Monday 22 January 2018

Fergie bemoans Hargreaves 'disaster'

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his gamble on the fitness of midfielder Owen Hargreaves ended in disaster after just five minutes of the 2-1 win over Wolves.

Ferguson revealed skipper Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Paul Scholes had all been suffering from a flu virus that even kept the Scot away from training.

It led him to take a chance on the fitness of Hargreaves, which backfired badly as he lasted just five minutes on his first start since September 2008 after suffering a hamstring injury.

Ferguson admitted: "We took a gamble with Owen Hargreaves. We thought by doing that it would give us a compact midfield with experience. But he only lasted five minutes. It was a disaster.

"He has hurt his hamstring, which is unbelievable. It put us under the cosh."

Wolves looked to have made United pay when Sylvan Ebanks-Blake cancelled out Park Ji-sung's opener but the South Korean netted a late winner.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy was understandably upset after his side matched United for most of the match.

He said: "That was harsh. Everyone knows we deserved something out of it. But we didn't get anything. Nowt. Diddly-squat.

"I could wax lyrical about the performance but I am not going to. We got nothing from the game. To do that after playing so well at Old Trafford could do some damage to us."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle praised striker Kevin Davies following his two goals in front of England boss Fabio Capello in the 4-2 defeat of Tottenham.

Coyle said: "Kevin Davies ran the game from the first whistle. He dominated the game. If he wasn't scoring he was knocking things on.

"I think it was nice Mr Capello was here. He would have seen Kevin and Gary Cahill, who was outstanding at the back, as well as Fabrice Muamba."

Gretar Steinsson and Martin Petrov also scored for Bolton, with Alan Hutton and Roman Pavlyuchenko netting for the visitors.

Disappointed West Ham Avram Grant felt his side should have had a penalty as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Birmingham.

The visitors led through Frederic Piquionne and Valon Behrami but Cameron Jerome and Liam Ridgewell ensured the points were shared.

But Grant was unhappy referee Michael Oliver did not award a penalty after Jean Beausejour appeared to pull back Lars Jacobsen.

Grant said: "Harry Redknapp used the word farce about the decisions of a referee and I agree with him.

"The referee was five metres from the incident when the shirt of Lars was pulled and he did not give a penalty."

Blackpool twice led through Neal Eardley and David Vaughan but were held 2-2 by Everton who levelled through Tim Cahill and then again through Seamus Coleman.

Morten Gamst Pedersen and substitute Jason Roberts ensured Blackburn won 2-1 at home to Wigan, making Charles N'Zogbia's late goal no more than a consolation.

Sunderland, who saw Steed Malbranque miss a penalty, took all three points at home to Stoke as Asamoah Gyan scored both goals in a 2-0 win.

Brede Hangeland headed home in injury time as Fulham drew 1-1 at home to Aston Villa who had led through a first half goal by Marc Albrighton.

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