Sky Sports pundit Phil Babb has suggested that West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna had a lucky escape against Manchester United after clashing with Jesse Lingard in their defeat.
The Italian international went head to head with the England winger in Saturday’s loss at Old Trafford, poking his finger in the attacker’s face following a penalty appeal before being spoken to by the referee.
However, Babb believes that had the officials seen what he had done, there could have been stronger punishment coming his way.
Speaking on Sky Sports News’ Ref Watch (15:04, 11:30), he said: “I’m surprised he didn’t get, obviously finger in the face, surprised he didn’t get something a little bit stronger for that.”
Ogbonna can certainly consider himself a little fortunate not only that the officials seemed to miss his aggressive hand gesture towards Lingard but that the Manchester United man did not make more of the situation. It could have been quite easy for the winger to have gone down holding his face and while it might not have been much, you cannot raise your hands into the face of an opponent and as such the West Ham man would have had no defence. Morally it would have been questionable but these are footballers we are talking about and they will do anything to get an advantage over their rivals. Ogbonna should be thanking his Manchester United counterpart for not trying to force the referee to make a decision as to whether a red card should be shown. If he had, Ogbonna might not have seen out the game and handed his side a headache for the coming weeks.