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McLeish livid at Young's penalty conduct

ASTON VILLA boss Alex McLeish stopped short of condemning Ashley Young for his conduct at Old Trafford yesterday, but did claim the Manchester United winger "got away with one" to set up the Red Devils' 4-0 win.

Seven days after Young got himself embroiled in one spot-kick argument when he went down easily under a challenge from QPR midfielder Shaun Derry, he was back in the firing line for falling under minimal contact from Villa's Ciaran Clark.

The incident prompted adverse reaction from a variety of sources, with Newcastle's Ryan Taylor posting a hastily withdrawn tweet that Young was "a disgrace", while England legend Gary Lineker suggested the United man was starting to gain an unwanted reputation.

McLeish insisted he did not want to name call, but for the second week in a row the Scot felt his team had been wronged after teenager Samir Carruthers was booked for diving at Anfield when TV replays indicated he had been fouled by Daniel Agger.

"Our kid got booked last week and Ashley got away with it this week," McLeish said.

"How does a ref know when he has dived? Ashley got away with that one when he put his foot into Ciaran.


"It's hard to say to the ref that he got it wrong because it is a split-second. But I didn't think it was a penalty.

"Ashley threw his leg into Ciaran Clark's leg and Ciaran was static. He then tries to pull his leg away. I felt it was a very soft decision."

Alex Ferguson was adamant that referee Mark Halsey was correct to award a sixth-minute penalty.

While he accepted Young may have hit the deck too easily, the United boss felt it was out of character.

Asked directly whether Young might be looked at as someone who goes down too easily, Ferguson said: "In that situation, in the last week or two, yeah. I have never seen that in him. It is not an habitual thing.

"He has gone down quite easily but it was a penalty. He was definitely brought down."