Chelsea 3-3 Man United

Fergie launches tirade at linesman

February 5, 2012
By ESPN staff

Sir Alex Ferguson was furious at one of the officials after Manchester United's incredible comeback at Stamford Bridge, claiming Chelsea defender Gary Cahill should have been sent off during the 3-3 draw.

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic fouls Manchester United's Danny Welbeck for the second penalty
APChelsea's Branislav Ivanovic was adjudged to have fouled Manchester United's Danny Welbeck for the second penalty

United came from three goals down to earn a point thanks to two Wayne Rooney penalties and a late Javier Hernandez header. Chelsea had led through goals from Juan Mata and David Luiz, who added to Jonny Evans' own goal.

Ferguson refused to celebrate his side's dramatic recovery in London, preferring to point out that Cahill should have seen red for a challenge on Danny Welbeck with the scores at 0-0. The former Bolton man lunged in on Welbeck on the edge of the area, but nothing was given with referee Webb believing Cahill to have got the ball.

The United boss did not aim his anger at Webb, preferring to single out the nearby linesman.

"It's two points dropped because we played so well, other than the ten minutes after half-time. It's not easy getting back from 3-0 down - that's a massive effort from my players," Ferguson told Sky Sports.

"It was a sending off. The linesman has given two penalty kicks against us at Old Trafford in the last two years, one against Arsenal and one against Liverpool - from 45 yards away, but he can't see that? I don't blame Howard Webb, I blame the assistant.

"There was a pull on Ashley Young, in front of the linesman again, and he doesn't give it. Yet he gives them at Old Trafford. I don't understand it, I don't know where they get them from.

"His (Young's) jersey is pulled. Was he diving? If it's a pull of the shirt he's not diving obviously. The two penalties in the second half were justified, but we could have had four."

Ferguson ended up grateful for Hernandez's equaliser six minutes from time, and the Scot made the surprising admission that he should have selected Hernandez in his starting XI.

"To be honest, I should have played Chicharito from the start. When he came on , he kept them on their toes. His movement, his positional play..." Ferguson commented.

"Danny [Welbeck] is an excellent player and will be a top player, but Chicharito - when he came on it was a different game."

Ferguson also reserved praise for much maligned keeper David De Gea, who made an outstanding save at the death to deny Mata from a free-kick. It was a rare bright moment for a goalkeeper who has made a hatful of errors this season.

"The save from the free-kick was unbelievable, it was a fantastic save. He's played his part. We see the talent in the boy, and in three or four years' time we'll see all of it," Ferguson said. "Today he showed he's prepared to get amongst it, he did a great job."