Chelsea 3-3 Manchester United

Fuming Fergie to escape FA action

February 6, 2012
By ESPN staff

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will reportedly escape disciplinary action from the Football Association following his strong criticism of linesman Darren Cann after Sunday's 3-3 draw at Chelsea.

Sir Alex Ferguson fourth official
GettyImagesSir Alex Ferguson's men battled back from three goals down to draw at Stamford Bridge

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Ferguson took the opportunity during his post-match interview to launch into a scathing attack on Cann, who the United boss blamed for missing two first-half decisions. It was pointed out by Ferguson that Cann had twice given penalties against United at Old Trafford, but failed to see one in favour of the Red Devils at Chelsea.

The verbal attack by Ferguson was aimed solely at the linesman, with the United boss clarifying, "I don't blame [referee] Howard Webb, I blame the assistant." However, the Scot is expected to avoid any punishment from the FA for his actions.

Ferguson insisted Cann should have advised Webb to send off Gary Cahill for a first-half challenge on Danny Welbeck. He also wanted a penalty for a tug of the shirt on Ashley Young.

"It was a sending off," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "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 has history with the FA in relation to the fixture at Chelsea, having been given a five-match ban following last season's encounter. However, on this occasion the FA does not believe he called into question the integrity of the official, so punishment will be avoided.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney believes United's comeback from three goals down at Chelsea, where they eventually drew 3-3, will damage the confidence of league leaders Manchester City.

"It can have a psychological impact, for sure," Rooney said. "City will have been watching and probably went out at 3-0 thinking the game was over but we would like to think they saw how we fought back and saw our team spirit.

"We showed how hard we work for each other and when we are like that we are very difficult to beat. Most teams would lie down at 3-0 but we fought well. Even if we had lost 3-2 at least we could have come off and said we gave our all."