Ferdinand blames linesman for defeat
Rio Ferdinand has laid the blame for England's World Cup exit firmly at the feet of assistant referee Mauricio Espinosa, claiming his side would have gone on to beat Germany should Frank Lampard's potential equaliser rightfully been allowed to stand in England's 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Germany.
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England captain Ferdinand, who missed the tournament through injury, went against his replacement Steven Gerrard's view that the players were at fault for allowing the heavy defeat despite the fact they should have gone into the break at 2-2 if Espinosa has seen that Lampard's 39th minute shot had crossed the goal line by at least a yard after hitting the underside of the bar and spinning back out.
Instead, Ferdinand believes the timely goal would have spurred his side on to victory. The Manchester United defender said he couldn't understand how Espinosa had missed the incident.
"If Lamps' goal had stood it would have been 2-2 and then the game would've turned on its head," he told the Sun. "We'd have been at full throttle. I'm sure we'd have gone on to win it. I was sitting here with my mates and we were all screaming at the TV along with everyone else in the pubs going bananas.
"I'm a professional footballer but I'm also a fan so I know what it's like. Your emotions get a grip of you and you think, 'How's he not seen it?' It wasn't like a counter-attack or something, he was up there with the run of play. He has to be able to see that."
Ferdinand said he could understand the fans' anger that the team had underachieved based on their strength on paper and pre-tournament expectations, but admitted that Germany were the better side on the day. Asked about Germany's first goal, scored by Miroslav Klose after a long, speculative ball caught out the centre of England's defence where Ferdinand would have been playing if fit, he said it was a terrible goal to concede.
"The first goal you'd be disappointed to concede at any point to be honest. It's one lofted ball from the keeper straight through and within two seconds the lad's in on goal and scored. We'd be disappointed if we conceded that ever again."