by Kevin Henning

The utter ineptitude of the referee involved in the most controversial decision this season has meant that both players involved will play this weekend.
The silence from the official has been deafening but is probably explained by him knowing full well that there is nothing he could possibly say to justify his actions. Of course we’d all like to know what was said as he pulled the card from his pocket but there’s no chance of that.
Given that this incident came a mere three days after another referee sent off the wrong player in a London derby that affected the title race means that we’d already witnessed refs receiving a grilling on Sky’s rolling sports news channel.

Quite why Michael Oliver booked Marouane Fellaini is a complete mystery to me. If it was for his inability to have any effect on the 167th Manchester derby then I apologise for even questioning him and fully agree that such a display for a £27million footballer is criminal.

If however, he deemed the assault on Pablo Zabaleta to be only worthy of a caution, then Oliver should be charged with gross misconduct and summary dismissed from his duties.
Graeme Souness, known for his regular stomach churning challenges, was lost for words after the game. Paul Scholes mumbled something about it being indefensible and Gary Neville’s admission that United were lucky to finish the game with eleven men.

Sky Sport News however, completely ignored the incident. There was no trial by TV on this occasion. The constant replays after Mario Balotelli’s run in with Scott Parker, Luis Suarez’s bite on Chelsea’s full back and Alan Pardew’s head push on David Meyler were mysteriously absent. Maybe the fact that City won the game with ease led the producers to ponder that Blues should skip off into the night and forget all about the unprovoked attack on their Argentinian full back.

Marouane Fellaini has escaped a three match ban despite a shocking, deliberate elbow on an opposition player. The only reason I can possibly imagine that Oliver didn’t send the thug off is that he considers Fellaini playing for United as more of a punishment than him not.