The weekend’s most interesting game, mainly for the wrong reasons, was Manchester United’s draw with Bournemouth. A quick recap.
The referee Kevin Friend dismissed Bournemouth’s Andrew Surman for two yellow cards, the first of which was shown for a perfectly good tackle. Mr Friend only displayed the red card after being reminded of the first yellow by Wayne Rooney. Tyrone Mings stamped on the head of Zlatan Ibrahimović, who had stamped on Mings first. Both stamps may or may not have been deliberate. Less worthy of discussion was Ibrahimović’s retaliation; ramming his elbow into Mings’ face.
Ibrahimović later claimed: “He jumped into my elbow” which raised one of only two laughs from the afternoon.
Mr Friend also awarded a saved penalty to United for a handball that was about as deliberate as a toe stubbing.
United’s manager, José Mourinho, said that Mr Friend gave “a good performance,” and could find no fault with the official, which raised the other laugh.
Luckily for the official there is one, just one, worse referee in the Premier League and that is the ever-hopeless Andre Marriner, who is rather special in that regard.
(Still, in November 2013 the Jose said of Marriner: “He is one of the best referees not just in the country, but also in European football.” Boom, boom.)
This was all very entertaining, although what was a tad depressing is that none of it was in the slightest surprising.