Crystal Palace managed to come away from last Saturday’s game against Middlesbrough with all three points but it could have been a great deal more comfortable if referee Bobby Madley had done his job correctly in the closing stages of the game.
Whilst the likes of Mamadou Sakho and Luka Milivojevic provided a great deal of defensive steel for the Eagles, the final few moments were understandably nervy for everyone connected to the football club given our precarious position in the Premier League table. I’m not one to pile pressure onto the shoulders of officials at every turn, knowing full well how difficult their job is from week to week but in this particular instance, I’m at a complete loss to understand the reasoning behind Madley’s decision.
I’m sure you were an incensed as me at the time, having watched McArthur react quickest to a loose ball inside the penalty area, beat Downing to it, only to trip following a clear moment of contact from the England midfielder’s left foot. The split second that followed saw Madley put the whistle to his lips and jog towards the incident in dramatic fashion, only to pull out a yellow card for Jimmy, leaving every Palace fan in a state of shock.
We’ve all seen plenty of debatable penalty shouts in our time, there are usually one or two in every game of football but in this particular scenario, it’s difficult to know what more the Scotland man would have had to do to be awarded a spot kick. Unfortunately, thanks to the extremely odd rules that govern the game, there seems to be no chance of the caution being rescinded either, adding insult to injury for McArthur and the club as a whole.
There simply cannot be any debate over Madley’s error when looking at the video evidence provided above. I suppose we should just be thankful that Boro didn’t go straight up the other end and grab a last-gasp equaliser. Can you imagine…
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