Fergie supports penalty call

ir Alex Ferguson says he has no doubts Manchester United's penalty against Liverpool on Sunday was deserved.

The Red Devils emerged 1-0 winners from the third round FA Cup tie at Old Trafford after Ryan Giggs converted a second-minute spot-kick.

Referee Howard Webb awarded the penalty after Dimitar Berbatov went down in the box off a Daniel Agger tackle just 33 seconds in, prompting inevitable debate over whether it should have been given.

But Ferguson has echoed Berbatov and defender Rio Ferdinand by insisting the spot-kick, as well as Steven Gerrard's red card for his lunge on Michael Carrick 30 minutes in, were legitimate.

"It was a penalty," said the United boss. "Dimitar says he was definitely clipped.

"The replay shows he slightly touched him but the momentum is enough to bring the player down.

"There is no reason for him to go down anyway. He is not that kind of player.

"He is on the by-line, he is in the penalty box. I think it was right."

He added: "As for the sending off, there was no doubt. It was two-footed and he was off the ground.

"Steven Gerrard is not that type of player but it was a reckless challenge. I don't think he left the referee with any option."

Ferguson admits he was expecting his side to win by a greater scoreline after the opening goal, adding: "It is amazing it was only 1-0.

"But sometimes, when a team is down to 10 men, you get that kind of resilient attitude.

"We should have put it to bed in the second half and it could have been three or four.

"But anything can happen at 1-0. The FA Cup is riddled with it.

"Fortunately, we didn't do anything stupid today that would have caused us embarrassment."

Wayne Rooney (ankle), Nemanja Vidic (leg) and Edwin van der Sar (virus) all missed out on the third-round clash, but Ferguson has no serious concerns over any of the trio.

"Wayne came out for training on Friday and we thought he would make today," he said.

"But he just felt it again. At that point, we said no. There was no point.

"Vidic got a knock in training. He will be okay for Tottenham next Sunday. Edwin will maybe be another week or so."

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 9 January 2011