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10 Howard Webb Mistakes Against Manchester United

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MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 30: Rio Ferdinand protests to Referee Howard Webb as Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United is sent off during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at The City of Manchester Stadium on November 30, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images) | Jamie McDonald via Getty Images

David Moyes was loathe to admit it, having lost six of his first 20 Premier League matches as Manchester United manager, but referees are human and will make mistakes.

Moyes skirted over not fielding a full-back at full-back, his paucity of midfield options or the worrying trend of diving by some of his United players, by labelling Howard Webb's performance at Old Trafford "scandalous". Hugo Lloris was fortunate not to have conceded a late penalty for his reckless and rash foul on Ashley Young, as Tottenham held on to their 2-1 advantage.

Webb, according to lore, is a United fan. This is because he erroneously gave them a penalty in a home match with Tottenham in 2009, when United were vying for the title with Liverpool. Two seasons later, then-Liverpool misfit Ryan Babel posted a photoshopped picture of him in a United kit on Twitter after he had the gall to send Steven Gerrard off at Old Trafford. Do you notice the trend?

Thanks to conspiratorial Liverpool fans, Webb-United jokes pollute the Twittersphere and will continue to until the Rotherham United supporter red cards half of Moyes's side. In an attempt to offer some perspective, here are 10 Webb errors which were to United's detriment.

  • Birmingham 2-2 United, December 2005
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    Cristiano Ronaldo was scythed down by former United player Nicky Butt in possession, but Webb gave nothing as Birmingham regained the ball and teed up Jamie Clapham to equalise
  • United 1-1 Chelsea, November 2006
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    With United 1-0 up in this top of the table clash, Wayne Rooney was tugged back by Didier Drogba inside the penalty area, only he opted to stay on his feet. Chelsea later levelled and claimed a draw at Old Trafford, although United were rightly aggrieved not to have received a penalty
  • Arsenal 2-2 United, November 2007
    Admittedly, Webb's error here was amplified by Sir Alex Ferguson, but it warranted more coverage than it received at the time. Substitute Louis Saha, who unlocked the opening which allowed Ronaldo to put United ahead in the top two's encounter, was inexplicably adjudged to have made a foul while killing time. United's concentration wavered and Arsenal nabbed a last-gasp equaliser
  • Manchester City 0-1 United
    Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for the second time at Eastlands for two bookable offences. The first was for a foul on Shaun Wright-Phillips, when he had actually played the ball. The second was for stopping the ball with his hands when attacking a corner. Ronaldo protested he heard a beep, which would explain why he stopped play when he should have doubled United's lead. Webb, however, flourished the yellow, then red, card
  • United 2-1 Blackburn, February 2009
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    A classic case of atoning for an error. United should not have been awarded a corner, so when Jonny Evans stooped to head them ahead again, Webb penalised him for a phantom foul
  • United 5-2 Tottenham, April 2009
    Yes, Webb should not have given a penalty for Heurelho Gomes' challenge on Michael Carrick, which was such an appalling decision he later apologised. However, with the scoreline goalless, Wilson Palacios launched a two-footed challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo (much alike Mathieu Debuchy's on Claude Yacob) but was not even booked, when he ought to have received a red card
  • United 2-1 Liverpool, March 2010
    Two wrongs don't make a right. Webb incorrectly gave United a penalty but also incorrectly booked Javier Mascherano for his tug on Antonio Valencia, when he had denied a clear goalscoring opportunity
  • United 2-1 Chelsea, May 2011
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    Branislav Ivanović emerged as a teflon figure during these clubs' four clashes in the space of two months. The Serb targeted Wayne Rooney time and again and although he was booked (a minor miracle), he somehow escaped a red card
  • Chelsea 3-3 United, February 2012
    Gary Cahill, making his Chelsea debut, was lucky to last the 90 minutes when he upended Danny Welbeck and was the last man, with the score 0-0. Welbeck later got his revenge when he conned Webb into awarding him a penalty in the second-half
  • United 2-1 Liverpool, January 2013
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    Controversy was largely absent from this encounter, but United's task might have been made easier had Webb shown Glen Johnson a second yellow card for a late foul on Antonio Valencia
  • United 1-2 Tottenham, January 2014
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