Celtic 'keeper Boruc slams Giggs after penalty drama

September 14, 2006

Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc has accused Ryan Giggs of diving to fool referee Lubos Michel into awarding Manchester United a crucial penalty in their Champions League Group F opener.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink gave the SPL side a shock lead at Old Trafford. But United hit back on their way to a 3-2 win, after the Slovakian official awarded them a chance to equalise from the spot.

The Polish goalkeeper seemed to collide accidentally with the winger just in the box, even though the ball was running out of play - and Boruc was furious with Giggs.

'For me it was never a penalty, so I was angry,' said the 26-year-old. 'I tried not to touch him, and he just dived. It looked like he dived. I am upset, and so are my team-mates. We played well, but it was not enough.'

Celtic captain Neil Lennon claimed Michel could not wait to give the decision to the home side.

Michel was involved in Celtic's controversial UEFA Cup final defeat to Porto in Seville in 2003, and Lennon feared the worst as soon as he realised who was in charge of the British clash.

'From what I have heard it was very debatable,' he said. 'From where I was the contact was minimal. But Mr Michel is a good old friend of ours, so we didn't expect many favours off him.

'We met him in Barcelona as well, so we weren't holding out for anything off him. From our point of view he couldn't wait to give it.

'I went and had a word and said to give it you have to be 100% sure - but he said `I am'. It is inconclusive from the TV.'

Boruc believes that incident - which saw Giggs hobble off injured - changed the match.

Louis Saha scored from the spot and then made it 2-1 soon afterwards.

Shunsuke Nakamura equalised with a free-kick just before the break - but just two minutes after the restart, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pounced after more good work from the Frenchman to secure the victory.

'It was really a big thing in the match,' Boruc grumbled. 'We were playing well and we had scored a goal at that time. After the penalty we were afraid about what was going to happen.'

Lennon agreed: 'The goal gave us a lift, and I thought at that time we were having the bulk of possession. It was just a ball over the top.'