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Manchester United dropped more points at Old Trafford in the Premier League on the weekend as they were held to a 1-1 draw by an understrength Everton team.
Everton’s goal was scored on the counter-attack and it was a great piece of play from the away team as they broke down the left before switching the ball across the pitch for Andros Townsend to finish.
Siuper Siunday. 😏
Rest up, Blues. We build on the good work and progress so far and come back stronger after the break. 👊 pic.twitter.com/whmedTtFFO
— Everton (@Everton) October 3, 2021
Manchester United midfielder, Fred, received plenty of criticism for his part in the goal as he was knocked off the ball by Demarai Gray on the halfway line.
It was weak play from the Brazilian and he should have been stronger but some onlookers were saying he should simply have deliberately fouled his opponent and stopped the attack.
Fans, commentators, pundits, and former professional players are up in arms when a player is caught diving to win a penalty. Yet those same people were saying Fred made a mistake by not taking out his opponent when they were on the break using a ‘clever foul’.
This belief that deliberately taking down an opponent when they are attacking on the break is clever play needs to be eradicated the game and fast. It is blatant cheating, just like diving, yet everyone is quick to condemn diving but the deliberate foul is clever play.
There is no difference between the two and the only way to stop players from making deliberate fouls, such as pulling a player back to stop them when on the break, is to make the offence a red card.
Fernandinho was one of the best in terms of committing a deliberate foul to stop the opposition breaking on Manchester City. In most instances, it was clear what the Brazilian was doing yet much of the time he would not even receive a booking for the challenge.
There was an incident in the first half between Liverpool and Manchester City in their Premier League encounter on the weekend when James Milner deliberately stopped Phil Foden in his tracks by dragging him back as he was attacking.
It was blatant cheating from Milner but a yellow card makes little difference in terms of deterring him from doing it again should the situation arise again this season.
There is nothing worse than seeing a team on the counter-attack, catching the opposition out for committing too many players forward, only for the attack to be brough to a halt via a deliberate foul.
It needs to be stamped out of the game and the only way to do that is by making the offence a red card.
Clearly it would be difficult to manage as it would not always be 100% blatant and players will say they made an attempt to play the ball.
However, there are many occasions when it is clear and it has to be punished in a way that will stop players from seeing it as an easy option when they have been caught out.