Blaming Andre Marriner rather than Ramires for the Chelsea/West Brom ending 6

The game is very quick, referees have split-seconds to make game-changing decisions, endless replays make the officals’ job look easier than it really is.

Etc etc etc.

Andre Marriner’s decision at Stamford Bridge made me cringe; not only was it an unjust way to deny West Bromwich Albion a memorable away victory at a marquee ground, but it will also reignite debates about diving and ‘big team favouritism’, both of which long ago lost their novelty.

Ramires will be vilified and maybe deservedly so, but his actions are unfortunately an accepted part of the game now, and the real villain is actually Marriner.

In stoppage-time, when a side is chasing a late equaliser or winner, players are going to try to con the referee and they are going to get into the penalty-box and throw themselves to the floor with the hope of forcing a decision. Every club has players who will do that, and Chelsea are no different - but a Premier League referee can’t be naive enough to fall for that kind of Sunday League rubbish.

I don’t believe in bias, I believe in weak refereeing and officials who enjoy pleasing crowds - and that’s what happened today. An unobstructed view, a flagrant act of simulation…Andre Marriner has no excuses: either he has to do better, or he needs to be stood-down from this level of football.

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