An entertainingly feisty yet somewhat unmemorable FA Cup quarter-final between Chelsea and Manchester United last night was decided by two key events; N’Golo Kante’s single goal of the evening and Ander Herrera’s early red card, which split punditry opinion after the final whistle.
To some, it was a painfully soft, unnecessary decision that killed the game – especially with almost an hour still to play. To others, however, it was a welcome stand against Manchester United’s tactic of simply kicking Eden Hazard to the ground whenever he got the ball.
Inevitably, that has put Michael Oliver in the limelight today, but how did the man in the middle cope with the big occasion? As you can see from our infographic, he awarded 21 fouls throughout the 90 minutes, which is actually just 0.83 shy of his average in the Premier League this term, whilst his four yellow cards only slightly moved away from his average for the campaign (3.26) as well.
At the same time, 64% of his decisions went Chelsea’s way, and rather eerily, 65.2% of matches Oliver has referred this season have produced wins for the home side.
That suggests Oliver didn’t particularly deviate from his normal practices yesterday evening, which is what you’d like to see from an official refereeing an important FA Cup quarter-final between two of the biggest teams in England. But the red card was a rarity for Oliver, being only his third of the season across all competitions.
So, was Oliver looking for controversy or did he make the right call? Let us know your views on his refereeing performance by voting below…