Controversy And Drogba’s Brilliance Headline English Soccer’s Opening Weekend
Total Pro Sports – Soccer season is back in Europe and with the English Premier League kicking things off this past weekend, we were treated to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
We will begin with the good, and although there were several games which provided tense moments and spectacular highlights, perhaps none were more notable than the match between Chelsea and Hull City. Favorites to battle Manchester United for top spot in the league standings, The Blues found themselves down 1-0 early. They needed a spark and Didier Drogba was just the man to provide it.
After leveling the score on a beautiful free kick, he helped earn his side the win and three points after chipping a shot over Hull goalkeeper Boaz Myhill from an incredible angle (see video below). It is almost enough to make us forget his on camera rant after Chelsea’s Champions League loss, or his crotch-grabbing celebration following their FA Cup victory.
For the bad, we look no further than the officiating for the match between Liverpool and Tottenham. With time running out and the Spurs up 2-1, Liverpool forward Andrei Voronin looked to have been fouled in the Tottenham box while on a break. No call was made and the game would end with the same score.
Following the match, Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez voiced his displeasure with officials for the missed call, as well as another hand ball late in the game he felt they had missed and their decision to eject bench coach Sammy Lee.
And now for the ugly, we look to the England’s second division where once again, officiating took center stage. Crystal Palace were the victims of a terrible call this time, which resulted in their loss to Bristol City. At the 30th minute, Crystal Palace player Freddie Sears looked to have scored, but after the ball rebounded from the back of the net out onto the playing field, referee Rob Shoebrid and his crew decided that it had not gone in. Needless to say, their decision was not the right one (watch the video below and judge for yourself) and with the score still tied at 0-0, Bristol City capitalized on the error in the 89th minute, taking the 1-0 victory.
The officials from the game have since been suspended, but the league has decided not to replay the match. A suspension seems like a rather light punishment when you consider what this Chinese referee went through after making the correct call.
Here is a look at Drogba’s goal.
And here is the blown call from the Crystal Palace vs. Bristol City match.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez cannot resist referee rant after defeat to Tottenham – [Telegraph.co.uk]
Suspension for referee for failing to award Crystal Palace goal – [Times Online]