So proud of the boys that night. I thought they handled the game with a lot of discipline as well. When we went down a goal early, we could easily have collapsed, especially coupled with the pressure of the event and AU fans constantly booing us (which I thought was pretty piss-poor from them).
Instead, we didn't panic, didn't change anything - we had a job to do and we had faith that we'd get there, and we did.
Then during the game, we're dealing with AU diving and pretending to be hurt, along with some unpunished fouls in the second half, and - in my opinion - some poor refereeing in the second half that all went their way (heck, I've had games myself when I've refereed where all of my errors happened to go in one team's favour. No reason why, it just happens). We had a moment when it all blew over, understandably, then we just got on with it. In the past we may have been sucked into their game, given away more fouls, but we just got on with it. Amazing performance by the boys. Danny did great in goals. What Monty and the team behind the scenes have accomplished, to put together and support the team on the field, is incredible this season.
Really finding myself liking AU less and less.
Like others, I can't help but wonder if we went a little too defensive in the 2nd half - whenever we did attack, we just didn't have the support up there and any pass or cross went straight to the defence. I feel like we didn't really give ourselves the chance to score a 3rd which would have sealed the deal, and while our structure and defence worked well to keep them in check, there were a few nervewracking moments where they mounted a good attack, and while they weren't the better team in the second half, I feel like they were more likely to score than us - particularly nervewracking when it felt like they had more possession, especially early on. I wonder how our structure might have changed if they equalised. I am sure Monty had a plan for that.
Gotta admit, I was seriously worried that Evans would try to call for a red card for Farrell's 'backhand' when he got booked...
Great to go into this second game with the advantage, and it's kind of incredible/terrifying to find myself daydreaming about what could happen in 3 weeks.
But, our position is still a little precarious, being only 1 goal up. It's going to be a stressful 90 minutes, for sure.
I'm with Ancient on this one, it's ridiculous trying to play with your arms behind you. Referees should be capable of discretion, especially with VAR available. The old rule was ball to hand didn't count, hand to ball was a....handball. It's gone too far.
That was always a 'rule of thumb', never an actual rule. For all this talk now about 'natural position' - those were always considerations in the advice to referees at the back of the laws. Put short, lunge in with a widely flailing arm and you'd always be pinged for it. Self-deflections were an area that the LOTG failed to address, so you'd have different interpretations by different referees. Unfortunately I don't think these have been adequately dealt with.
Even when the laws briefly said that a self-deflection wasn't a handball, the exception was when the arm is in an unnatural position. Now, the laws are pretty blank again on a self-deflection.
A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player’s body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised
The argument being that players should be keeping their arm closer to their body when lunging in.
Had the arm been more out to his side and not so high in the air, and the ball hit his arm, he'd probably have been fine. It's having the arm up so high which I think did it.
There was still a subjective element to that decision, but I think it was the right one.
If AU had done that and not been penalised, we'd be furious about it.