In a match that had trememdous build up to it the main talking points in the match was about the officiating. Three matches in a row United has been on the receiving end of some poor officiating against Chelsea and each time they have gone on to lose.
Early in the match the first moment of controversy occurred when Nani had a shot heading towards goal stopped by the hand of defender John Terry, the England international clearly leaned into the ball making sure it didn’t go on target but referee Martin Atkinson ignored the shout of handball by the United players and fans.
The biggest moment on controversy came when new signing David Luiz who was already on a yellow card fouled Wayne Rooney off the ball, this happened with Atkinson 5 or 6 yards away and he ignored it. Chelsea then got possession and proceeded down the field where they were rewarded a penalty after Yury Zhirkov tripped over the outstretched foot of United defender Chris Smalling. Frank Lampard converted the penalty to give the defending champions a 2-1 victory.
Martin Atkinson was instrumental in United losing at Stamford Bridge last season when he claimed Darren Fletcher fouled Ashley Cole when the ball was won cleanly, Frank Lampard took the freekick which John Terry headed in with Didier Drogba who was in an offside position trying make sure the ball went into the net. This incident should also be remembered for Drogba’s foul on Wes Brown as the freekick was being taken.
On the penalty that was given Chelsea defender Ivanovic doesn’t agree with Atkinson decision in awarding the penalty and had this to say:
“I find the penalty for Chelsea very dubious.
“It was too easily adjudged. I have to admit that after seeing it again. I thought it was a penalty when Zhirkov fell but, afterwards, I saw it never was.
“But we were in a similar situation a couple of times this season and no one said anything.”
Some notable things about Martin Atkinson
1. Chelsea’s record when Martin Atkinson is the referee (Matches) P-17 W-16 D-1 L-0 (Goals) F-40 A-3
2. Atkinson has now given Chelsea FIVE penalties and Manchester United NONE and has sent of two United players