When Rob Styles gave that penalty – when Malouda ran into Agger with the ball long gone right in front of the referee – it was grounds enough for a good old-fashioned lynching.
As the referee Styles is certain to get all the blame for the decision, but he’s not the only one at fault. Well, you can try putting it on Malouda and call Chelsea cheaters but the latter is not true as a rule and at the end of the day it’s Styles who had to give the decision and he gave the wrong one.
Interestingly enough, he gave the right decision when he booked Lampard for a late kick at Alonso, but he got it blindingly wrong by booking Essien for his first challenge, even though Arbeola played for the foul. Maybe Styles needs to get his eyesight checked because several of those decisions that are in front of him but some distance away are given wrong.
Oh, and there was the game as well.
Liverpool played well overall, especially in the first half and defended really well, went forward with confidence and looked a different side than usual – something that they should be doing a lot more often. Chelsea on the other hand looked ruffled at times and despite Ben Haim’s calm presence and Mikel doing well in midfield, they lacked the confidence of Carvalho and Essien’s drive in midfield.
The Torres goal – poor positioning by Essien and if you look at the replays, he was caught out too far in front and Torres ran into the space left open and Gerrard slotted in a beautiful pass. The second mistake, if you can call it a mistake, was made by Ben Haim as he stopped and thought that he had handled Torres’s run but it wasn’t to be and Torres started again, got the extra yard of space and Cech had no chance.
Liverpool deserved that goal and throughout the game while Chelsea weren’t exactly chasing they were easily second-best.
For all of Liverpool’s positivity and grit shown in the game, I think they should have gotten a second – you can’t win by a single-goal margin and they have to channel their passion into more penetration.
The whole protesting thing, especially en masse, is getting tiresome. On one hand we have referees getting crucial decisions wrong and on the other we have players acting like spoilt brats. Who’s to be held responsible for this?
The people making the rules (that would be FIFA and the Premier League). The ref’s just following the rules – he knows, the players know and everyone watching around the world knows that the refs don’t get enough support nor do they have enough time to get all decisions right.
The refs have no help whatsoever, and while the game suffers and the refs get mobbed, threatened and abused, the people responsible for the game are not doing enough.
Anyway, this result means that the top four looks something like this:
1. Manchester City (9)
2. Chelsea (7)
3. Wigan Athletic (6)
4. Everton (6)
Liverpool are tied with Arsenal and Blackburn on points (the 3 teams occupy 7th to 9th positions and are separated by goal difference) while Manchester United are 5th from bottom.
And it’s just the first week of the Premiership 07/08 season.