Ferguson rues penalty call

2013-01-21 12:15

London - Alex Ferguson was left to fume at a match official after Manchester United were denied a penalty in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur that breathed new life into the Premier League title race.

Bidding to re-establish a seven-point lead over second-place Manchester City, United saw their advantage restricted to five points when Clint Dempsey lashed in a stoppage-time equaliser amid steadily descending snow at White Hart Lane.

Dempsey's intervention deprived United of what would have been a very welcome victory, given the barrage of attempts at goal that the visiting defence had to weather in the second half of Sunday's game.

Ferguson, though, reserved his ire for assistant referee Simon Beck, who kept his flag down despite Steven Caulker appearing to trip United substitute Wayne Rooney inside the Spurs 18-yard box in the 63rd minute.

Beck previously found himself the target of Ferguson's anger after failing to flag when Didier Drogba scored a winning goal for Chelsea at Old Trafford in April 2010, and the United manager's reaction proved he had not forgotten.

"It was a clear penalty kick on Wayne Rooney, but in no way was the the linesman going to give that," Ferguson told the BBC.

"He gave them everything else. We have not had a good record with this linesman - against Chelsea a few years ago he gave onside to Didier Drogba, who was three yards offside. You remember those things."

United were far from their best but looked poised to claim a smash-and-grab win through Robin van Persie's 25th-minute header until Dempsey swept home in the 93rd minute after United goalkeeper David de Gea failed to get enough distance on a punch.

"They pumped the ball forward, maybe David De Gea could have got a better punch on it, but I will have to see it again," said Ferguson.

FA Cup commitments mean United do not have a league game until they host Southampton on January 30, but Ferguson said his side could take heart from the difficult away games that are already behind them.

"If you look at our away programme, we have been to Everton, been to Liverpool, to Manchester City, to Tottenham," he said.

"We have been to all the top teams away from home."

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas has seen his side take four points from United this season, after a 3-2 win at Old Trafford in September, and he said he hoped the penalty incident would not over-shadow his side's performance.

"It's obviously going to be debated and debated, but I hope it doesn't mar the game," he told reporters.

"I think during the game, we got most of the decisions against us. A penalty is a penalty, but I prefer to look at the game from my view.

"We had 61 percent of possession against a team like United and they had four chances. We take our boost of confidence from that."

Despite the jubilation sparked by Dempsey's last-gasp strike, Villas-Boas says it will count for nothing if Spurs do not maintain momentum in their push for Champions League qualification.

"The point only counts if we continue our run of form in our next games against Norwich and West Brom," he said.

"Credit to the boys for the way they've embraced this season and for how much they want this Champions League qualification."

Emmanuel Adebayor's departure for the Africa Cup of Nations with Togo has left Villas-Boas with Jermain Defoe as his only senior striker, but he said he was cautious about entering the transfer market.

"We don't think Adebayor will have so much time away, so we don't need to go into the market to buy a striker, but that doesn't mean that nothing can happen," he said.


  • b.w.devilliers - 2013-01-21 12:32


  • deonk - 2013-01-21 12:42

    Alex forgot about the foul on Dempsey in the box and Kagawas blatant shirt-pulling which was overlooked! He thinks he is bigger than the Premier League... this old man gets away with anything!

  • Alan - 2013-01-21 12:42

    Cry me a river Alex!!

  • trev2 - 2013-01-21 12:44

    Over the years, I guess Man United have had their fair share of wrong decisions going in their favour, so why moan when one decision goes against them?

  • Feronea - 2013-01-21 12:47

    The FA and its referees are out to favour Man. City, not United as some sily fools think. City's Arab mega rich owners dictate the call, to stop United and hand them the title again.

  • adriaan.dutoit.3 - 2013-01-21 12:51

    There was a blatant illegal block on a Spurs player right in the box in the first half. Could and should have been a penalty for tottenham.

  • allan.mccabe - 2013-01-21 12:59

    Shame Alex, why don't you take a leaf out of the smaller teams books and stop whinging. Dubious decisions are going your way every weekend at the expense of these teams. Cake.

  • tinyiko.ompie - 2013-01-21 13:04

    This THING is forever crying hes an embarrassment to our modern football

      jason.mcdonahugh - 2013-01-21 14:18

      You dont need to be a united supporter, but to call Alex Ferguson an embarrassment to football is ridiculous, the man has done alot for football and whether you support his team or hate them you need to respect what he has done and accomplished in the "modern" game.

      gerald.parker.3956 - 2013-01-21 14:27

      and what team do you support

      sharmilen.naidoo - 2013-01-21 22:07

      This THING, he is a Knight you brainless twat. More than any of Bafana and Banayana will ever be. As for your comment on our modern football...what are you referring to..the weekly crap of the PSL or the embarrassing national teams? Sir Alex Ferguson...THE GREATEST FOOTBALL MANAGER in the history of English Football...

  • martin.gee.godfrey - 2013-01-21 13:28

    Dear Sir Alex, welcome to the world of ever other team that plays against you lot. The number of referees and linesmen you have intimidated over the years and the extra, extra-time you have been allowed (and scored in) the number of penalties you've been given that weren't, the list goes on. For once "fergie-time didn't work in your favour. Live with it. Having said that, I will bet my bottom dollar that the FA wont censure you for your outburst on the linesman as they would with any other manager. get over it!

  • jason.mcdonahugh - 2013-01-21 14:19

    by the way sport 24 its Sir Alex

      martin.gee.godfrey - 2013-01-21 14:44

      The article wasn't written by Sport24, it came direct from London and published verbatim.

  • allan.mccabe - 2013-01-21 14:23

    "Sir Alex" hahahahahahahahaha.

  • deonk - 2013-01-21 16:10

    Redknapp and Mancini where reprimanded about their comments on referees, he shoved a ref and now complaining again... nothing will happen to him!

  • jonathan.mumo.3 - 2013-01-23 08:16

    Bad looser!

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