The explosive derbies on Merseyside and in Manchester threw up some controversial moments and decisions on Sunday. A couple of managers couldn’t resist a dig at match officials because the result didn’t go their way and one instigated a huge brawl that hid the fact that his team were outthought and outplayed. Oh, and we’ll throw in a striker who made a decision that enraged even Roy Hodgson.
3. Jose Mourinho
Throughout the week leading up to the Manchester derby, Jose couldn’t resist having a go at the Manchester City players. He claimed that ‘a little bit of wind’ would knock them over and that ‘they lose their balance very easily’. But, after his side lost to Guardiola’s men, he blamed the referee Michael Oliver for not giving United a penalty. With the score at 2-1, Ander Herrera went down far too easily in the penalty area under the challenge of eventual match-winner Nicolas Otamendi but Oliver booked Herrera for diving. The irony that Mourinho blamed a referee for a defeat because he felt his player hadn’t dived, when he had, is so rich that he had to make this list. To make matters worse, he sparked a dressing room brawl which involved punches being thrown, milk being hurled and Mikel Arteta with a cut on his forehead. A low moment for Mourinho at United. And after all that, he received criticism from Louis van Gaal of all people.
2. Christian Benteke
The Crystal Palace striker hasn’t scored since April and his team are in deep trouble at the foot of the Premier League table. When your side has the chance to win three vital points with a last-minute penalty, you’re going to want your regular taker on spot-kick duty, right? Well, Benteke didn’t think so. As soon as Wilfried Zaha had been fouled by Charlie Daniels, Benteke grabbed the ball and went towards the penalty spot. Regular taker, Luka Milivojevic had to stand aside and watch the Belgian striker run up to take this vital kick. Benteke’s penalty was so poor that Asmir Begovic almost dived past it but the Bosnian kept it out and Palace were denied the win. So, Benteke had defied team orders, overruled a competent penalty taker and infuriated Roy Hodgson. I don’t suspect he’ll be taking the next one.
1. Jurgen Klopp
I think we were all stunned to see Liverpool’s team sheet when it was released without Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino’s names in the starting line-up. Klopp took and risk and started Dominic Solanke in the Merseyside derby and he paid the price. Despite going a goal up through Mohamed Salah, the Reds weren’t their usual attacking selves and struggled to break through a resilient Everton defence. Dejan Lovren, who could’ve made this shortlist himself, pushed over Dominic Calvert-Lewin and referee Craig Pawson awarded the away side a penalty.
Wayne Rooney converted it and the game finished 1-1 but Klopp was absolutely furious in his post-match interview with Sky Sports. He kept trying to defend the actions of his defender and insisted that it shouldn’t have been a penalty, even hitting out at the interviewer Patrick Davison. He requested to stop the interview because he only wanted to speak with someone who had ‘a little bit of understanding of football’ after Davison tried to explain to him that a penalty was the right decision. It really was painful to watch and that unjustified outburst combined with his bizarre team selection, make him Wally of the Week.