Sunday 19 November 2017

Fuming Fergie blasts referee for failure to send off Luiz

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. Photo: PA
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. Photo: PA

Jamie Holland

Alex Ferguson accused referee Martin Atkinson of costing Manchester United crucial points in the Premier League title race by deciding not to send off Chelsea defender David Luiz.

The Brazilian defender, already booked for fouling Wayne Rooney just after half-time, then appeared to deliberately trip the England striker in the 77th minute as he attempted to run towards goal.

Ferguson could hardly contain his fury on the touchline and then trained his ire on Atkinson after United's 2-1 defeat was confirmed.

"We played very well and we didn't deserve that," he said. "That's three years in a row that referees have changed the game here.

"It was incredible. Even before that, he did (Javier) Hernandez off the ball. The referee was right in front if it. It was clear as day and he was right in front of it. That changed the game. And he will be refereeing every week.

"You hope you get a strong referee in games like this. You want a fair referee - or a strong referee, anyway - and we didn't get that," added the United boss.

"I don't know why he has got the game. I must say, when I saw who the referee was I did fear it. I feared the worst. That's three years in a row now. It's hard to take.

"The Luiz foul was six yards in front of the referee, maybe eight if we give him the benefit of the doubt, no obstructions whatsoever. I don't know how he stayed on the pitch.

"And the penalty was very soft. In actual fact, Chris has taken the ball and the player's left his leg in. Very soft. Amazing."

Irish Independent

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