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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Manchester United and Stoppage Time Controversy

Those of you have watched the Manchester derby of last Sunday might have been surprised to see 7 minutes of extra time played after 90 minutes. No doubt, the match was really enjoyable as both teams were dominating at some points of time during the game. However, I was just astonished to see Martin Atkinson taking 7 minutes to blew the final whistle. City manager Mark Hughes said that he just did not know where those 7 minutes came from. The same question has arisen in my mind too.

Well, there are many among the City fans who are claiming that the referee showed favoritism towards United that day. The match was 2-2 tied after 90 minutes, but United won the game thanks to an injury time goal from Michael Owen. I got two well-analyzed articles published in Telegraph and Guardian on this issue.

After studying all the premier league games of Manchester Untied from 2006-07 to today, Guardian found out that the amount of stoppage time when United was drawing or losing was considerably more than what the stoppage time when United was ahead of their opposition after 90 minutes.

Well, this information might lead you to think that there was something controversial in Sunday’s Manchester derby. To be honest, I do not want to make any statement on this regard, but I believe that it is a big mistake by the referee Martin Atkinson to sanction 7 minutes of stoppage time during that game.

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