Writer: Mike Field
Date:Saturday November 22 2008
Martin O'Neill has declared himself to be absolutely thrilled tonight, after we battled to a 0-0 draw against Man United.
It's not often you celebrate draws, but after 14 losses, before the match I would've killed for a point from todays game.
The only real talking point of the match that stuck with O'Neill was Foy's decision to not send Vidic off after he pulled down Gabby in the box in the second half. I suppose that in itself makes a change, there was no 10 minutes of injury time to let them score, no pathetic penalty decision against us to let them score.....so this time I'm inclined to let Foy off as long as not giving us a penalty doesn't happen again. That said after a few more drinkies tonight I may be ready to string him up and burn him on a stake. I'm trying to be composed tonight.
O'Neill has a slightly different outlook from me though and he said so in no uncertain terms on the official site, although at no point does he suggest getting drunk and stringing up Foy before burning him on a stake. Apparently that's against FA guidelines, even if Joey Barton isn't?
'It was a penalty. You can see it back and consider if it was inside the box or outside the box. But it wasn't just that.
'The decision is a massive one because even if it is outside the box, it's a foul. And the player, having committed the foul and as the last man, has to be sent off.
'The referee chose not to give it. I thought it was too big for him. I thought the consequence of the decision was too big for him.
'It was a major moment. He had a hold of Gabby throughout the move. I can understand the referee being hesitant about giving the penalty but not about giving the foul.
'It was a goalscoring opportunity and the consequence should have been Vidic being sent off.'
Ok so that's me told then. As for the match itself he said:
'If you had said to me after the Middlesbrough game that the next two matches would yield four points, I would have been delighted.
'I thought it was important to battle very strongly and we did that well. We could have nicked it at the end but we also had moments to endure ourselves. Overall, it was a very hard-fought draw.
'We were spirited and resilient. The players are doing splendidly and putting a big effort into the games.
'The last two matches have pitted us against the very, very best. United won't be too far away at the end of the season. They have so much movement, such creativity and good players.
'It was a great effort against them and I am so pleased with my players. They put a big effort into the match and if we had been beaten it wouldn't have been through a lack of effort.'
Date:Saturday November 22 2008
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