There were quite a few talking points to come out of this weekend’s round of Premier League action, and one of the biggest was undoubtedly the controversy at the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City hosted Tottenham Hotspur where both sides played out an enthralling rollercoaster of a game.
Having shared six goals between them, Norwegian international striker Erling Haaland was left apoplectic following referee Simon Hooper’s decision to not play the advantage in the closing minutes of the game, instead breaking off their attack, to pull the game back for an earlier foul.
Haaland was one of several City players who remonstrated with the official, but the 23 year old continued his protestations following the full time whistle as he took to social media to continue to vent his frustrations. On the website formerly known as Twitter, Haaland reposted a clip of the incident, along with a phrase everyone will understand ‘wtf’.
For those who may not have seen it, Haaland was fouled in the fifth minute of stoppage time but did manage to lay the ball off to Jack Grealish to send him clear, and although it appeared Hooper was letting play continue, he then blew his whistle to award a free kick.
His decision certainly drew criticism from plenty of pundits, and on the BBC Match of the Day 2 programme, former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas could not get his head around the decision to not let play just continue as would normally happen during a game.
“I think it is an absolute shocker. I really do. I’m not sure what Simon Hooper is thinking. It’s clearly a mistake but it is a monster of a mistake in my opinion.”
Fellow former England international midfielder Leon Osman, was in full agreement, especially as he bought in the topic of the much criticised Video Assistant Referee technology, who could quite easily have looked at what most felt was a basic foul, and in playing on, had it not come to anything and the foul had been determined as deliberate or malicious, they could then have called the referee back if a punishment was required.
“It’s a huge mistake – there is no getting away from that with the technology we have but I have a slight bit of sympathy. He held his hands up straight away. But this one mistake is all that people will want to talk about.”
The criticism continued from other pundits, but Manchester City fans will be paying the most attention as to whether there is now a silly Football Association charge for Haaland, not only from the on pitch reaction, but then to taking to the interweb.