English Premiership

Fergie cools title talk

2009-04-26 12:57
Sir Alex Ferguson (file)

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson refused to accept that the Premier League title race is over after his team moved three points clear at the top of the table thanks to a stunning 5-2 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The United manager saw his side score five goals in 22 second-half minutes to recover from a 2-0 half-time deficit, but they benefited from a dubious 56th-minute penalty award from referee Howard Webb.

The official judged that Spurs goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes had tripped Michael Carrick, although replays suggested the decision was wrong - a theory backed up by furious Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.

Even Ferguson felt it had been a fortunate call, although his obvious pleasure at the manner in which his team played thereafter did not extend to him celebrating what would be the 11th English league title of his career.

"It would have made the title race wide open if we had lost this," said Ferguson.

"We would have been level with Liverpool with a game in hand and these games in hand don't matter to me. The best indication is the points you have at this moment.

"We have five games left, our opponents Liverpool and Chelsea have four, and we are whittling them down one by one. We are in a better position today than we were on Wednesday and we are one goal better off than we were on Wednesday.

"But I don't even think about Liverpool. What we have to remember is how slow we played in the first half and make sure we play at our pace. We will be much better."

Cristiano Ronaldo converted the penalty and added another goal, with Wayne Rooney also scoring twice. Dimitar Berbatov was the last man on the mark to cancel out the first-half efforts by Darren Bent and Luka Modric in emphatic fashion.

After such a poor first-half showing, the manner of United's comeback stands them in good stead ahead of their Champions League semi-final first leg meeting with Arsenal at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Rooney insisted that Ferguson had not been angry with his players at the interval.

"He just said if we scored one goal we would have a chance of winning the game, and thankfully we did that.

"We know we're in a great position. We're now three points clear with a game in hand and have to make sure we take advantage of that. It's another game gone and we're in a great position. This gives us a lot of belief and confidence going into the mid-week game."

However, for Tottenham, their momentum was abruptly halted by Webb's decision and Redknapp even had a complaint about United's equalising goal, claiming that the official had been about to award Spurs a free-kick before changing his mind and allowing the home team to attack.

"I thought there was no danger at 2-0," said Redknapp. "I honestly felt there were more goals in the game for us because every time we attacked, we looked dangerous.

"It's difficult to say when you end up letting in five, but the turning point was the penalty. It gave them such a lift, it was a gift that wasn't deserved, a terrible decision.

"Then, for the second goal, he was going to give us a free-kick because their right-back (Rafael Da Silva) was all over Modric, he had his whistle to his mouth to blow then said 'play on' and they attacked and scored.

"I'm not saying he is dishonest but he is supposed to be our best referee. If he is the best, on today's performance, I'd hate to see the worst."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Klopp turns down United job

2014-04-24 21:41

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
26 April 2014
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 13:45
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Fulham v Hull City, Craven Cottage 16:00
Swansea City v Aston Villa, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United, The Hawthorns 16:00
Manchester United v Norwich City, Old Trafford 18:30
27 April 2014
Sunderland v Cardiff City, Stadium of Light 13:00
Liverpool v Chelsea, Anfield 15:05
Crystal Palace v Manchester City, Selhurst Park 17:10
28 April 2014
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who do you think will be the next manager at Manchester United?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.