Date: 26th April 2009 at 2:54pm
Written by:

Wilson Palacios’ two-footed, studs-first, knee-high lunge on Cristiano Ronaldo was totally disgraceful. So what is the press talking about? A penalty decision which was essentially correct.

The wise old pundits, especially those on MOTD, agree that Webb made a ‘terrible decision’ – but they are not talking about the truly terrible one, his decision not to send off Palacios. His lunge warranted a straight red: it was more than reckless, he was endangering Ronaldo’s whole career. It was no better than Martin Taylor’s tackle, indeed, I believe it was worse, what with two feet off the ground.

It was little more than an assault, an attempt at grievous body harm. Yet there’s deafening silence about it in the papers, there’s no talk about a ban – he might escape it totally!

Some say that after all, he did not make contact with Ronaldo. Well, does that make it a lesser offence? I don’t think so. It wasn’t by Palacios’ design that he did not maim Ronaldo – our very own Portuguese was quick and agile enough to jump out of harm’s way. A less quick, more static player like Carrick, for instance, could have been destroyed there.

The decision not to send him off could have changed the game, indeed, when Spurs were 2-0 up it looked like it did. Credit to United that they weren’t deflated by such a terrible refereeing decision and by conceding two goals in quick succession. The gentlemen of Fleet Street, however, should be a bit more balanced in their reporting – there was a horrible media campaign against Taylor yet there’s barely a word about Palacios, only because Ronaldo jumped out of the way and because it was done to a Manchester United player, and more precisely, done to Ronaldo. Imagine someone attempting such a lunge on Steven Gerrard – he’d be thrown out of the country within days.

Oh, and I should mention that there’s barely a word about Mascherano’s dive and Lucas’ handball in the Liverpool game, despite both incidents leading to goals. Balanced reporting, in England? Dream on.