Why is Scottish Football a laughing stock?
You only had to watch this afternoon’s match between Rangers and Dundee United to find out the real reason why!
All week, the Glasgow side have moaned about the SPL making a mockery of Scottish Football, by forcing them to play against Dundee United, a full 5-days before they take the short trip to Manchester for the UEFA Cup final.
However, this afternoon`s SPL match was more of a freak show than 90minutes of football, as referee Mike McCurry and his assistants conspired to ensure Rangers walked away victorious.
For years, non-Old Firm supporters have complained about the biased refereeing at Ibrox and Parkhead, and how all the big decisions go against the visiting clubs.
Rangers 2-3 Dundee United…. that`s how the score should really have ended, and Rangers should have finished with only 8 men on the pitch, but referee Mike McCurry was determined to make sure that the result went in Rangers favour!
There was several incidents that lead to Rangers’ victory:-
1./ 7minutes into the match, Nacho Novo cleverly played for and won a free-kick, which he managed to convert with a header at the back post.
It was a free kick that could have gone either way, a 50-50 between Mark Kerr and Novo, who were holding on to each others shirts, but Novo blocked off Kerr and went down easily.
2./ 14minutes, a Rangers player takes both Morgaro Gomis and the ball right in front of the referee. Only 3 seconds later and 2 metres away, Danny Grainger does exactly the same to Barry Ferguson and is penalised.
3./ 18minutes, Mark De Vries runs into the Rangers box, onside, but linesman flags. Rangers go up the other end of the pitch and Nacho Novo scores a wonder goal.
4./ Into the 2nd half, a header from Mark De Vries sets Noel Hunt through on goal. Defender David Weir commits a professional foul.
Without taking his eyes off Noel Hunt, he brings the Dundee United player down for a stonewall penalty. Referee hesitates, linesman claims not to have seen it.
Instead of a red card for Weir and a penalty for Dundee United, referee waves play on.
5./ 71mins, Danny Grainger tries to play David Robertson through on goal, but the ball deflects off David Weir 40-yards out and goes into the back of the net. Robertson was in an offside position, but never touched the ball.
Referee and linesman discuss situation, and chop off the goal because they decision Robertson was blocking the goalkeeper`s view from 40-yards away.
6./ At the same time David Weir was putting the ball past his own goalkeeper, Kirk Broadfoot decides to punch Noel Hunt on the nose.
Noel Hunt has to go off for treatment, but neither the referee or linesman saw anything. Broadfoot avoids a straight red card.
7./ 75mins, Daniel Cousin decides to square up to Lee Wilkie. He grabs Wilkies shirt and the United defender pushes him away.
Cousin then head-butts Wilkie in front of the referee. Both players are booked, Cousin avoids a straight red card.
8./ 76mins, Mark De Vries scores and the referee finally awards Dundee United a goal. De Vries is then booked for mocking the assistant referee, challenging him to find an excuse to chalk another legitimate goal off.
Decision: RANGERS. Probably a fair booking, but referee should have tried to calm the situation down first.
9./ 90mins, With all 11 players on the park, Walter Smith is able to bring Jean Claude Darcheville on as a sub and exploit Dundee United on the counter attack. He scores a 3rd goal for Rangers to seal the match.
Although, by the time Rangers scored their 3rd goal, it should have been 3-2 to Dundee United and Rangers should have only had 8 men of the pitch, so they should never of had the chance to score on the counter attack.
10./ During the full 90 minutes, referee Mike McCurray awarded Rangers 21 free kicks, compared to 9 for Dundee United. The game was quite tight and both teams were putting in the challenges, but were Dundee United really 2 and half times worse than Rangers?
Meanwhile, Dundee United`s chances of a UEFA Cup slot were completely finished, as Motherwell beat Aberdeen 2-1.
Although, strangely, another controversial decision by the referee not to award Aberdeen a 2nd goal, after he judged Barry Nicholson’s shot hadn`t crossed the line.
Perhaps its just paranoia, but after watching the way Scottish referees handled the crucial matches this afternoon, anyone would think that the SPL chiefs have money on Rangers to win the title and Motherwell to finish 3rd!
Mike McCurry 3-1 Dundee United