Fergie fuming at ref after United lose ground in title race

Last updated at 18:38 02 February 2008


Sir Alex Ferguson rounded on referee Mark Clattenburg after Manchester United lost their place at the summit of the Barclays Premier League with a draw at Tottenham.

Ferguson felt the last-gasp equaliser at White Hart Lane could eventually prove a valuable point in the title race but he was upset at Clattenburg's performance in the 1-1 draw.

United face a Football Association fine for having seven players booked, including Carlos Tevez for taking his shirt off while celebrating his part in the leveller.

"For Manchester United it's not right," said Ferguson. "There is something wrong when Manchester United get seven bookings."

The United boss also felt Jermaine Jenas should have been dismissed for a foul on Cristiano Ronaldo midway through the first half.

Wayne Rooney was booked by Clattenburg for diving after the break - and will miss the Manchester derby next week - but Ferguson felt Tom Huddlestone should have faced the same punishment.

"For me, the first foul the referee should have acted on, Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half, he was hacked down and for me it was a red card," Ferguson said.

"He's kicked him from the back. He spent 30 seconds talking to Jenas. Up to that point, up to half-time, I thought the whole game was looking like it was going to go to pieces as a football spectacle.

"The referee settled down in the second half but nonetheless, for us to get seven bookings something is wrong."

On Rooney's caution, Ferguson added: "If he dived and the referee deems it, he's right to book. But a few minutes later Huddlestone dived, he's already been booked, and he did nothing.

"He told the player to get up on his feet and did nothing about it. You have got to say 'is that fair?'

"Has he been fair to both teams? No he's not, because that was a dive. If Rooney's booked for it, he should be booked for it."

Ferguson was less concerned with Dimitar Berbatov's opener, although the ball appeared to brush Jenas' arm in the build-up.

Anderson and Nani were thrown on in the second half but the breakthrough did not come until deep into stoppage-time when Nani took a corner.

Tevez wheeled away in celebration but it was Michael Dawson who looked like he got the last touch to earn a point.

"It could be massive," Ferguson added.

"We don't stop trying and in the last 25 minutes we absolutely battered them. I think we deserved a point.

"The commentator said we've dropped two points but maybe we've gained a point."

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