Couple hours later though, a friend of mine texts me "Did you see the draw? It's riddiculous!" wich had me thinking again. And well, theoretically, Barcelona and Madrid were handed the easiest draws. The catalans face Shaktar Donetsk, who even on having arrived so far are still unfancied, specially against the blaugrana piledriver. And Madrid have been handed this years surprise team, Tottenham Hotspur. However people seem to think the spanish outfit won't break a sweat in dispatching the North London team. So, "the UEFA Conspiracy" came back to my head only to be discarded again, telling myself I was just being silly.
I woke up this morning, ran some errands and logged on the internet to be greeted by a "The UEFA Conspiracy is back" remark by another friend of mine. Now, I started thinking again and this time I realised another fact, Chelsea and Manchester United have been drawn together. Now, in spite of Chelsea and Utd's odd form this season, they're arguably the most suited teams to knock this year favorites, Barcelona. So now, come the Final (wich is the only stage in wich a Chelsea/Man Utd vs Barcelona match could be given) we'll have seen wether Spurs and Shaktar were really the easies ties. Hopefully we'll be treated to another all English final. This time between two great clubs with a very atractive brand of football.
More than seeing Utd reach the final, I would like to watch Real Madrid and Barcelona out of it. Perhaps that would trigger an inmediate return to the Prem for Jose Mourinho. And perhaps even the downfall of Barcelona.
Now, putting things straight. My eagerness to see both spanish giants out of the competition, and the start of bad times for the catalans is simply explained, the UEFA's practically clear and open hatred for the Premier League and it's clubs and their obvious and well-known love not for La Liga per se, but for both Barcelona and Real Madrid. Now that's just unfair. It could be worse though, we could be talking about FIFA...
Both Utd and Arsenal have seen themselves haunted by terrible refereeing decisions both home and abroad in the past two or three weeks. If we check out Utd's bad luck with referees actually goes back beyond a year. But I'm gonna explore the recent incidents, not the blue... I mean, past ones.
In the league Utd had a biased referee (the other sensible explanation is that the referee was a intellectually handicaped person) for the match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Ignoring a clear penalty by John Terry and refusing to even book David Luiz for three crystal-clear bookable ofenses. Then awarding a penalty for an obvious dive by Yuri Zhirkov on Chris Smalling and sending-off Nemanja Vidic (that was the only important decision the referee got right) for two offenses much softer than those of David Luiz, but still bookable ones.
Against Liverpool the referee was equally awful, specially for not inmediately giving Jamie Carragher his marching orders after his horror tackle on Nani. However Liverpool outplayed Utd in that match and rightfully won. The feeling there was more of shame and dissapointment rather than unfairness, lack of justice and being robbed like in the last two visits to the Bridge.
And today against Bolton Wanderers. First a rulebook penalty by Gary Cahill was waved away early on the match and then the referee failed to send off the same player for a misstimed harsh tackle on Patrice Evra. The referee also gifted the Trotters with two free-kicks over non-existing offenses on Kevin Davies. However, later on the game Jonny Evans was sent-off for a tackle pretty much identical to that of Gary Cahill.
Conclusion, each and every single one of Manchester United's offenses must be booked and punished in the most severe way while the Red Devil's opponents have carte blanche to bend the laws of football in the way they want. If no one has scored against Utd by grabbing the ball with both hands and running past Edwin van der Sar right on goal is because no one has tried, yet. Trust me.
Arsenal have had a similar luck with referees. It has to be noted that the Gunners' defeats against Birmingham, Barcelona and Utd ended up correctly (thank God), however they still had van Persie ridiculously sent-off against Barcelona and two goals dissallowed against Sunderland, one on a non-existent offside and a clear penalty waved away.
Today the Gunners had a bad match against West Bromwich Albion, actually, it was rather a good game by the baggies. Arsenal were pretty good, but Hodgson's team was just better. Even so the londoners still managed a draw. After going two-nil down that's good.
Let's just hope that in the remaining three duels between Utd and Chelsea a real referee is chosen. Howard Webb would be perfect, but I think he has retired. I also hope Arsenal have better luck with these people. I don't have to hope for such on Chelsea's behalf, unless they again go and face Barcelona in the Champions League.
Fergie's 5 match Ban.
Now that's just funny ain't it? How can we encourage our youth to tell the truth?. Look at what happened to Ferguson for doing so!! I just don't wanna take my chances on this one.