Belfast Telegraph

Jol: Oliver lacked bravery

Martin Jol was left cursing yet more Old Trafford misery after his Fulham team were denied a last-minute penalty against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Jol was in the opposing dugout seven years ago when Pedro Mendes' shot bounced a yard over the line but Tottenham did not get a goal. On Monday 27-year-old referee Michael Oliver ruled Michael Carrick had not bundled Danny Murphy over inside the box, which allowed United to claim a 1-0 win thanks to Wayne Rooney's 28th goal of the season.

"No-one in the stadium could say Danny Murphy dived and everyone in the stadium expected a penalty," said Jol.

"A few years ago, the ball was a metre over the line and they did not give it. Maybe the linesman was not quick enough that time.

"But tonight the referee was there in line. It needed a brave decision because it was either a dive and he should book someone or he has to give Carrick a red card. I don't want to see Carrick sent off but it needed a brave decision and I think it was a penalty kick."

It seemed to be a clear case of the enormity of the situation influencing the outcome, although Jol opted not to reflect on such matters.

"The discussion of whether it would have been given at the other end has been going on for years and it will go on for years to come," he said.

Even Sir Alex Ferguson admitted it should have been a penalty, although the United boss did point out his own side should have had one in the first half when Stephen Kelly handled Patrice Evra's cross.

"They had a claim," he said.

"But the referee was a bit lenient when we had a claim for a penalty in the first half for handball. Patrice Evra thought it was a stone-waller. Maybe that has swayed the referee because Michael Carrick caught Danny Murphy's heel as he came back and it could have been a penalty."


From Belfast Telegraph