It’s simple, really: don’t ever, ever force a referee into making a big decision late in a match while 40,000 home supporters bray for blood, especially when said match could well decide a league championship. Yet that’s exactly what Michael Carrick did this morning at Stamford Bridge. Sure, it might’ve been ball-to-hand, but it looked like a nailed-on penalty from my illegal basement suite. Michael Ballack, dropped from my fantasy team yesterday evening, slotted home cooly, and Manchester United’s lead atop the Premiership was reduced to a matter of goal difference (which is an insurmountable seventeen better than Chelsea).
There’s no doubt United are limping towards the finish line. Wins in their remaining two matches (at home to West Hame, away to Wigan) would clinch another title, but they’re making life unnecessary hard on themselves at the moment. Tuesday, they play Barcelona at Old Trafford with a Champions League final berth at stake. I hate football; can’t the season just end already?
(Funny story ’bout that picture: apparently the father tried suing the newspaper which ran it for violating his and his daughter’s privacy. You couldn’t make it up.)