It wasn't mistaken identity - ref claims he was right to send off Wes Brown and not John O'Shea
Referee Roger East has told the body responsible for officiating standards in English football it was not a case of mistaken identity when he sent off Sunderland's Wes Brown at Manchester United.
East believed both Brown and John O'Shea made contact with Radamel Falcao in the incident that resulted in the penalty from which Wayne Rooney scored to put United on their way to a 2-0 win.
With the match scoreless, East awarded a spot-kick to United in the 64th minute after Falcao went down in the box under pressure.
Replays showed O'Shea pulled Falcao back just as he was about to shoot, and Brown came around to challenge the Colombian.
As East reached into his pocket, it was expected that he would show the red card to O'Shea, but in fact the official decided to send off Brown instead.
O'Shea pleaded with East to send him off instead, but Brown walked.
Two hours after the match, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) issued a statement which explained East's actions.
"From his position Roger East, the match referee, believed he saw contact from John O'Shea and Wes Brown on Radamel Falcao," the statement read.
"As he thought Brown made a foul on Falcao while he was in the act of shooting, he dismissed Brown.
"After the incident the match referee consulted with his team of officials but none were better placed to offer guidance."