(above) is wondering why former Manchester City player Patrick Vieira
has become so preoccupied with the Red Devils in the final stages of the
Rio Ferdinand (above) is wondering why former
Manchester City player Patrick Vieira has become so preoccupied with the
Red Devils in the final stages of the title race. -- PHOTO: ASSOCIATED
Rio Ferdinand is wondering why former Manchester City
player Patrick Vieira (above) has become so preoccupied with the Red
Devils in the final stages of the title race. -- PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON: Alex Ferguson has rebutted claims that
Manchester United were favoured by referees by insisting that a club's
lucky breaks even themselves out over the course of a season.
Patrick Vieira, the former
Manchester City midfielder who is now in charge of football development
at the club, had stoked the fires on Wednesday by claiming that United
benefited from favourable decisions on home soil.
The argument was reignited after the referee's
failure to award Fulham a last-minute penalty at Old Trafford on Monday
for Michael Carrick's clumsy challenge on Danny Murphy.
Ferguson accepts that his side - who won the
Premier League game 1-0 - were lucky in that instance. But the United
manager insisted he could cite plenty of other instances where his team
'Fulham's was a good claim, but City could
have had a penalty against them at Stoke for a foul by Gareth Barry.
Every club gets breaks here and there, you get good ones and bad ones.
It evens itself out over the season, that will never change,' he said
Ferguson used United's home game against
Newcastle in November as an example of a major decision affecting his
team, when Rio Ferdinand conceded a penalty for a fair challenge on
Hatem Ben Arfa.
He also mentioned how Mario Balotelli escaped a
red card for stamping on Scott Parker during Manchester City's win over
Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium in January, then scored the
match-winning penalty in injury-time.
He added: 'You could go through millions of things like that. Most managers believe the breaks even themselves out.'
Only last week, Vieira provoked an angry
reaction from Ferguson after claiming that United's decision to bring
Paul Scholes, the 37-year-old midfielder, out of retirement was a sign
On Wednesday, he told the BBC: 'When United
play at home, they get some advantage that other teams don't get. I
think when you go to United, Madrid, Barcelona or Milan, when the
referees referee these kind of games, it's always difficult to go
against these kind of teams.
'This is the way it is. So we need to win games so we have this advantage in the future.'
Rio Ferdinand responded by questioning why Vieira was so preoccupied with talking about his club.
'Why is Vieira so concerned with Man United
... 2 comments in a week or so ... c'mon maaaaaaan let it go!' the
United defender tweeted.
Last night, City issued a statement accusing
the BBC interviewer of using a 'leading and aggressive line of
questioning', and of a 'serious and cynical misrepresentation of the
interview'. The Frenchman tried to backtrack from the comments, saying
they had been 'taken completely out of context'.
City will move back into the lead ahead of
United on goal difference if they beat Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium
tomorrow, two days before Ferguson's team travel to Ewood Park to face
The Manchester clubs meet in a potentially decisive derby at the Etihad Stadium on April 30.