Pay the Penalty


(apologies to Grimey @ LOLJocks for stealing his gimmick)

While there won’t be any screams of bloody murder eminating from these parts, it doesn’t mean the bitter pill Robbie Styles forced down our throats was any easier to swallow. But, that’s football. Somedays you get the calls, somedays you don’t.

Although we’d all rather have the three points we earned, we travel to Sunderland this weekend knowing we certainly are a dangerous squad whose star is on the rise and true contenders for the crown.

In an effort to be ‘fair and balanced’ in light of my grenade-throwing last week, I’ll tell you that you can watch the travesty and other free highlights from all of this weekend’s games over at Fox Sports. This is for US viewers only. As one reader, Dan, has pointed out in the comments section, UK residents can watch them over at Virgin Media.

Granted, I’d rather have something embedded here, but such is the world we live in and I make do with what I’ve got. (for now) I’m unsure how it will work as the season goes on, but last week you could watch a few selected matches in their entirety for free. It may be worth checking out on a regular basis.

So, before we put Sunday’s match to bed (trust me, the sooner the better, for our collective sanity), let’s recap the reaction to the disappointing decision…

Stevie G on our toughest foe:

I don’t want to say too much because I’ll get into trouble, but the referee didn’t play well today. Whether it was because the Chelsea players were talking I don’t know, but in the end he’s cracked and made a bad decision. It wasn’t a penalty and I hope he comes out and says sorry now. We have to apologise as players if we make mistakes so I hope he does the same.

There were so many positives from that performance, though, and I really think it shows we can challenge this season.

Rafa’s take on the refereeing stylings of Mr. Styles:

We created enough chances to have won the game and we would have won it but for an invisible penalty awarded against us. The referee made a mistake and it was unbelievable. Everybody could see it wasn’t a penalty and it’s a pity as it cost us two points.

We are so disappointed because we played well against a good team but the decision that went against us, you just can’t explain it.

It is unbelievable. How can you take this decision? It is unbelievable. A team that is working so hard how can you change a game like this? Clearly the game was under control but this kind of decision is something you cannot explain. Maybe he was under pressure all the time. Anyway I prefer not to say too much.

Shockingly, the Premier League’s official website made no reference to the call being anything but routine:

But just past the hour mark, Chelsea were level from the penalty spot, as Steve Finnan was penalised for a challenge on Malouda. Lampard drove the spot-kick home.

Of course, Mourinho has a slightly different take on the day:

So many times you are unfortunate, especially in this stadium with referees’ decisions. I don’t know. I think it is a difficult game for referees. Not every player on the pitch was trying to help the referee. A couple of them, maybe because of their different culture, didn’t help the referee. But two big teams at Anfield is not easy.

Overall Mr. Styles had a positive game.

Ready for another laugh? How about Jose’s take on his squad, like a out-of-touch father who refuses to acknowledge his daughter has sex or does drugs. But, in this case, we all know he doesn’t actually believe the words coming out of his mouth:

I have a naive team, they are naive because we do not have divers, we do not have violent people we do not have nasty tackles. We do not have people diving into swimming pools, Chelsea is a naive team. It is a pure team, that is my opinion.

In my mind’s eye, he’s giving this speech in front of a video screen which is replaying some of Robben’s and Drogba’s loveliest efforts at simulation. Or is that too on-the-nose?

Next up…. at Sunderland, Saturday, August 25th, 7:45am EST


5 Responses to “Pay the Penalty”

  1. 1 Signal to Noise August 20, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Jose couldn’t have said that last quote with a straight face.

  2. 2 Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers August 20, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Yes, Chelsea were brave. Usually when humans have as many flying objects shot at them as Chelsea did in the 2nd half, they do not escape with an equal result.

  3. 3 JT August 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Well, it’s small consolation that Styles has been dropped from this coming weekend’s matches for his terrible errors, and is under further review.

    We have been vindicated by PGMOL [Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, which oversees refereeing] and by the Premier League, but unfortunately, we do not get vindication in the only place it counts: the league standings.


  4. 4 Johninho August 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I hope and expect to find out that Styles’ suspension extends to games where our beloved Liverpool are playing. If it were a perfect world, he would recuse himself from Cheatski matches, as well.

  5. 5 Nw August 20, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    Perhaps Mr. Mourinho should take another look at the tape when Obi Mikel tried to spike Stevie G after a challenge.

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