Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Kicking On - brief update
Alberto Gilardino, running onto one of Andrea Pirlo's beautifully-weighted dinks over the top, forced his way into the box and lobbed the Bayern 'keeper adroitly. Yet the goal was disallowed for a (very marginal) offside, and Gilardino was booked. Significantly, he pointed to his ears after the referee had shown the yellow card. In the midst of a crowd whistling all the time, any coach would surely have expected Gilardino to complete the move if he wasn't 100% sure that it was the ref who had blown.
Gilardino is now suspended for the second leg, and with Ronaldo cup-tied and Pippo Inzaghi not at his best without a partner, Milan may find themselves sadly short of striking power in the return leg (in which they must score).
Back to the Gilardino booking. Again, the only conceivable pretext for such a sanction is to discourage time-wasting. Yes, Milan were 1-0 up at the time; but the incident occurred in the 53rd minute. Thirty-seven long minutes, plus stoppage time, from the end of the game.
Punishing a player for time-wasting at such a stage of the game is simply officious.
Fair enough, but the axiom is the same - unless you're absolutely sure, in a goalscoring situation, you can and should play on, IMO.
...From the replay he looked in line, he could have been offside but advantage has to be given to the attacker....
Unfortunately, it never, ever is.
I didn't see the incident (damn channel-surfing between ESPN and SBS -- this morning was worse with an exciting England-Sri Lanka game adding to the mix), but Milan could have had a lot of players forward and been vulnerable to a quick counter-attack. I did see enough of the game to conclude that the referee was crap though.