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Media Bias: Chelsea website continues to deliver post-truth match reports as Hull are robbed

Media Bias: Chelsea beat Hull City 2-0 today in the Premier League. With the score at 1-0 to Chelsea, a Hull player tumbled in the home side’s penalty area. Should a penalty have been given? Let’s see what the reporters say:

The Hull City website says they were robbed:

Hernandez should have been awarded a penalty early in the second half when he was tripped by Marcos Alonso inside the box, but again appeals fell on deaf ears.

What about Hull’s local newspaper?

The Hull Daily Mail appraises Abel Hernandez’s performance:

The isolated front man at the tip of City’s attack but got no favours from the officials. Denied a foul in the build-up to Chelsea’s opener and then a clear-cut penalty in the second half.

The Guardian says: “That was a clear penalty, a clumsy foul by Alonso on Hernandez. He was beaten to the ball on the edge of the area and kicked Hernandez’s heel.”

Get West London says Hull  “were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty after the break when Marcos Alonso brought down Abel Hernandez”.

The London Evening Standard says: “Somehow Hull not awarded a penalty for a blatant foul by Alonso on Hernandez.”

The Telegraph: “Chelsea were even more fortunate that a penalty was not awarded against them four minutes after the restart when Alonso clearly clipped the heel of Hernandez.”

And on the Chelsea website, football’s version of Pravda? Nothing. The official Chelsea website makes no mention of either ‘foul’.

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, January 2017 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Media bias: Arsenal get lucky as Burnley go down in the 98th minute

Media Bias: In a crazy end to what had looked like a routine win for Arsenal, Burley scored from the spot in the 94th minute. And then Laurent Koscielny was caught in the head by a high Ben Mee boot. Penalty! Arsenal scored it in the 98th minute and the game is won 2-1.

With Arsenal 1-0 up, the Gunners’ Granit Xhaka was sent off for a lunge on Steven Defour. Then his manager Arsene Wenger was sent off for arguing with the officials.

What says the media about Arsenal’s last-gasps penalty?

The BBC: [Referee Jon] Moss penalised Mee for a high foot on Koscielny, who appeared to be offside when the free-kick was flighted in to the back post, but once that was missed, a penalty was a fair result for the challenge.

So the Arsenal man was offside. But the penalty was fair?

The Guardian calls it an “excellent decision from the referee”.

The Burnley Express is less delighted. Its match report harked back to the teams’ previous meeting, when Arsenal scored a winner late on.

After Laurent Koscielny was central to the storm at Turf Moor in October, handling the ball over the line from an offside position late on, the Frenchman was in the thick of it once more.

That goal came in the 94th minute.

The Burnley Express continues:

Referee Jon Moss awarded a penalty… penalising Ben Mee for a high boot on the Arsenal skipper who, for a second time, was stood in an offside position.

The London Evening Standard merely says of the incident, “Laurent Koscielny was kicked by Ben Mee in the area.”

The Burnley FC website calls the penalty “controversial”.

The Arsenal website sees no controversy:

Alexis swung in a cross from the left that arrowed towards the far post, where Ben Mee caught Laurent Koscielny in the face with a high boot. Moss awarded Arsenal the penalty and Alexis, showing incredible composure, sent a panenka down the middle from the spot to seal a precious victory.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 22nd, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Media balls: Manchester United and the referee beat West Ham

Media Balls: West Ham United were beaten 0-2 by Manchester United in today’s Premier League game. The match went badly for the Hammers when Feghouli was sent off after just 14 minutes. The official West Ham website says the Algerian was “desperately unlucky to receive a red card following a challenge with United defender Phil Jones”.

He was.

Manchester United “make extra man count” laments the headline atop the Hammer’s official match report. “The decision changed the course of the game.”

It did.

Or as the Manchester Evening Post calls it: “FINALLY get refereeing decision after Feghouli tackle on Jones.”

Finally?

Darmian should have earned a second yellow card when United player Arsenal. In its match report the Sun called the player “a walking red card”. Against Crystal Palace, Zlatan Ibrahimovich admitted to using his hand in his pass that set up Paul Pogba to score one of United’s goals in a 1-2 win.

And as the Mirror notes, “for those of you with short memories, Manchester United defender Rojo got away with two different two-footers in December. First, there was this bone-cruncher on Everton’s Idrissa Gueye. Then, just ten days later, he gave us this ankle-weakener, on Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.”

Finally United get a refereeing decision? Or usually?

 

manchester united west ham

 

Ciaran Kelly, whose memory might be shorter than his Man United blinkers, reports for the MEN:

Manchester United received an early boost in their teatime clash with West Ham after Sofiane Feghouli was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Phil Jones .

Not exactly. This is now the BBC saw it:

Referee Mike Dean showed Feghouli a straight red card after the midfielder’s 15th-minute challenge on Phil Jones.

Replays showed it was more of a coming together between two players committed to winning the ball than a reckless tackle meant to cause harm.

Still, it’s good to know Manchester United and the fearless local paper are on the same side and singing from the same hymn sheet. “I don’t feel sorry for West Ham – I didn’t watch the decisions. I think if you talk about decisions, we are the champions of bad decisions,” says Jose Mourinho after the match.

United have benefitted hugely from poor refereeing. They might even top the table at it.

Posted: 2nd, January 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Media balls: Xhaka’s missing elbow costs Arsenal against Stoke

Media Balls – a look at biased football reporting. Arsenal beat Stoke City 3-1 in the Premier League. Stoke’s goal, the first of the match, came via the penalty spot. Should it have been a given? Should the Arsenal player have been sent off? Let’s see what the media says:

Terry Butcher (BBC Radio 5 Live): “Joe Allen’s touch was a little heavy, but he nicked the ball before the challenge. It was a very soft penalty to give away.”

Butcher says it was definitely a foul.

But might it have been worse? The BBC’s Kevin Killbane says “Granit Xhaka goes over the top on Joe Allen.” Other news sources see an elbow.

Daily Mail: “Joe Allen and Granit Xhaka both went for the ball, both missed it and the Arsenal man caught Allen near the eye with his elbow. No hesitation from the referee but looked a bit soft.”

Did Xhaka mean to use his elbow?

Daily Telegraph: “Allen runs into the box and takes a poor touch and IT’S A PENALTY! Xhaka leaves his elbow up as he tackles and absolutely clatters Allen in the face.”

Stoke Sentinel: “Penalty to Stoke in the 27th minute. Xhaka’s clumsy swipe caught Joe Allen. It was also an elbow.”

The Stoke City website: “TV replays appeared to show Xhaka catch Allen with an elbow as he clattered into him.”

Both Stoke sources ask questions of Xhaka, who wasn’t booked. Maybe the referee missed the elbow?

Let’s see what the local Arsenal newspaper said.

The Islington Gazette: “It was a reckless challenge that also left Allen needing treatment on an eye injury. Despite the boos from the home support it was a clear penalty.”

And now for the Arsenal website. Was Allen clattered? Was there an elbow? Did Xhaka go over the top and take a ‘swipe’ at Allen with his elbow? Says Arsenal’s man in the know: “The penalty was awarded after Joe Allen collided with Granit Xhaka in the area.”

It was a simple collision, says the Arsenal website, “an accident that happens when two players hit each other with force.

The last words are with the managers.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal boss: “We got a very unlucky penalty against us because it is not even a foul in my opinion.”

Mark Hughes, the Stoke boss: “I’ve not seen the incident again, but at the time I thought there was a collision and Joe spilt blood as a consequence, so clearly there has been a collision, but I can’t say if it was a penalty. A little bit of fortune maybe if it was a bit dubious.”

Looks like the Arsenal website was right. Maybe:

 

 

Posted: 10th, December 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Media balls: diving Dele Alli’s dying swan routine gives Spurs victory

“Pochettino defends Alli’s diving,” says the Times in its report on Spurs’ 5-0 hammering of Swansea City. The first goal came from the penalty spot after Tottenham’s Dele Alli fell to the ground. Elsewhere in the paper, former referee Howard Webb tells readers: “It was a dive and Dele Alli needs to be careful he doesn’t get a reputation.”

Spurs’ Argentinean manager Mauricio Pochettino was invited to consider the incident. Did Alli dive?

Pochettino recalls the time England’s Michael Owen collapsed under his challenge at the World Cup. “David Beckham scored the resulting penalty, effectively ending Argentina’s tournament and, in turn, Pochettino’s international career,” says the Times. “Don’t believe that English football is fair play always because Owen jumped like [he was] in a swimming pool,” Pochettino tells us. “Maybe he [Alli] will say, ‘OK I fell down but I didn’t mean to dive but the referee believed it was a penalty,’ or it wasn’t his intention.”

An accidental dive is a nice take on the non-denial denial.

Lest you think Swansea would have lost anyhow, the paper says the penalty was the game’s defining moment: “The penalty effectively ended Swansea’s afternoon. For the first 39 minutes, they had held on with all they had, but after going behind they crumbled.”

Does everyone agree with the Times and think Alli dived? The Spurs website says Alli was fouled:

Dele latched onto a ball down the left-hand side of the area and was clipped by Naughton, with referee Jon Moss pointing the spot after a moment of consideration.

The Swansea website says:

The Swans were level at the Lane until Spurs won a highly contentious penalty

The South Wales Evening Post – Swansea’s local newspaper – tells its readers:

Stuart Pearce – ‘No doubt in my mind Dele Alli dived for controversial penalty against Swansea City’

The paper’s match report is clear:

The game was goalless when Dele Alli induced referee Jon Moss into giving a penalty when the Spurs midfielder appeared to go over with no contact from Kyle Naughton.

The Tottenham Independent saw contact:

Spurs finally took the lead on 38 minutes. Kyle Naughton caught Deli Alli’s [sic] trailing leg in the box and referee Jonathan Moss awarded a penalty.

Such are the facts in the biased media.

Posted: 5th, December 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (3)


Media balls: ‘disgraceful’ referee saves Leicester and robs Middlesbrough with ‘stonewall’ penalty

Media Balls: a look at biased football reporting. Today Leicester City took on Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Leicester got a penalty. Should it have been given?

BBC: “A high ball is pumped into the box and catches the hand of Calum Chambers. Referee Lee Mason points to the spot. The Boro defender probably feels a little aggrived [sic] given he looked to be fouled by Wes Morgan.”

Lucky Leicester. It was ever so.

 

Leicester City penalties

 

Sky: “Chambers is having a poor few minutes as he leaps with his hands in the air and the ball hits him. It’s stonewall and after a quick check with the linesman, the referee points the spot. Mahrez is over it…”

Stonewall penalty.

The Sun: “Morgan clearly shoves Chambers into the ball but incredibly Lee Mason points to the spot. It’s another refereeing howler!”

Stone me! Penalty?

 

the sun leciester city

 

Hard luck, Calum Chambers.

Leicester Mercury: “Surprisingly, no second yellow for defender Chambers for his handball despite having been booked just minutes earlier for a foul on Vardy.”

Lucky, Calum Chambers.

Middlesbrough Gazette:

Was it a penalty?

Yes, it hit the arm of Calum Chambers.

But the considerable weight of Wes Morgan had a considerable part to play in that.

The defender was all over Chambers and made his presence felt…

The Gazette then quotes an expert:

 

middlesbrough Leicester

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 26th, November 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Media Balls: great penalty decision robs Manchester United as gritty Arsenal ride their luck

Media Balls: a look at reporting on Manchester Untied v Arsenal in the Premier League.  In the first half ManchesterUnited had a shout for a penalty. It wasn’t given. Was that the right decision? Let’s see what the not-at-all-biased experts in the media say:

Mark Lawrenson – the former Liverpool defender was talking on BBC Radio 5 live: “I think it’s good refereeing from Andre Marriner with the penalty appeal – it’s borderline and he’s reffed the game trying to let the teams play.”

Phil McNulty – BBC Sport chief football writer at Old Trafford: “Jose Mourinho had every right to be aggrieved at that penalty refusal. Clumsy from Nacho Monreal in a very dangerous position.”

Phil Neville – ex Man United player on twitter: “It’s a rugby tackle”

Gary Nevill – ex Man United: “I don’t think it’s a penalty, I wouldn’t be comfortable with it”

The Arsenal website: “Valencia had a big shout for a penalty turned down after getting in a tangle with Monreal”

The Manchester Untied website: “Then came the big talking point of the first half as Valencia, who was making his first appearance since braking his arm in the EFL Cup win over Manchester City, seemed to be clearly pulled down by Nacho Monreal in the penalty area, but referee Marriner said waved his arms in disapproval of United’s claims. ”

The Guardian: “And although Jose Mourinho jigs around on the touchline, holding his head in theatrical exasperation, it’s probably a good decision having seen the replay.”

Manchester Evening News: “Andre Marriner was booed as he headed down the tunnel and it was deserved. United have suffered some terrible non-decisions against them this season: Bravo on Rooney, the foul on Martial at Watford in the build-up to their goal, Luiz’s challenge on Fellaini, the non-penalty after Flanagan clipped Darmian and now today’s. Mourinho might be talking about another ‘campaign’ later.”

London Evening Standard: “Penalty surely? Valencia goes down under contract from Monreal, Mourinho is livid as Marriner gives nothing! Replays suggest the referee may just have got that spot on, the attacker was already on his way down when he connected with Arsenal’s left-back.”

Mark Lawrenson (again):”No, I have to say in that position, it’s quite natural. No penalty.”

And one other decision – one not mentioned by the Manchester Evening News at all:

BBC live blog: “Matteo Darmian was unlucky to be booked earlier but he’s perhaps even luckier now to still be on the field. He catches Carl Jenkinson high and late and should get a second yellow. Referee Andre Marriner has let him off the hook there.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, November 2016 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Media Balls: Harsh Spurs’ penalty equalises Arsenal’s offside goal

Media Balls: Arsenal draw 1-1 with Spurs in the Premier League.

Spurs scored from a penalty. Should it have been awarded? 

BBC: “Koscielny was harshly penalised for a foul on Mousa Dembele in the box”

Spurs website: “…the excellent Mousa Dembele was brought down in the box by Laurent Koscielny.”

Arsenal website: “Dembele’s slaloming run into the box provoking a mistimed challenge from Koscielny.”

The Guardian: “This looks controversial as well. Dembele falls over just inside the box after a tackle from Koscielny, and Mark Clattenburg gives a penalty. Replays suggest it was a good decision.”

The Mirror: “A lazy, brainless challenge from Laurent Koscielny on the impressive Mousa Dembele resulted in a penalty.”

The Arsenal goal, scored by Tottenham’s Kevin Wilmer:

The Telegraph: “Spurs could rightly be aggrieved that at least two Arsenal players were offside when Ozil swung his set-piece in but the goal stood and Arsenal held the lead at the interval.”

The Guardian: “Arsenal’s pressure has told. Ozil’s inswinging free-kick is headed down into the corner of his own net by Kevin Wimmer. He was stretching towards his own goal, and had to do something with two Arsenal players behind him – but those two players were offside, so Spurs will feel pretty aggrieved.”

Sky: “Arsenal took the lead three minutes before half-time as Ozil’s free-kick was diverted by Wimmer’s head into his own goal, though the replays showed that Sanchez, who did not touch the ball but was arguably involved in play, was offside from the German’s cross.”

The Express: “Both Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny were in offside positions next to him but judged not to be interfering – as if the derby needed a bit of controversy to feed the emotions – and moments later an unseemly squabble led by Jan Vertonghen and Theo Walcott set things up nicely for the second half. At least referee Mark Clattenburg got the first big decision of the second period right – spotting Koscielny’s trip on Mousa Dembele just inside the area and pointing to the spot.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, November 2016 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Media Balls: Liverpool beat Crystal Palace in four no penalties thriller

Media Balls: a look at biased footballer reporting. Tonight Liverpool defeated Crystal Palace 4-2 in South London.

The Croydon Advertiser looks at the opening goal in the Premier League encounter:

Liverpool edged the opening stages and took the lead after 15 minutes through Emre Can’s close range finish, after a low delivery from Alberto Moreno. Palace fans in the Main Stand were furious with the assistant referee in front of them, as the left-back looked to have just been in an offside position on the far side.

He was onside.

The Liverpool Echo on the same move:

Predictably, the outstanding Philippe Coutinho was at the heart of it as he picked out Moreno’s run down the left. The Spaniard provided an inviting first-time cross and Can saw his low strike deflected past Steve Mandanda.

No word on any offside in the Liverpool newspaper.

What of the Palace equaliser?

The Croydon Advertiser:

But just under three minutes later and the Eagles were level, thanks to James McArthur. Reds defender Dejan Lovren looked to clear the danger on the edge of the box but sliced upwards, and McArthur nipped in to jump and beat onrushing goalkeeper Karius.

The Echo:

Palace were gifted an equaliser in shambolic circumstances.

There was no whiff of danger when Benteke flicked on Mandanda’s long punt. Matip played it across to Lovren, but under no pressure he produced a woeful backpass which McArthur seized upon. The Scotland international accepted the gift as he nodded over the advancing Loris Karius. It was Lovren’s fault but Karius didn’t exactly cover himself in glory as he bizarrely kept his arms by his side.

Did you spot the penalties not given?

The Echo:

Klopp’s men should have had a penalty when Ward handled Coutinho’s goal-bound header from Firmino’s cross. The defender’s intervention enabled Mandanda to tip it on to the post but the officials failed to spot the indiscretion.

The Advertiser has no word on that inciden , but does mention this one:

Palace felt they should have had a penalty after two claims within the same passage of play.

Zaha looked to have been clipped right on the edge of the area and went down – but he got up and delivered low for Benteke, who went ground under pressure, but referee Andre Marriner wasn’t interested and gave a corner.

What says the Echo about that?

Hearts were in mouths when Zaha twice took a tumble in the box, while Benteke also went down in a heap after a challenge from Matip. But to Marriner’s credit, he didn’t fall for any theatrics.

A penalty or acting? Lets see what a non-local source says:

Daily Telegraph: “Zaha had a good claim to a penalty when sent flying on the edge of the box by Lovren. And Benteke too looked to have been blocked by Matip.”

The Crystal Palace FC website:

It was all the home side during the first 20 minutes of the second half who also had three penalty appeals turned down…

Mentions of the penalty shouts on the official Liverpool FC website: none.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comments (2)


Media Balls: Arsenal riot, Sunderland’s fightback, Moyes’ blinkers and missing the penalty

Media Balls: a look at reporting on football matches. Today we look at Sunderland 1 – Arsenal 4 in the Premier League. Are news organs biased?

Sunderland Echo: “David Moyes feels scoreline harsh on Black Cats.”

Says Moyes.

“I think it was tough and I certainly don’t think we deserved to lose 4-1.”

He’s right. How they scored 1 was odd. Sunderland had a single shot on target over the 93 minutes – and that was from the penalty spot.

“We worked hard, really hard to stay in the game first half when Arsenal were very good. We stuck at it and I thought we grew into the game second half. And at that point I thought we were the better team when we got back into the game at one each. But their quality all over the pitch is always going to cause you a problem.”

Arsenal were pretty good in the second half, too, and found their finishing boots.

The paper has one more story on the match. Story two nails it in the headline. “Sunderland 1 Arsenal 4: Black Cats plunge further into relegation trouble after Gunners run riot.”

The paper looks at an Arsenal penalty appeal: “Sanchez had a strong penalty appeal turned down, with Kone appearing to trip the Arsenal forward inside the area. His theatrics earlier possibly going against him.”

The BBC says of that: “Arsenal were still smarting from referee Martin Atkinson not awarding them a penalty for Kone appearing to pull back Sanchez when Defoe gave Sunderland hope.”

The Guardian: “Arsenal were furious not to be awarded a legitimate looking penalty when Koné caught Sánchez on the back of the leg and sent him tumbling in the area.”

A pull? A trip? A catch? Theatrics.

The Islington Gazette doesn’t mention the failed penalty appeal at all – it looked a foul. The Arsenal local paper is generous to praise Sunderland fans:

Sunderland’s passionate fans were right behind the team from the off. And the fact they average more than 40,000, and, incredibly, took 1,200 fans to Southampton this week for a League Cup game, was reason enough to believe their team weren’t going to lie down and die.

There were many less in the ground when the final whistle blew. The Guardian:

Mid-way through the second half the ground began emptying. For many the pain of watching Sunderland register a record equalling worst start to a Premier League season was simply too painful too witness but they missed out on some exquisite football from Arsenal.

The Sun appears to have been watching a different match:

With Arsenal dominating and Sunderland making to make any impact, Duncan Watmore inspired a Black Cats fightback, racing clear on goal, only to be brought down by Petr Cech.

A fightback? Sunderland scored on minute 65.  Their fightback was followed by goals for Arsenal on minutes 78′ minutes, Giroud 76 and  71 minutes.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, October 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Media Balls: Arsenal’s winner sat Burnley was legal and what the referee saw

Media Balls: a look at newspaper reporting on Burnley v Arsenal. There were all manner of contradictory views spouted to deadline when Arsenal scored in the last moments to win the Premier League match. But what says the expects in rules?

Helpfully, the mainstream media provides a care home for retired referees.

Graham ‘The Thing from Tring’ Poll (Daily Mail):

Referee Craig Pawson couldn’t see the last-minute incident involving Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Laurent Koscielny and even if he had, it is a 50-50 call.  I watched the replays three times and I still don’t know whether it was deliberate handball on Koscielny’s part.  The defender’s arms are only up because he was trying to play the ball with his feet

Mark Halsey delivers his ‘Verdict’ in The Sun:

THE referee has to disallow that goal. Craig Pawson has a good view and the assistant referee is looking straight at it.

He has to disallow the goal. Or not.

Handball is the only part of the law where intent comes into play. But while you can argue that Laurent Koscielny’s handball is not deliberate, it resulted in a goal and it could have gone wide if the ball had not hit his arm.

Not quite a verdict, then. More of a ‘what if’.

 

Posted: 3rd, October 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Media balls: Ozil flukes Arsenal’s third, Chelsea have no shots all game and Coquelin hurts his what?

Media Balls: a look at bad and monocular football reporting. Today we look at Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Chelsea in the Premier League.

Mesut Ozil scored Arsenal’s third goal. Was it lucky?

The Guardian says it was a fluke: “Ozil watched it carefully onto his left foot, mishit his sidefoot volley completely – and saw it bounce over Courtois and in off the far post.”

The official Arsenal website has an alternative version of events. That shot was deliberate: “The World Cup winner ran on to the ball and met it on the volley, smashing it into the ground, beyond Courtois and in off the far post.”

The BBC agrees, saying, “Mesut Ozil then left N’Golo Kante trailing to expose Chelsea on the counter-attack and steer home Arsenal’s third“.

Was it smashed in? No, says the Times: “Ozil obliged, his goal creeping in off Courtois’ left-hand upright.”

 

cheslea media balls

 

 

Were Chelsea any good?

The Sun says: “Chelsea improved in the second half but rarely threatened a comeback – and couldn’t even muster a shot on target.”

Maybe the Sun’s man in the know went home early. The BBC says, “Chelsea’s first shot on target came in the 82nd minute.”

That’s right. Chelsea had two shots on target.

Ouch! Where does it hurt, Francis?

The Indy: “Coquelin put in another 100 per cent effort to block N’Golo Kante’s effort shortly after the half hour mark, and an ankle injury sustained in the clash forced him off two minutes later.”

The Standard looks at Coquelin’s injury: “Arsene Wenger admits he is ‘worried’ by Arsenal midfielder’s knee injury.”

The Star says Coquelin and Kante “had a nasty collision of knees“.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 24th, September 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Media balls – Swansea v Chelsea: Diego Costa’s dive, Leroy Fer’s foul and a red card

Talking Balls: a look at media bias in football reporting. Today’s game is Swansea v Chelsea in the Premier League. The game finished 2-2, thanks to a late goal from Diego Costa.

DIEGO COSTA:

Chelsea FC:

Conte’s men were dominant now – tenacious in the tackle, composed in possession and a threat going forward. Leroy Fer and Federico Fernandez were booked for cynical fouls on Diego Costa (also carded before the break for a late tackle), and Cesar Azpilicueta drew a near-post stop from Fabianski after overlapping.

No dive is mentioned.

BBC:

Costa, who might earlier have been sent off, capitalised on poor defending to fire the dominant visitors in front…

It was a small wonder he and Jordi Amat both stayed on the pitch having bickered throughout the game, and Costa was perhaps fortunate to escape a second yellow card for what appeared to be a dive under pressure from Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in the second half.

The Times:

If Swansea had real cause for frustration it was that Costa was still on the field to equalise. Already booked for a foul on Leroy Fer, Costa was guilty of clear simulation when contesting a ball with the Swansea goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski, who gestured a diving motion at an opponent also assailed by boos.

LEROY FER’S GOAL

Chelsea FC:

“Cahill was unfairly dispossessed by Fer, who raced clear and just about squeezed his shot through Courtois and over the line. In a flash, the Blues were behind.”

BBC:

Fer appeared to foul Cahill as he dispossessed the Chelsea defender, and Swansea’s Netherlands midfielder ran clear before squeezing his shot past Courtois and over the line.

It did look like a foul. But:

South Wales Evening Post:

Leroy Fer stole possession from a dawdling Gary Cahill and bundled the ball through Thibaut Courtois legs and over the line.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 12th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Media balls: Arsenal beat Southampton with a ‘slight tug’ that saw Giroud ‘hauled down’

Talking Balls: a look at media bias in football reporting. Today’s game is Arsenal v Southampton in the Premier League. Arsenal won 2-1, thanks to a very late penalty.

Daily Echo (Southampton):

But in injury-time they conceded a penalty after the slightest of tugs on Olivier Giroud’s shirt by Jose Fonte. Fonte, understandably furious as Giroud was giving as good as he got, was booked – and Santi Cazorla sent Fraser Forster the wrong way.

Standard: (London):

There was definite contact between Fonte and Giroud but the decision incensed Southampton manager Claude Puel and his players, with the situation further complicated by Koscielny lying strewn in the goalmouth having taken a kick to the face moments earlier.

Islington Gazette (Arsenal):

Giroud then tangled with Fonte in the box on 90 minutes – and referee Madely awarded a penalty. And despite a delay as Koscielny was treated for an injury Cazorla then struck the winner to make it 2-1 to The Arsenal.

Only the local Southampton newspaper says Giroud was “giving as good as he got”. No other newspaper – national or otherwise – mentions Giroud fouling.

As for the clubs’ websites:

Arsenal:

Olivier Giroud was hauled down by Jose Fonte and Cazorla kept his nerve to beat Fraser Forster.

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal):

 “It is a relief, because we missed many chances and they had one or two opportunities having thrown everything forward. Honestly, everyone is telling me it was a penalty, but I’ve not yet seen it again.”

Claude Puel (Southampton):

“It’s very hard for my players, a big disappointment. For me, with the penalty both players went to play the ball – it’s very hard to take.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 10th, September 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment