, the fact is they had at least 3 clear cut penalties....and he ignored them....what does that say ?.....all i can say is watch your back in rome man u....it has happened before to english teams.....and that is not paranoia
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