Sunday, December 02, 2012

Clattenburg on top form in return match

 Chico Flores' touch was as light as a touch can be. It was his outstretched toe that made contact with the ball before Arsenal's Olivier Giroud went down in the Swansea penalty area, screaming for a penalty. But Mark Clattenburg was as sharp as he's ever been.

To the ordinary spectator's eye, it was a stonewall free kick on the edge of the area, made suspicious only by Giroud's theatrical swan dive into the box. But Clattenburg was perfectly positioned to see Flores dive in and get a toe to poke the ball away from the the last moment.
Clattenburg gave no indication on Saturday that he has been out of action for almost a month, forced to miss Premier League and Champions League games because of the rash and incorrect accusations of racism made against him by Chelsea.
It seems that Clattenburg has decided to swallow any thoughts of taking legal action. This is sensible. At The Emirates, he looked fresh and ready for the match, his mind uncluttered by what must have been one of the biggest threats to his career.
Other refereeing high/low points
* Not sure of his  name but a great performance by the ref in the MK Dons-AFC Wimbledon game. He carried out his duties with a disarming smile and a positive attitude that made sure trouble was avoided.
* So I'm a Chelsea fan and they deserved to lose against West Ham, but Carlton Cole certainly fouled Ivanovic for the Hammers' first goal, climbing all over him and holding him down to head home.
* Gareth Bale is lucky Chris Foy did not see the sarcastic applause after he had just been booked for simulation. It would have meant a second yellow and a red. Is he diving or not? Very difficult  to say but his falls look exaggerated to say the least. 

No comments: