Analysis of the goals conceded against Man Utd

A strange game at Old Trafford – largely even, with a frustratingly simple first goal conceded, and a ridiculous second, which should have been ruled out twice over.

Vidic’s goal

Firstly, Kaboul does exactly what he did last week and gives away a free-kick in a foolish position. This week it’s even more ridiculous, as he has dived in to a challenge when United weren’t really making progress and got himself a yellow card.

As we line up to mark zonally (and notably without Crouch, who is an excellent screen), Nani whips in a beautiful cross.

The nearest man to Vidic is Assou-Ekotto – a mismatch if ever there was one. Vidic meets the ball, flicks it goalwards, and it sails into the corner.

So a couple of issues – firstly, the silly challenge from Kaboul, and secondly, the weird decision not to stick one of the centre backs on Vidic, who has a history of scoring headed goals.

Nani’s goal

Wes Brown flicks a ball over the top, into space for Nani to run into.

Nani gets away – Kaboul seems to clip his heels, which knocks him off his stride. He goes down late, due to the nature of the challenge and, for me, it probably is a penalty.

Believing that he will get a penalty for the foul, Nani grabs hold of the ball.

With the penalty not given, Gomes picks up the ball and throws it forward, ready to take the resulting free-kick (for handball). However, the referee has not blown his whistle – there is no free-kick! Gomes should know to play to the whistle.

Nani can’t believe his luck. He just walks up to the ball…

…and prods it past Gomes, before celebrating like he has scored the goal to clinch the Champions League.

A number of issues here too, and I’ll preface this by saying that I generally do quite like Mark Clattenberg as a referee, and I hope that this is just a very bad day at the office for him.

1. In my opinion, Nani probably should have had a penalty – Kaboul did clip his heels.
2. With no penalty given, the linesman should flag for handball (which he later seems to indicate that he has seen). The play should be stopped, Nani should be booked for deliberate handball, and Spurs should have a free kick.
3. Clatternberg seems to suggest to the linesman that he had seen the handball and played the advantage – I am a fan of not stopping play for the sake of it, and this is all well and good until Spurs clearly don’t have an advantage; when Nani touches the ball, Clattenberg should simply blow his whistle, and allow us to take the free kick, as would happen in the attacking third (a player is fouled, play goes on, the advantage clearly isn’t as advantageous as it seems, play is brought back).
4. Nani showing that level of bad sportsmanship and then celebrating in such a manner is in exceptionally poor taste.
5. Gomes cost us with his naivety.

We have history with Clattenberg and his assistants – of course the famous “goal that never was” was not his fault, as he could not see from his position, but it is somewhat unfortunate that he is involved in a controversial decision again.

Like I say, I personally think it should have been a penalty anyway, so I won’t moan too much…

Join the conversation

  1. Kaboul was the one marking Vidic for the first goal. Not BAE.
  2. Nani never showed bad sportsmanship. He asked the referee before slotting the ball in and he has every right to celebrate his goals like any other player even if it is a bizare goal like the one scored on yesterday.
  3. I don't think either were marking him. He seemed to have an almost free run in.
  4. Nani did cheat, he dived. Kaboul had his hand on him but he went down like someone had shot him, I am not second guessing the muppet in charge but probably only saw the dive. If he did that 20 years ago he would have been laughed at.
    Nani also cheated because he deliberately handled the ball he, I don't think he cheated by kicking the ball into the net because at that point we had entered a parallel universe where nothing made sense
  5. Man U had more hunger and as so often 68 times in fact we lose away to one of the top four teams

    Time to move on and get more serious
  6. Fully agree with the review of both goals - the first was a stupid free kick and poor marking, again exposing our lack of stability in central defence and some naivety in defending the set piece. The second goal was a farce. Didn't think it was a pen personally but then again, I wasn't concentrating on that issue of the replays - Gomes was a clown (again) and has had a poor start to the season (again), however the decision not to blow up for the handball when no clear advantage had been gained by Spurs was poor by Clattenberg. All other arguements are subsidiary to this issue and I know 'play to the whistle' is a basic schoolboy rule, but here we are talking about another controversial incident at Man U when it should have been on a great first half when VDV was outstanding and a mediocre second half when Spurs were somewhat toothless. Would we have scored at the death, maybe unlikely, but stranger things have happened and football and we'll never know. What goes around, comes around, though. What would have been the response of Ferguson and Man U if the situation had been in favour of Spurs. All I would finally say is that Man U will get a dodgy decision against them this season to level it up - I just hope it happens at WHL !
  7. I think referees should be obliged to explain their decisions after the game. I do not see the point of fans trying to surmise what Clattenberg's thought process was.
  8. when will people learn the difference between zonal and man marking....

    we defended zonally as windy pointed it is not benny's fault, or anyone else's that vidic has run into his zone...

    and with a ball played in front of the defensive line, and vidic running onto it at pace, the chance of us getting to the ball first is minimal.

    kaboul is not marking vidic, and is not supposed to go with vidic....people have to stop listening to what the commentators say !!
  9. Really good article. As a United fan I have some sympathy for Spurs fans but the truth is,as you say, play to the whistle. Gomez should have known that! Pity cause it over shadowed a really good open game!
    Good luck anoints Inter midweek!
  10. First of all, you "won't moan too much". Basic schoolboy error. Just like Gomez really.

    Have to disagree with you on three counts. The ref didn't think that it was a penalty and nor did I. We need to cut out players going to ground with minimal contact. It is cheating.

    Gomez thought that he was "playing to the whistle". He wasn't the only one who thought that it was a free kick. Clattenberg simply didn't make it obvious what his intention was. His shrug as the ball was put into the net was pathetic and sums up the man completely. No desire to encourage fair play and no common sense.

    Finally, for the Mendes goal the ball bounced at least a yard over the goal line and the goalie had to dive into the goal to retrieve the ball. It doesn't matter where Clattenberg was standing and what view he had, he couldn't possibly fail to notice that the ball had almost certainly crossed the line. Referees give decisions all of the time based on what they think they see. In fact, they can rarely be absolutely certain when giving any decision, such is the speed of the modern game. For some reason, Clattenberg decided that he would rather make a highly probable mistake and ignore the goal, rather than risk making a far less likely mistake in awarding a goal against United at Old Trafford.
  11. Anon @ 18:22 - it was a zonal marking approach, and Vidic's movement took him into Assou-Ekotto's zone. That is the failing of zonal marking.

    Jeet - you're obviously entitled to your opinion, but I thought it was very bad form, a la Kuyt and Torres vs Sunderland.

    Northern Cockrel - yes, let's hope so!!

    Anon @ 19:10 - with you all the way.

    Anon @ 19:17 - thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

    Anon @ 19:53 - corrected! Thanks for pointing out my typo! As for the penalty - I know that Nani does hit the deck quickly, but in this instance I think it was genuine. I don't know if you've played much football, but having your foot clipped like that often causes you to trip.
  12. Typical blame the victim logic

    Gomes did nothing wrong. Nani and Clattenburg should be very severely punished for their disgraceful actions
  13. Too bad the whole "controversy" is taking away from other analysis.

    I think both Bale and Lennon were off their games. While they made some good runs, their crosses were pretty appalling. I lost track of how many times they hit the first defender, not even clearing his head. For Bale, I think it's still exhaustion from two months of solid play. This goes back to the Everton match when Harry made the really wrong move to play Bale instead of Kranjcar.

    I'm not a Keane hater, but starting him was clearly the wrong decision. Pav has had some decent matches and works well with VDV and should have got the start. It's not like he's been overworked like Bale has in recent months. In general, I like Harry as manager, but he does make some pretty bad personnel calls in some of these matches.

    And despite Kaboul's poor foul, overall I thought it was perhaps the best game for him and Gallas this season. Take the silly foul away, and the two of them did pretty well to shut down ManU and break up play. I'd still rather have Dawson and Bassong back together, but alas that's just not going to happen for a while.
  14. Much as I would like to knock Gallas I thought it was probably his best game for us, likewise Kaboul
  15. most disquisting ever football club ---->Mancheter United , SIMPLY small club before the foundation of Premiership ... its nasty to realize the people count them as giants nowdays , but behind the results and the titles they won there is a big question : How corrupt is FA actually? Why they allowed a small club like United to dominate such a long perion and kill the real football in England?
  16. haha
  17. Can someone please enlighten me as to if the ref gave us the advantage then surely Nani came from an offside position to score?
  18. man utd are not a great club, this is fact, great clubs win matches on their own abilities, they do not need the officials help with constant dodgy decisions, as utd always get.
  19. spurs - Small club with small club mentality. . . .LUHG
  20. You're missing a vital frame of action - Kaboul pulling Nani's shirt.
    The guy saying Nani dived, that's incredible, Kaboul had his hands round his waist. Kaboul is the one who cheated.
  21. How many cock-ups make a conspiracy?
    It didn't affect the result in any case.
    At least it takes our minds of the shameful record we have against the old 'Top Four' who all scored in the last ten minutes of their games incidentally.

    Kaboul was certainly marking Vidic as they lined up and tried to go with him when he made his run but got lost in the crowd.
    Do we know what zonal marking is?
    Ekotto was asleep.
  22. really, you think spurs are a small club, with small minded fans, well mate go on our forums compared to others,and you will see intelligent conversations on them, good banter.
    spurs are a very rich club, who have got where they are due to our club running itself within its means, we have a very rich owner, who doesnt put any money in to the team, tottenham hotspur is self sufficient, and well run with daniel levy, we have a state of the art new training ground being built, along with a state of the art stadium, we have the best fans, home and away, who always cheer on the team, our stadium will make old trashord, look like a dump, when the new rules come in properly, we will benefit greatly, whereas you with your massive debt, and huge wages, will struggle, remember liverpool, man utd are next.
  23. Good analysis. Ultimately, Gomes cost Spurs the goal, no-one else.

    As you say Windy, it probably was a penalty to start with (even if the hysterical over-reaction after being turned down makes me want to think it's not).

    And as for zonal marking...well that goal proves why it's not a silver bullet.
  24. Windy - if you think that the marking was zonal, why do you suggest putting someone else on vidic?.... vidic has run into someone else's zone, it is irrelevant where he are contradicting yourself it seems
    1. This is a most useful coritnbution to the debate
  25. Quinno - most kind. Gomes was naive and foolish. The whole situation was a complete cock-up.

    Anon @ 15:52 - I'm personally not into zonal marking, and would always go man-to-man, especially against a player as strong in the air as Vidic.
  26. For the Nani goal . Gomez had the ball in is hands, the referee sees no need to award a free kick to spurs, and having made that decision, Gomez was at fault for not playing on


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