This issue is a sore subject with me. Eduardo has been banned for two games by UEFA for allegedly diving in last week’s Champions League game against Celtic. Being an Arsenal fan, I contemplated whether I was being biased because it was my team being punished, or because I really didnt think it was a fair punishment. I came to the conclusion that not only was it not a fair punishment, but it was a big pile of steaming bullshit. If anyone is at fault, it was the Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez, the referee.
For those that don’t know what happened, let me lay it out for you. Eduardo (who happens to be a key player for Arsenal), went in to finish off a beautiful play when the Celtic goalkeeper flew into his feet, causing Eduardo to lose his balance and fall down. The ref immediately flagged down the play and rewarded Eduardo a penalty shot (which he scored). Upon watching the replay, it is blatantly obvious that Eduardo and the goalkeeper made no contact whatsoever. So at this point, you are thinking, “well it must have been a dive, no?”. No. Eduardo was off balance, he did not dramatically flail around upon his descent, and he did not turn around to complain to the referee. He was likely just as surprised as everyone else that he received the penalty shot, but hey, who is he to complain?
It turned out that Arsenal won the game 3-1 (so the penalty did not even matter), and furthermore won 5-1 on aggregate. Celtic never had a chance. So now Eduardo has to sit out for 2 games not due to his actions, but rather to a panicky, trigger happy referee. Maybe the ref knew that Arsenal were going to win, and just wanted to get it over with. who knows. Regardless, I can tell you that if Eduardo played for United, was portuguese rather than croatian, and used a little more hairgel, this whole fiasco with UEFA never would have happened.