Since we started doing referee reviews, I’ve always known what to say.
But what to add after seeing Michael Oliver at Old Trafford?
Yes, I could moan about the decisions we didn’t get – the penalty on Danny Welbeck in the first half, the red card Marouane Fellaini should have received instead of one yellow for 100 fouls (he finished the first half with more fouls to his name than the whole Arsenal team) or bemoan other decisions that went against us.
Then I think of what Michael Oliver did.
Here was a man, a referee no less, not swayed by the Old Trafford crowd or Wayne Rooney’s incessant and aggressive chastising of him.
A man who dared to send off Angel di Maria for putting his hands on him after booking the Argentine for diving.
A man who then booked another for diving as United resorted to the tactics that have served them well for the past decade against Arsenal – cheat and the win will come.
In our preview we said we were pleased that Oliver had been given the game, tipping him as one of the best in the division.
Just like Arsenal, he didn’t let us down.
We’ve often wondered what would happen if a referee controlled the game at Old Trafford in a way that at least hinted at being unbiased.
Now we know.