United are paying the penalty - Rio
Rio Ferdinand believes referees are wary of giving penalties to Manchester United following their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Everton.
The United defender rounded on referee Mike Riley for his failure to give the Red Devils a second-half penalty as their quintuple bid went up in smoke.
To Sir Alex Ferguson's anger, Riley waved away United's spot-kick claims when Danny Welbeck went down under Phil Jagielka's challenge.
"I don't know how the referee didn't give the penalty but that is the way it goes," said Ferdinand.
"We don't get many penalties these days.
"Referees are reluctant to give them to us. Maybe they are being put under pressure by people in the media but that is the way it goes.
"We are not going to harp on about it because, in the end, we were not good enough in the penalty shootout.
"There was always going to come a day when you don't have a good time in that situation and this was it."
As a member of the United sides that won both the Champions League final and Carling Cup in shootouts over the past 12 months, Ferdinand does at least have some happy memories to go alongside the bad one.
Unfortunately the same is not true of Welbeck, who felt he was denied an obvious spot-kick.
"It was a penalty," said the teenager.
"I was blatantly barged as I went to take the shot and it put me off balance. Then the defender clipped my left heel.
"There was no need to dive. I would have scored. I am very disappointed."
Welbeck was spared the pressure of taking a penalty in the shootout, instead forced to watch the agony as former United keeper Tim Howard saved an awful effort from Dimitar Berbatov before keeping out Ferdinand's spot-kick as well to give Everton the win.
"You have to get on with the game," he said.
"When it goes to penalties, it is just a lottery.
"I suppose you could say I am annoyed about it but you cannot blame it all on a penalty decision.
"We were the better team and we should have won the game without that penalty decision going in our favour."
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