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Ramires gets away with a dumb, petulant foul on Pastore in the penalty area at the end of the game

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Hey, remember when Ramires spent more time being suspended than being eligible to play at the end of last season?  Remember that?  Remember how Mourinho was counting on Ramires to be less stupid this year?


When this happened in real time, I remember noting that it simply looked like a weird play, though most of us assumed it was an incidental collision.  Referee Cüneyt Çakir agreed, though the way he was letting just about everything go, nothing short of a babality was likely to be punished anyway.

The replay makes it clear however that there was nothing incidental about the collision.  Ramires steps in Javier Pastore's way, who's trying to run after the ball.  Or did he just simply stick a leg out?  Either way, that's a petulant little foul.

Depending on whether you interpret it as obstruction (a foul punishable by an indirect free kick) or tripping (a foul punishable by a direct free kick), the repercussions should've ranged anywhere from an indirect free kick -- yes, from inside the penalty area, if called to the letter of the law -- or a penalty kick.  The latter's obviously far worse than the former, but in either case, the real question is, just what in the seven hells was Ramires thinking committing that foul?  Payback for last year's goal?  Sure, he did his very best to make it look like incidental contact, and from the referee's angle it was perhaps tough to tell, but why even take that risk?  Matić was going to clear that ball anyway!

Fortunately, all's well that ends well.  No harm, no foul, right?  Let's be smarter in the future anyway, please.

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