Football

FIVE RECENT BOO-BOOS

1 IRELAND'S GASH

Stoke 1 Hull 0 (Feb 28)

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Perhaps Stephen Ireland asked for it. For he went in high on David Meyler first.

Ten minutes later, Maynor Figueroa planted his studs on Ireland's calf, resulting in a nasty open wound that needed 10 stitches. Figueroa didn't even receive a booking.

Then Peter Crouch scored Stoke's winning goal from an offside position to complete Swarbrick's miserable outing.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes said: "It was a shocking challenge. It could have finished Stephen's career.

"Why it is not a straight red, I have no idea. There has been a lot of talk of challenges recently but this was worse than any of them...

"The referees have got to get their act together. The officials are finding it very difficult to get the key decisions right."

2 MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Man United 2 Sunderland 0 (Feb 28)

Referee: Roger East

With the score tied at 0-0, Sunderland conceded a penalty.

To rub salt into the wound, official Roger East sent off Wes Brown, instead of John O'Shea who committed the foul on Radamel Falcao.

Sunderland lodged an official appeal after the game and Brown's red card was subsequently rescinded.

Said Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "The referee told the players there were two fouls.

"One by John O'Shea and one by Wes Brown. I have seen the replay and Wes Brown did not touch anyone.

"He said he gave the penalty for Brown's foul but how can you give a penalty for something that didn't happen, never mind send the player off?"

3 NO PENALTY

Southampton 0 Liverpool 2 (Feb 22)

Referee: Kevin Friend

This was a game of several strong penalty claims but, in the end, referee Kevin Friend gave none. Based on evidence from replays, Friend should have awarded at least two.

Southampton would have felt hard done by as they should have had one at 1-0 down, when Filip Djuricic was floored by Joe Allen in the penalty box.

It kind of evened out eventually though, as Raheem Sterling's appeal was also turned down when Jose Fonte slid through bringing the Liverpool forward down.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman said: "I don't speak about favours but I expect when it's a clear penalty for the referee to blow his whistle, he should."

4 MATIC RAGE

Chelsea 1 Burnley 1 (Feb 21)

Referee: Martin Atkinson

A furious Jose Mourinho listed four incidents which he thought the referee erred, including two dismissed penalty appeals and the "criminal" foul on Nemanja Matic by Ashley Barnes which led to the Chelsea midfielder's retaliation.

The Serb got up after the tackle and shoved Barnes to the ground, and Atkinson didn't hesitate to show him the red card.

If Matic deserved to be sent off, then so did the Burnley player.

But Barnes, who got the ball but also caught Matic on the shin with studs showing, didn't even receive a caution.

Said Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: "What could be the consequence of Matic's push for the other player (Barnes)? The consequence for Matic could be end of his career.

"The minimum you have to say is that it is a criminal tackle (by Barnes)."

5 COSTA STAMP

League Cup semi-final, second leg: Chelsea 1 Liverpool 0, after 
extra-time (Jan 27)

Referee: Michael Oliver

Diego Costa stamped on Emre Can near the touchline while the Liverpool player was on the ground.

The incident was missed by referee Michael Oliver, but an independent regulatory commission later ruled that the act was deliberate and handed out a three-match ban.

Chelsea appealed against the suspension but the ban stood.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said: "You don't want to see that. There's no need for it. You can easily land somewhere else without having to directly land on an opponent's ankle.

"It's disappointing to see that on the replay and he (Costa) was probably very fortunate the referee and the linesman didn't see it."