Howard Webb managed not to send a player off for a karate kick in a World Cup final, but it’s not the decision that comes to mind the most.
Webb was the middle man in 2010 world Cup final against Spain and the Netherlands, when Nigel de Jong landed a kick in the chest of Xabi Alonso.
Kind of the old Manchester City The defensive midfielder avoided a red card, in what was a very busy game for the referee, and without VAR at the time, the Dutchman got away with it completely.
It was a penalty he awarded United in a match with Tottenham Hotspur in which they found themselves trailing 2-0 at half-time at Old Trafford.
United rallied to win 5-2 but the comeback was kicked off with a controversial spot-kick penalty, when Michael Carrick was ruled to have been knocked down by Heurelho Gomes, which Webb has revealed is the only decision he wants to be able to change.
“The one that stands out is the one where in the game I knew I was wrong,” said the former referee. athleticism last year, “It was a Premier League game at Old Trafford – Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur in 2009.
“I could see Carrick got there first and then the goalkeeper slammed into him. It was a really easy penalty.
“I was expecting the usual superficial appeal you get from players, not the huge look of utter astonishment, astonishment and disbelief on Gomes’ look.
“It was obvious within seconds that I had made the wrong decision. There was something more to it.
“I ended up with the decision I made without any independent evidence that I was wrong other than a gut feeling, and I just hoped that Ronaldo would miss the penalty, but he didn’t.”
After Ronaldo scored the penalty, wayne rooney scored twice, Ronaldo got another and former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov completed things to make it 5-2.
The referee hoped that his thoughts were wrong and that the penalty wasn’t actually a mistake, but at the full-time whistle he quickly realized it was a mistake, because the cameraman from the television ran towards him and not one of the players leaving the field.
“When he misses all these players and rushes towards you, as a referee, it’s not a good feeling.
“You just know you have a world of pain waiting for you.”
It happened a little over 11 years ago, when Liverpool forward Ryan Babel posted a meme of the referee in a United shirt, following an FA Cup game.
Liverpool lost to their rivals after being awarded a second-minute penalty, and Steven Gerrard was subsequently sent off, in the second half.
No matter what Babel, or anyone else, thinks of those decisions, Webb clearly doesn’t think they were as bad as that Spurs penalty, or presumably De Jong’s kick to the chest. .