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Posts Tagged ‘Fergie’

Ancelotti warns of Gunners threat as Fergie fumes

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm








Carlo Ancelotti throws the ball back during the footbal match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on November 8, 2009. AFP PHOTO

LONDON, Nov 9, 2009 (AFP) – Carlo Ancelotti has rubbed salt into Manchester United’s wounds over their controversial defeat at Chelsea by suggesting Arsenal are just as big a threat to his side’s Premier League title ambitions.


Chelsea’s 1-0 win, sealed by John Terry’s late header, allowed Ancelotti’s men to open a five-point lead at the top and left his United counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, once again aggrieved over his side’s treatment at the hands of a referee.


While Ferguson admitted his side now face a tough task in attempting to close the gap on a Chelsea squad that is becoming as rich in confidence as it is in experience, Ancelotti was quick to underline the unexpected vibrancy of Arsenal’s challenge as a reminder of the dangers of complacency.


“If Arsenal win their game in hand, they will be within two points of us,” he said when asked to speculate on whether the title race was now a two-horse affair.


“I think also Arsenal is doing very well.


“A five-point lead is important, but at the same time, not so important. We have 30 points in 12 matches but we know the season is very long. We have to stay focused.”


Chelsea fans’ optimism that Ancelotti could emulate Jose Mourinho in wresting the Premier League trophy away from Old Trafford will have been encouraged by the fact that, three months into his first season in England, the Italian has now master-minded wins over both United and Liverpool.


“That is important,” Ancelotti said. “But we lost against Wigan and Aston Villa. This means every game is the same. It is always three points and we have to maintain concentration against Manchester United, against all teams.


“It was very difficult to beat Manchester, the match was very balanced for 90 minutes and it was difficult for both teams to create chances to score. Sometimes we lost with the set plays, this time we won.”


The set play that decided Sunday’s match was a 76th-minute freekick awarded to Chelsea after referee Martin Atkinson — mistakenly — judged that Darren Fletcher, who had been outstanding for United, had fouled Ashley Cole close to the left touchline.


Frank Lampard’s inswinging delivery was glanced into the net by Terry, although Nicolas Anelka also celebrated as if he had got the final touch.


Either way, Chelsea were fortunate to take all three points after a contest that a depleted United side had controlled for long periods, which only contributed to Ferguson’s frustration over the critical free-kick.


“Clearly, Darren Fletcher’s won the ball, Ashley Cole’s never touched and has jumped up in the air, and then (Didier) Drogba’s pulled Brown to the ground for the goal,” Ferguson said.


“The referee’s position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous, he can’t see anything. He’s got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him and he doesn’t even move.


“That goal shoudn’t have been allowed. It was a bad decision, but there’s nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that’s the way the players are talking in there. It was a bad one.”


Ferguson maintained sufficient composure to acknowledge that United could only blame themselves for failing, over the course of the 90 minutes, to turn their domination of possession into better chances.


“We had great opportunities to get to the edge of the box and some really good chances in and around the box, but we should be finishing it off,” the Scot recognised.


“We’ve only ourselves to blame in that respect. But you do need a break – and we never got the break we needed.”


Ferguson also admitted that the setback at Stamford Bridge was far more significant than last month’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool.


“The fact is Chelsea go five points clear of us,” he said. “The defeat to Liverpool didn’t affect our position in the league, this affects our position in the sense that if we’d have won we’d have gone top.”


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Fergie fumes at referee after Chelsea defeat

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2009 at 11:59 am

LONDON, Nov 8, 2009 (AFP) – Sir Alex Ferguson launched a furious attack on referee Martin Atkinson after his decison to award a controversial free-kick sent Manchester United crashing to a 1-0 defeat at title rivals Chelsea on Sunday.








Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (R) prepares to bring on striker Michael Owen (L) during the match between Chelsea and Manchester United(AFP photo)

Atkinson ruled that Darren Fletcher’s 76th minute challenge on Ashley Cole was worthy of a foul even though the Scot appeared to win the ball and, from the resulting Frank Lampard set-piece, John Terry headed in the winner.


Ferguson’s side are now five points behind leaders Chelsea and the United manager, who also claimed Didier Drogba fouled Wes Brown at the free-kick, had no doubts that Atkinson was to blame for his team’s third defeat of the season.


“Clearly, Darren Fletcher’s won the ball, Ashley Cole’s never touched and has jumped up in the air, and then (Didier) Drogba’s pulled Brown to the ground for the goal,” Ferguson said.


“The referee’s position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous, he can’t see anything. He’s got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him and he doesn’t even move.


“That goal shoudn’t have been allowed. It was a bad decision, but there’s nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that’s the way the players are talking in there. It was a bad one.”


Ferguson insisted United had been the better team but he conceded they had only themselves to blame for failing to create clear-cut chances despite dominating possession.


“We dominated the game,” he said. “We were by far the better team.


“We had great opportunities to get to the edge of the box and some really good chances in and around the box, but we should be finishing it off.


“We’ve only ourselves to blame in that respect. But you do need a break – and we never got the break we needed.”


Ferguson admitted losing at Stamford Bridge was far more significant to the title race than their recent 2-0 defeat at arch rivals Liverpool.


“The fact is Chelsea go five points clear of us,” he said.


“The defeat to Liverpool didn’t affect our position in the league, this affects our position in the sense that if we’d have won we’d have gone top.”


While Ferguson fumed, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti was able to celebrate the latest impressive result of his brief reign.


The Italian has already masterminded wins over Liverpool and United since arriving from AC Milan in pre-season and he acknowledged it was a significant victory.


“We beat a very good team, we beat the best opponent (in the league) and we are five points clear, but we know very well that the season is long. We have to maintain this atmosphere and maintain this gap,” Ancelotti said.


Ancelotti felt Ferguson’s decision to pack midfield with five players had turned the match into a war of attrition for long periods.


“It was a strong match but Chelsea did what we had to do,” he said.


“It was a difficult match for both teams, there was no space in midfield and it was difficult to create opportunities.”


There was some debate over the identity of Chelsea’s match-winner as Terry’s header may have taken a slight deflection off Anelka on its way in, but the England defender was keen to claim it.


“I got a touch on it. I think maybe Nico got the second touch but I’m still claiming it!” he said.


“The five-point lead was exactly what we wanted coming into the game, we’ve been working on it all week. That wasn’t the best of games but I think overall we deserved it.”


Anelka added: “I don’t know what happened (for the goal). I think I touched the ball but maybe John will claim it.”


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Football: Fergie surprised by Benitez snub

In Vietnam Sports on September 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm

MANCHESTER, May 23, 2009 (AFP) – Sir Alex Ferguson insists he was surprised that Rafa Benitez did not congratulate after Manchester United pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title.








Sir Alex Ferguson

United manager Ferguson has been embroiled in a series of high-profile spats with Liverpool boss Benitez as the two clubs battled for top spot in England.


Benitez launched a remarkable outburst at Ferguson in December, in which he claimed the Scot was able to influence the fixture list to help United and tried to intimidate referees into favouring his team.


Ferguson responded in typically waspish manner and the feud bubbled right through the season.


Yet Ferguson traditionally makes a point of congratulating the manager who wins the Premier League and he was taken aback that Benitez didn’t do the same.


“I was surprised,” Ferguson said. “But really, it was a great season for us and I am not that worried about anyone else.”


Meanwhile, Ferguson believes it is time the Premier League scrapped the rule which is supposed to force managers to play their best team in every game.


The regulation was put forward earlier this week as the reason Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle might take legal action against Manchester United for the team they are likely to put out at Hull.


“It has never been practical for years now,” Ferguson said. “Richard Scudamore has more or less said that and he is chief executive of the Premier League, so he is speaking from a position of authority.


“The modern day game is about a squad. Everyone uses it, even teams fighting down at the bottom.


“The days when Liverpool won the league only using 14 players are no longer possible. Nobody even thinks about that now.”


Source: SGGP