Soccer: Ferguson fumes as linesman refuses to give penalty

Sir Alex Ferguson risked a Football Association charge last night with an outspoken attack on linesman Simon Beck who he claimed would "no way" give decisions in Manchester United's favour following their 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

United flew to Qatar last night for a warm-weather break having seen their lead in the Premier League over Manchester City cut to five points and with Ferguson furious about what he saw as Beck's part in referee Chris Foy's failure to award his side a penalty for a second-half foul by Steven Caulker on striker Wayne Rooney.

Ferguson said that the club had "history" with Beck, who was the linesman when Didier Drogba scored an offside goal for Chelsea against United at Old Trafford on April 2010 in a 2-1 defeat for the home side. Ferguson said to MUTV last night: "It [Caulker's challenge] was a clear penalty. It was definitely a penalty. He has put his leg right in there.

"The linesman is facing it. I thought he had a very poor game, the linesman. I thought he was disappointing. We have got that history with him. He never gave offside with Drogba at Old Trafford when he was three yards offside. Everyone remembers that. I certainly do."

Earlier, in his Sky Sports interview, Ferguson, who does not give post-match press-conferences, said: "We should have gone down our side of the pitch, the stand-side linesman didn't give us a thing all day.

"For me it was a poor performance by him. Why he never saw the penalty kick from Wayne Rooney, some other decisions, we remember him well from his time at the Chelsea game when Drogba was three yards offside and he gave onside. He had a shocking game. I'm disappointed in his performance, I really am. He had a bad game and we never got anything on that side of the pitch."

Clint Dempsey scored the equaliser in injury-time at the end of the game after Robin van Persie had given United the lead in the first half. Ferguson said that Spurs would be a match for Manchester City who still have to come to White Hart Lane. "We have all the difficult games away from home so far so I think we can be pleased on that part. Other teams will drop points here, there is no doubt about that. Tottenham are a very good team, very committed and will take points off the teams that maybe matter to us."

Villas-Boas said that United had created just four chances against his side, a return which he said was their worst of the season. He said: "We dominated the whole game, played well and deserved to win to be fair," he said.

"We had 60 per cent possession against United, 15 shots against four and should have won. Usually, champions like United have to go through moments like this but I think we deserved this last-minute goal.

"We set our targets high, we wanted to win. We understood you are not going to go two or three up but we managed to get at least a point and a deserved point."

After his first Premier League start since his return from injury, Scott Parker, pictured, said that the performance showed Spurs were capable of getting a Champions League place. He said: "We have shown a real resilience. We have had a good first half to the season and we need to push on. Our objective is fourth and if we can improve on that, so be it.

"It was difficult, vision-wise snow was coming in our faces so it was difficult especially first half with the wind but it was the same for both teams and I'm sure it was a good spectacle for the neutral and all the fans watching."

Clint Dempsey, Spurs' goalscorer, said: "We have belief in ourselves, we have been getting good result and have been on a good run of form. It's about taking each game one at a time and if we keep putting in performances we can get the results to keep us in the top four."

- THE INDEPENDENT

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