The game was a strange one. West Ham knocked it around nicely in the first ten minutes but as the first half wore on only one team looked like scoring. We controlled the midfield, West Ham found it very difficult to string anything together, Song and Diaby were breaking things up nicely. The first goal came after a great cross from Sagna was flicked on by Green's despairing lunge, RVP did the rest. The second came from a strong header by William Gallas, 2-0 and we were cruising.
I disagree with the general interpretation of the match by various others, we looked very solid and comfortable in the second half, West Ham created nothing until yet another incredibly soft free kick was given by the inept Foy. This time Hines was fairly tackled by Diaby who simply stood his ground and got the ball, Hines then ran into Diaby and Foy blew up, an atrocious lack of understanding of the game shown once again. Foy had a quite awful second half, he seemed to think that if a West Ham played went down to ground in a theatrical fashion then it must have been a foul, he should have watched the challenges as often there was simply no tackle and certainly no foul. Behrami was routinely cheating the ref, he lost the ball on several occasions and each time he went down as if shot, Foy have free kicks for every single of his exaggerated falls.
The fault with the first goal lies very squarely at Mannone's door, it was an awful attempt to make a very moderate free kick look much more dangerous than it actually was, he could have caught it, but instead he punched it straight to Cole who easily headed home. An awful error gave West Ham hope when there should have been none, one should certainly not forget Foy's assist with yet another poor piece of officiating.
The second goal from the penalty spot was a complete and utter disgrace. Foy had just seen Parker attempt to cheat his way to a penalty with an utterly pathetic dive when no contact had been made, he stupidly failed to punish Parker, maybe a yellow then would have made Cole think twice before he went down like a sack of spuds. Song barely made contact with Cole as the ball was played into the box on the ground, he certainly didn't make a challenge, it was a brush of legs at most, if that. Cole is a massively strong horse of player who can knock several men down when he so chooses, so to see him go down like this was nothing but a Drogba-esque piece of cheating. RVP almost snatched it for us at the death with a powerful low header, but even if he had I am sure Foy would have had time to fist one in past the hapless Mannone to salvage a draw for those honest hammers.
The fact that two such blatant dives were performed against Arsenal by two Englishmen means that the media have barely commented on these pieces of gamesmanship. Compare and contrast this to the Eduardo incident and you can see just how very biased the media can be. The numpties on Sky even had the audacity to accuse Eboue of going to ground easily when he was tripped and then had his shirt tugged in quite blatant fashion by Parker. The penalties we have given against us you would never see Manu or Liverpool subjected to, there just seems to be no consistency in the world of the Premiership. If Cole did not dive then Gordon Brown is not a fat Scottish twat, I am frankly flabbergasted at the repeated poor decisions we have had to put up with in recent seasons.
I know we are partly to blame for this surrender of a solid two goal lead, however emphasis should remain on the word 'partly'. Foy was the chief architect of West Ham's goals, without him West Ham would not have scored and this is a point that the media have completely failed to pick up on. Other than Mannone's error we defended solidly and looked comfortable, this was very different to the Alkmaar draw in midweek. I am still fuming, these two points were important, hopefully they won't be crucial when things are added up in May, if they are then I think a certain Mr Foy should be kept behind at refereeing school to be taught that you do not judge whether a foul has taken place solely by the way in which a player goes to ground.