Monday 9 April 2012

Violent Conduct: Branislav Ivanovic 2012 Chelsea v Wigan

The following incident occurred during the EPL match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic on Saturday 7 April 2012. The match finished 2—1.

In the 90+2' with the score at 1—1, as Wigan (white) are attacking the Chelsea goal, Branislav Ivanovic (blue 2) physically stops Shaun Maloney (white 10) in his tracks, and then proceeds to punch him in the stomach using his left fist. Here are the freeze frames (watch the bottom right corner of the images):
Here, Ivanovic swings his left fist
Chelsea's Ivanovic (blue 2) physically strikes Wigan's Maloney (white 10)

The ball is gathered by Chelsea's keeper Petr Cech, promptly punted forward and Chelsea's Juan Mata controversially scores the winning goal.

The above freeze frames are taken from the BBC's Match of the Day, where pundit Alan Hansen is focused on analysing the excellent performance of Wigan's Gary Caldwell (white 5 ... with a white trail line).

However, Hansen is typical of analysts, fans and members of the media who seem interested only in the performance of players' football skills and therefore totally miss things that other analysts and observers (such as keen Referees!) will spot.


Isn't it strange how no one (commentators, pundits, the media, coaches, etc) noticed and reported Ivanovic's act of violent conduct? This should be a clear-cut case for the FA to take retrospective action against Chelsea's Ivanovic. Let's see if this will happen.

However, given the lack of media attention to this act of violent conduct compared with the more 'entertaining' media attention afforded to Wigan's attack on AR Dave Bryan's 'disgusting performance', it seems likely that Ivanovic will get away with it.

Why didn't the ARs (notably AR1, Dave Bryan) or the 4th Official (hmm, who was he?) assist Referee Mike Jones?

Answers may be found in a highlights review of the EPL match between Chelsea and Wigan Athletic on Saturday 7 April 2012, which will follow in due course on this blog (tentatively titled Disgraceful Not Disgusting Behaviour). Watch this space!


  1. very pertinent observations. Not a good game at all for AR1, 2 missed offside decisions, and not spotting the Violent Conduct. And you know very well who the FO was!

    None of that helps Wigan though. In fact, a ban for Ivanovic would actually now disadvantage Wigan, as Chelsea would be without him for the QPR game - one of Wigan's relegation rivals.

  2. To rub salt into Maloney's 'wounds', Ivanovic was named Man of the Match for his outstanding performance.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. The officials' line-up was:
    Referee: M Jones
    Assistants: D Bryan, G Turner
    Fourth Official: S Attwell
    Match Delegate: G Mackrell
    PGMO: P Jones

    Interestingly, M Jones' first Premier League Match was between Hull City and Wigan Athletic. Most people would also recall Bents' beach-ball goal in the Sunderland-Liverpool clash - M Jones had a little time away from the PL after that.

  5. No complaints in the direction of the referee, but pls, AR1 and 4OF must see that. Apart from that, there is and must be the opportunity to write it down in the match report after having seen it in the referee debriefing with the observer. If nothing will happen, they are either blind or biased.

  6. The MOs have full communication channels with one another. I'm very surprised that this, clearly isolated, incident was not picked up. Surely the 4th official would be briefed pre-match to identify off-the-ball incidents. From what I've seen though, Premier League 4OFs only seem to be chatting to club officials, arranging substitutions and chewing gum!