Manchester United

Howard Webb Reveals He Wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to Miss Man Utd's Penalty After His Biggest Refereeing Mistake

Mudeet Arora
Cristiano Ronaldo scores a penalty for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur
Cristiano Ronaldo scores a penalty for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur / ANDREW YATES/Getty Images

Former Premier League referee Howard Webb has revealed that he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to miss a penalty for Manchester United after realising that he had made his biggest refereeing blunder of his career.

United were 2-0 down against Tottenham Hotspur before Carrick fell from a challenge by Heurelho Gomes and Webb pointed to the spot with replays showing the keeper got the ball.

And Webb has now admitted that he regretted his decision instantly and wished for Ronaldo to miss the penalty before the Portuguese scored in order to begin United's incredible 5-2 comeback win on the day.

He told The Athletic, "The one that stands out is one where in the game I knew I got it wrong. It was a Premier League game at Old Trafford — Manchester United versus Tottenham Hotspur in 2009. I could see Carrick got there first and then the goalkeeper clattered into him. It was really an easy penalty award."

Webb added, "I was expecting the usual cursory appeal that you get from the players, not the huge look of absolute astonishment and amazement and incredulousness on the look of Gomes. It was obvious within seconds I’d got the decision wrong. There was something more to this."

The former referee then revealed he genuinely hoped that Ronaldo would miss the penalty as he concluded, "I was left with the decision I had taken with no independent evidence that I’d got it wrong other than a gut feeling, and I was just hoping that Ronaldo would miss the penalty. But he didn’t."