Saturday 20 January 2018

Fergie blasts Bayern 'bullies'as he sticks by 'Germans' rant

Mark Ogden

Alex Ferguson has renewed his attack on Bayern Munich by labelling Manchester United's Champions League conquerors as "bullies." He also refused to back down on his claim that the four-time European champions were "typical Germans."

The United manager, speaking at his weekly press briefing yesterday, railed against the "disgusting" media treatment of his club in the wake of their Champions League failure.

Ferguson's belief that Bayern's players forced Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli to dismiss teenage defender Rafael da Silva for a second-half foul on Franck Ribery prompted his post-match "typical Germans" insult which was described as an 'over-reaction' by Bayern president Uli Hoeness.

But when asked whether he regretted his anti-German comments, Ferguson merely added to his remarks and criticised the furore created by his TV outburst.

Ferguson said: "That was right at the end of the match and you lot (the media) have definitely used it. We were unlucky, but you've lost that in the midst of the venom that you can put in your headlines.

"The Germans let themselves down with the way they behaved in getting the boy sent off. If they don't recognise that, there is nothing I can do about that. It was totally unfair. They got the boy sent off and bullied the referee. They bullied the referee into it."

Ferguson's accusations were dismissed by Hoeness, however, who claimed that United's players would have acted in the same manner.

Hoeness said: "It was a correct yellow card and red card, but I understand Alex and why he complains. He is a good friend of mine.

"But at the end of the day, if it had happened the other way around, his players would have done the same."

Ferguson, whose team play Blackburn away tomorrow, claimed the performance of his players during the 3-2 second-leg victory against Bayern -- which led to an exit on away goals -- has been overlooked as a result of his "typical Germans" remark.

"It's disgusting," Ferguson said. "The players deserve some praise from you lot. That performance was outstanding, but that gets lost just because you want a headline about what I say about the Germans."

United's elimination against Bayern was partly a result of Wayne Rooney's inability to complete 90 minutes in the second leg due to the ankle injury sustained in the first leg.

As a consequence of the injury Rooney will be sidelined at Ewood Park tomorrow, with Ferguson planning to have him available for next Saturday's trip to Manchester City.

United's over-reliance on Rooney has been borne out with last Saturday's defeat against Chelsea and the insipid performance in the final half-hour against Bayern.

While efforts are to be made to buy Real Madrid's Karim Benzema this summer, following on from the £10m acquisition of Mexico's Javier Hernandez, Ferguson will not abandon his policy of targeting rising stars rather than veterans with no resale value.

Ferguson said: "We like doing these kind of deals where we can identify young talent. There is the odd exception, like (Dimitar) Berbatov, but when you sign a player for that kind of money, you know there isn't going to be a resale value.''

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce, who spent some time on Thursday with Ferguson at Aintree, has assured United's title rivals he will not ease their path at Ewood. He said: "I went to Aintree with my staff as a bit of a thank you for all the hard work they've done this year. We had a great day out and getting a tip as good as that (the Ferguson-owned race winner What A Friend), made it a great day... most of the staff came back with an extra few bob in their pockets.

"But I take offence if anyone thinks I will be doing Alex favours. There's no chance of that.'' (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Blackburn v Manchester United,

Live, tomorrow, Sky Sports 1, 1.30

Irish Independent

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