Did the ref really put in a standout performance?
Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup may have provided us with many talking points but perhaps non more so than that of the performance of referee Michael Oliver.
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The young match official has received plaudits in the aftermath of the quarterfinal match at Old Trafford for his decision making, but did he get all the big calls right?
Below we analyse Oliver’s biggest decision of the night and whether he should be receiving the praise he is:
30th minute: Rojo challenge on Welbeck
The Arsenal forward wanted a spot-kick for this pull-back by Rojo that was waived away by Michael Oliver. Whilst you’d say there was certainly precedent, it’s a contentious decision at best and Oliver likely got it right with slow-motion making it look worse than it is.
47th minute: Monreal clips Di Maria
Arsenal were perhaps lucky not to put themselves under pressure just two minutes into the second half as Nacho Monreal looks like he may have just clipped Angel Di Maria on the edge of the Arsenal box.
64th minute: Potential second yellow for Bellerin
The Arsenal right-back could potentially have given away a free-kick and seen himself sent off for a second bookable offence for this challenge on Young just minutes after the Gunners took the lead.
However, given this was quite literally Bellerin’s second challenge of the game, his first resulting in a yellow in the first few minutes of the match, it would have been incredible harsh to send him off for two bookable offences for simply two late but safe challenges.
76th minute: Di Maria dive & sending off
The Argentine’s night went from bad to worse in the space of around 20 seconds. The first decision was clearly correct, little to no contact from Monreal resulted in a disgraceful dive from Di Maria.
And whilst the second may look innocuous to some placing his hands on the referee in such an aggressive manner was only going to result in one outcome.
Verdict: BOTH CORRECT
86th minute: Adnan Januzaj dive
Clearly a quite disgraceful dive from the Belgian who fell to the ground an extraordinary amount of time between Nacho Monreal’s last, brief contact.
Quite laughable really.