Ferguson escapes action over 'typical Germans' jibe

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The Independent Online

UEFA will take no action against Sir Alex Ferguson for his "typical Germans" jibe at Bayern Munich over the sending off of Manchester United defender Rafael.

Ferguson claimed referee Nicola Rizzoli was pressured by the Bayern players into showing Rafael a second yellow card and the Bundesliga side went on to secure a Champions League semi-final spot on away goals.

Ferguson said after the game: "The young boy showed a bit of inexperience but they got him sent off, everyone sprinted towards the referee - typical Germans."

UEFA today confirmed there will be no disciplinary action taken against Ferguson for his remarks.

The remark did rankle with Bayern coach Louis van Gaal however who reacted by saying: "I thought England was noted for fairness but that's not what I call fair play. I think Sir Alex was disappointed."

United keeper Edwin van der Sar backed up Ferguson's point of view however by claiming the referee was not intending to produce a yellow card until the Bayern players put the pressure on him.

Van der Sar said: "The sending off was a little bit hard to take.

"They surrounded the referee straight away when he fouled him, and it's obvious they know who is on a card or not and they are very good at that.

"I thought initially the referee wasn't going to do it but they then put some pressure on him and he got the card out.

"It's obvious that was the turning point of the game. It was 40 minutes to go and just too long to hold on."

Meanwhile Portuguese winger Nani, whose two goals looked to have secured a last-four spot until Bayern's fight-back, said United have to make a last supreme effort to overhaul Chelsea and Arsenal in the title race.

United's first task is at Blackburn on Sunday and Rovers are in a good run of form.

Nani said: "We have to concentrate for the last games and do everything we can to try to win the league.

"We have to be confident because we are a big team and we have ambition. We want to win the league.

"I will try to keep my concentration up and try to do the same as I have for the last couple of games. I want to help my team to win the league.

"I was so happy to score two goals and my performance was good, so it is disappointing that we have not passed through to the semi-finals. But that is football - it happens, and we have to continue to work hard to try to win trophies."

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