Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson turns attention to Chelsea rematch in Capital One Cup

 

Sir Alex Ferguson expects another pulsating clash when Chelsea and Manchester United meet again on Wednesday after the Red Devils ended the Blues' unbeaten record in a controversial five-goal thriller at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

United extended their winning streak to five matches by winning their first Barclays Premier League game on Chelsea turf for 10 years.

Their 3-2 victory only came after two debatable decisions from referee Mark Clattenburg and his team of officials, however.

Clattenburg first showed Fernando Torres a second yellow for simulation, although replays showed he was clipped by Jonny Evans, and the referee's assistant then failed to notice that Javier Hernandez was offside when he tucked home the winner from Rafael's cross.

Tasty tackles flew in from both sides during the match and Ferguson had to be separated from Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo and assistant first-team coach Steve Holland after a series of heated exchanges on the touchline.

When asked if he anticipated a lively rematch on Wednesday in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup, the Scot replied with a smile: "Good luck to the referee!"

Ferguson felt his team deserved a bit of luck with the refereeing decisions yesterday.

"It's always hard to come here and it's hard to get decisions here," he said.

"Over the last few years, there have been some shocking decisions against us and I think everyone knows that.

"But today, if we did get a little break, I think we deserved it."

Ferguson could not resist a dig at Torres, who he said went down too easily.

"Well, did he intend to dive?" Ferguson said.

"Jonny may have just caught him a little bit but you can either carry on running, which he could've done... But he chose to go down.

"He could've carried on and scored. That's what I can't understand."

The former Rangers forward added: "I would've never missed that chance. I would've taken it in my time. I would've never gone down.

"But he did go down - that's the issue - and he's already been booked. So it's his own fault."

The controversy surrounding the refereeing decisions was overshadowed last night after it emerged Chelsea had submitted a complaint to the Premier League that alleged Clattenburg used "inappropriate language" towards two of their players. Clattenburg last night insisted he would fully co-operate with any investigation.

All the pre-match talk yesterday had been about whether Chelsea would be able to continue their excellent early-season form.

The early signs suggested the Blues were not up to the task.

David Luiz unwittingly put through his own goal to give United an early lead and then Robin van Persie took advantage of some slack marking to score the visitors' second after 12 minutes.

Chelsea hit back with goals either side of half-time from the excellent Juan Mata and Brazil midfielder Ramires, but Torres' dismissal, and that of Branislav Ivanovic, allowed United to claim the win courtesy of Hernandez's third goal in two games.

"I was glad to get to half-time, to be honest," said Ferguson, whose side are now second in the table, one point behind Chelsea.

"I thought we could've started the game a bit better in the second half but when they got the second goal, we started to play better.

"It was probably a wake-up call, to be honest with you.

"And, at that point, I was wanting to win to the game and I had Chicharito (Hernandez) warming up, and then they get a man sent off. and that consolidated that opinion to get him on."

PA

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