When punishment doesn't fit crime

Updated: March 29, 2012, 4:29 PM ET
By Michael Cox | Special to ESPN.com

Before Alessandro Nesta's slide tackle had ended, he had raised his arm in apology. Lionel Messi had been hurtling toward the Milan goal from an inside-right position, and Nesta, returning from injury, couldn't keep up. He only had one option -- to bring down Messi.

It was the second time in the match he had deliberately fouled the world's best player -- in the same position on the edge of the box. Nesta's raised arm in the second instance was surely not a pre-emptive ...

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