There is a God!

by Chris Bertram on May 3, 2005

“Good 1 — Evil 0”:



P ONeill 05.03.05 at 4:04 pm

yes and let’s hope He stays on the job for the battle against Silvio’s men.


Cryptic Ned 05.03.05 at 4:09 pm

I believe it’s 1-1, what with the Premiership title and all.


Scouse 05.03.05 at 4:38 pm

Good 1—Evil 0 Amen to that.


dave heasman 05.03.05 at 4:41 pm

Well, they bought the ref, but couldn’t afford the linesman..


eirepol 05.03.05 at 5:29 pm

Shame about poor old Wrexham though. They were beaten at home tonight and now face relegation. They were docked 10 points earlier this season for going into receivership, largely due to the actions of an idiot proprietor. It’s no fault of the club or the loyal campaigning fans. Heartbreaking stuff.


shippe 05.03.05 at 6:09 pm

spare me the scouse triumphalism.


David All 05.03.05 at 6:31 pm

and a Tiger


Randy Paul 05.03.05 at 6:38 pm

P O’Neill,

Assuming that PSV doesn’t manage a small miracle.


enthymeme 05.03.05 at 11:25 pm

Bah. 40 something Liverpool fan. Obviously a gloryhunting relic of yesteryear.

Milan will own you.


des von bladet 05.04.05 at 3:35 am

I wouldn’t mind so much if we’d lost to a _good_ team, but _Liverpool_?

It’s a funny old game, foopball.


stostosto 05.04.05 at 5:12 am

God doesn’t interfere with football. It’s far too important for that.


Ginger Yellow 05.04.05 at 5:25 am

As an Oxford fan who has born a grudge against Chelsea for the best part of a decade, I’d like to say: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”


Ginger Yellow 05.04.05 at 5:26 am

D’oh. That’s “borne”.


Brian Weatherson 05.04.05 at 7:47 am

So I have a rules question from a novice for those of you with more knowledge of the game. After the match a lot of commentators were saying that if Luis Garcia hadn’t scored, then it would have been a penalty and red card against Cech for the foul on Baros. If that’s true, I understand why the goal overrides the penalty. But why should the goal override the red card? If a player makes a dangerous tackle that’s normally a bookable offence, and the ball ricochets out from the tackle to a player that scores, the goal means the referee won’t go back to the free kick, but surely he’ll still book the player. Why isn’t it the same for red cards?

Since Liverpool won this isn’t a sour grapes question (though it might have been!) I’m just genuinely confused about what the rules are in this respect.


Peter Briffa 05.04.05 at 7:58 am

Brian, you are entirely right – legally – but traditionally, culturally even, that isn’t how it works. If a referee were to allow a goal and send the goalkeeper off as well there would be a huge public outcry, the ref would say he was obeying the letter of the law, and then there would be demands for the law to be changed.
So no ref would do it.


Peter Briffa 05.04.05 at 8:00 am

Incidentally, Chris, this time on Friday it will be Good 2 – Evil 0. And Michael Howard, the noted Liverpool supporter, will be smiling again.


Clyde Mnestra 05.04.05 at 8:54 am

A still more ignorant question . . . Any particular reason why Chelsea is said to be more evil? I’d absorbed only that they were the upstarts this year (so far as the English title was concerned); Liverpool fans, as I recall, were not exactly on their best behavior last time they were in the final. What gives?


Ginger Yellow 05.04.05 at 8:59 am

Actually, Peter, I’m not so sure about that. The reason you get a red card for a professional foul is that you have denied the opponent “an obvious goalscoring opportunity”. Clearly, if he has scored, you haven’t denied him anything. A booking for a reckless challenge would be appropriate. You can contrive a situation where the keeper commits another red card offence (second yellow, violent conduct etc) and the opponent still scores. In that case, he should still get sent off, but you’re right that he probably wouldn’t.


Ginger Yellow 05.04.05 at 9:05 am

Clyde: besides the Oxford thing (many years ago they got a very dodgy penalty against us to salvage a cup tie, and subsequently won the replay), and the fact that everyone in the M4 corridor seems to support them, and the fact that many of their fans are among the most boorish in London, there’s the fact that their recent success derives entirely from the injection of hundreds of millions of pounds by someone whose wealth comes from Russia’s extremely dodgy privatisations.


Peter Briffa 05.04.05 at 9:08 am


but the moment the foul is committed a goal-scoring opportunity has been denied. Whether a goal is scored subsequently or not is irrelevent. He was denied his goal, after all. Another player scored, didn’t he?

I’m being a bit Jesuitical about this, aren’t I?


cdm 05.04.05 at 10:01 am

I think Peter is right in both posts, although I would add that I believe the reluctance to send the goalkeeper off rests on the ambiguity of whether the tackle was truly a red card offence. To take another example, suppose a player were to clearly and deliberately use his hands to prevent the ball from entering the goal, but suppose an attacking player nevertheless scored from the rebound. In that case I think the laws of the game would allow for no ambiguity: the defender would be sent off.

Thus I think Brian is right that, if the goalkeeper committted a red card offence, he should be sent off even if the referee plays advantage and a goal is scored. But — where there is enough ambiguity to get away with it — a referee is likely not to issue the red card.


dave heasman 05.04.05 at 10:53 am

I started watching the match as a neutral, but I switched to supporting Liverpool as it seemed that the ref was the only person on the pitch not noticing the numerous Chelsea handballs, and some nasty violent tackles.
Plus this was only the second occasion where I’ve seen such defensive excellence, where it seemed as if the Liverpool players actually were connected by a fine wire, when one player was pulled out of position another would slot into his space and cover, and they maintained it for 96 (! I wonder how much that cost?) minutes. Even Luis Garcia tackled back.
(The previous example was when Norwich beat Bayern in Munich, 1993 I think)


Greg 05.04.05 at 11:31 am

I reckon it’s Common-or-Garden Evil 1 – Suspiciously Wealthy Evil 0.


Ginger Yellow 05.04.05 at 12:45 pm

Having checked the rules at FIFA’s site, I think Peter is right. On the other hand, the handball version of the professional foul rule is more ambiguous:

“A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following seven offences: 1. is guilty of serious foul play; 2. is guilty of violent conduct; 3. spits at an opponent or any other person; 4. denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area); 5. denies an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick; 6. uses offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures; 7. receives a second caution in the same match. A player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the field of play and the technical area.”

What annoys me more on a regular basis is referees only booking keepers for obvious professional fouls, because they seem to think a penalty and a yellow is punishment enough. It’s a hangover from the days when you were only allowed three players on the bench, so usually there was no backup goalie.


Peter Briffa 05.05.05 at 3:01 am

There are two rules in soccer I particularly relish.
One, the fact that a foul can only be called if it is deliberate. It’s like, is the ref supposed to be a mind-reader, or something?

And that ten metre rule adopted from rugby, whereby the ref can advance the free kick ten yards closer to goal if there is encroachment by the defence. Has anyone ever seen it implemented?
Not me.


Ginger Yellow 05.05.05 at 6:30 am

Peter, that’s not strictly true. Free kicks and yellow cards can be given for dangerous play, even if the challenge was reckless rahter than a deliberate foul. More commonly, any tackle where first contact is with the opponent rather than the ball is a foul, regardless of intent.


Ray 05.05.05 at 7:22 am

The ten metre rule has been implemented a few times. A few months after it was introduced it was used to advance a free kick into the penalty area, and there was some debate about whether that was any real advantage.


Randy Paul 05.05.05 at 6:36 pm

BTW, PSV Eindhoven very nearly pulled off a miracle agains AC Milan.

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