HOWARD WEBB wanted to see Cristiano Ronaldo miss a penalty for Manchester United – after realizing he had made his biggest mistake ever.
In April 2009, a match between the Red Devils and Tottenham at Old Trafford turned in favor of the hosts after a controversial penalty kick.
With United trailing 2-0, Michael Carrick hit the deck after a challenge from Heurelho Gomes and the referee signaled the penalty, only to replay to show the goalkeeper clearly gets the ball.
Webb admitted he wanted to see Ronaldo fill in his lines before the striker punched the ball into the net to start a dramatic 5-2 win for United.
Tell the athlete: “The thing that stands out is who I knew in the game that I got wrong.
“It was a Premier League match at Old Trafford-Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur in 2009.
“I could see Carrick get there first and then the goalkeeper hits him. It was really an easy penalty award.
“I was expecting the usual brisk appeal you get from players, not the sheer amazement, bewilderment and doubt of Gomez’s appearance.
“It was clear within seconds that I had misunderstood the decision. There was something more than that.
“I stayed with my decision without any independent evidence that I had gotten it wrong other than a gut feeling, I was just hoping Ronaldo would miss the penalty. But he didn’t.”
I just wish Ronaldo missed the penalty. But he didn’t.”
Webb also faced accusations of favoring Sir Alex Ferguson with United during his respected career in the English game.
The 50-year-old had previously spoken of his overconfidence in the Tottenham game after being “on top” after being called up to that year’s FA Cup final.
Webb would later manage the 2010 World Cup Final in which a Dutch combat team lost to Spain, and Nigel de Jong notably avoided the red card for a gruesome kick on Andres Iniesta.
But it is the penalty foul at Old Trafford that sticks more in the referee’s mind than any other foul.
Revealing his reaction, he said, “Just my God, really.
“You just know. You can say for reference. You can see the shift of momentum. You can see the way the game is going.
“In 2-1, you never know. At 2-2, you can see the way this match is going.
“when [the camera] He misses all these players and runs to you [at full-time]For reference, it’s not a good feeling.
“You just know you have a world of pain coming your way.”
After the match, Ferguson admitted that his team’s first goal was “a bit lucky” while Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was highly critical.
He said: “It was a gift that was not deserved. It was a terrible decision.
“Howard is supposed to be our best judge, but if he’s the best, I hate seeing the worst.”