I can moan about Martin Atkinson because Arsenal won, right?
As we said in our preview, Atkinson is a ref that likes to allow fouls to go, especially when they are on Arsenal players and that’s exactly what he did all afternoon at Wembley.
Arms to faces, tackles from behind, clear tugs and pulls all were ignored but all we will hear about was the dodgy offside decisions that went against Reading (2) ignoring the fact that one also went against the Gunners.
Atkinson set the tone in the third minute when he ignored a hand in Aaron Ramsey’s face which left the midfielder on the ground as he tried to regain vision in the eye that had just received a finger in a way no eye should ever have to endure and just a few minutes later he ignored an off-the-ball foul on Alexis.
It was a trend that would continue.
Even when Laurent Koscielny was down after getting an arm to the face, Atkinson simply played on until the ball went out of play, the face clearly not being part of the head in Atkinson’s world.
There was an awful tackle on Cazorla that wasn’t given as a foul but the worst was a disgusting, stud-raking challenge on Mesut Ozil’s Achilles that didn’t even warrant a free-kick.
In the end, it didn’t cost Arsenal, but it so very easily could have.
That was Atkinson’s fourth Arsenal game this season and every one has been practically the same – players allowed to kick Arsenal with impunity. The only difference on Saturday was that the Gunners won.
Suck it, Martin.