Fuming Ferguson wants appeal rule change

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wants UEFA to consider taking retrospective action on bookings as well as red cards in Champions League matches.

Ferguson was incensed that Darren Fletcher was booked for diving by Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca instead of a penalty being awarded in the thrilling 3-3 draw against CSKA Moscow.

Antonio Valencia scored the equaliser in stoppage time at Old Trafford to secure United's place in the last 16.

Ferguson, however, rounded on the official and said: "You can't appeal a yellow card. I can understand in domestic football that it could get lost in the system.

"But in European football it is crucial because, later in the tournament, to miss a really important game because of that is unfair. They should look at that but they won't.

"I cannot believe the decision (of the referee). Okay, it is human error, but it was one of the worst in my lifetime."

United were facing their first home defeat in 23 Champions League games after finding themselves two goals down to the Russians early in the second half.

Wayne Rooney, whose wife Coleen gave birth to baby boy Kai yesterday, was then introduced and - according to CSKA coach Leonid Slutski - changed the face of the game.

Paul Scholes pulled a goal back in the 84th minute and Valencia secured a vital point when his shot took a deflection to wrong-foot superb goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

Ferguson said: "Wayne hadn't had much sleep. I would have preferred to leave him on the bench.

"He was a safety player that we knew we could have played if we needed him - he was there.

"I think his energy and confidence was very high. He makes an impact. He is such a good player and is always capable of scoring. He was a wee bit unlucky."

Slutski added: "Rooney is one of the best players in the world. He has a high level of skill as well as aggression.

"He made a difference as I thought United were moderate before he came on."

Alan Dzagoev opened the scoring for the visitors only for Michael Owen to pull United level with his fifth goal of the season.

However CSKA regrouped and extended their lead with goals from Milos Krasic and Vasili Berezutski.

It looked curtains for United, only for last season's beaten finalists to raise their game despite the sterling efforts to Akinfeev to keep them out.

Ferguson said: "If you want excitement, come to Old Trafford. One of the great pleasures of being a manager here is when you get finishes like that.

"We went very open and kept being caught on the counter attack - but having said that, we should have been 4-0 up before they even had an effort on target.

"When they got their third goal it knocked us back a bit because we couldn't get our momentum back for ten to 15 minutes and their goalkeeper was fantastic."

Slutski said: "My team played well and our plan worked but there was no joy in the dressing room after the game."