Fergie fumes at late penalty

United boss unhappy with recent decisions against his team

Sir Alex Ferguson described Chelsea's late penalty as a 'ridiculous' decision as Manchester United crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea joined United at the top of the table after Michael Ballack converted from the spot on 86 minutes after Michael Essien's cross had struck Michael Carrick on the arm.

Citing recent decisions which have gone against United, Ferguson was critical of the penalty award which could play a key role in the destination of the title.

"First of all, if a game is going to be decided on penalty kicks, then we've got no chance on the last few weeks," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"Starting at Middlesbrough, the Middlesbrough player dives and saves the ball from Ronaldo six yards away from the referee Mike Riley - a clear penalty and we don't get it.

Major blow

"Then Rooney is through (also at Boro) and the linesman - the same one as today - flags offside when he is five yards onside. Glen Turner is the linesman and today he has given a penalty kick in a major game like that.

"The ball was going to Rio (Ferdinand) anyway. The boy has not lifted his hands above his body. It hit his hand, I accept that, but to give that kind of decision in a major game like that, and minutes earlier Ronaldo was manacled by the throat by Ballack at a corner kick and Carrick is brought down from a cut-back.

"If the game is going to be decided, and if we are going to lose the league because of penalty kicks, we may as well quit now. It's a major blow to us that, a ridiculous decision.

"I think it's a disgraceful decision to get a penalty kick against you in a major game like that on the linesman's say-so."

United started with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench and also lost Nemanja Vidic early on after the defender took a whack in the face from Didier Drogba's knee.


Ferguson admitted his team were feeling the effects of the 0-0 draw in Barcelona in midweek, but felt they merited a point from the game against Chelsea.

He added: "The injury to Vidic unsettled us, without question. It took too long to get the legs going and sometimes that happens.

"Chelsea played very well, in the first 20 minutes in particular, and we could have been a couple down, but we lost the goal at a bad time.

"We played very, very well in the second half and deserved more really. It all hinges on that decision."