By Dave Marshal
Marouane Fellaini took just three minutes to ruin Manchester United’s game plan as his first touch sent Idris Gueye sprawling in the box and gave Leighton Baines the opportunity of scoring a penalty against David de Gea, sending Goodison Park into delirium.
The story of the night, however was not of Fellaini seeing red for his moment of indiscretion, but the studs-up challenge of Marcos Rojo on the same Gueye, which Michael Oliver failed to spot. The Argentine defender rushed in on a tackle, studs-up and clattered into former Aston Villa midfielder, Gueye, a tackle which former referee, Howard Webb feels is unforgivable. Everton frustrated United for long spells during the match, and would feel their last minute goal was a fair reward for their second half performance.
Webb, who was regarded as one of the game’s best ever referees before retiring some years ago, has been talking about the Rojo tackle, which Oliver deemed to be only a yellow. Writing in his column on The Times, Webb said, “Rojo’s tackle on Gueye was a clear red card,” “Michael Oliver is a really great referee and he will be gutted when he sees it back. “As soon as a player leaves the ground and jumps in with two feet, studs first, straight legs, it’s a red-card offence. “It is serious foul play because he will be using excessive force and endangering the safety of the opponent.” he added.
Manchester United, at the moment, are the kings of draws. The Red Devils have won just twice in their last eight games, and are already nine points behind Arsenal in fourth place. They face a hectic festive schedule in the coming weeks, as they aim to claw their way to the top echelons of the table, where, it has to be said, they belong.