AVB fumes at Webb: 'We need top referees for the top games'

 

Andre Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, last night launched a
stinging attack on referee Howard Webb for awarding Manchester
United the second of two penalties that contributed to the
defending champions' three-goal comeback at Stamford Bridge to earn
a 3-3 draw.

Villas-Boas said that the second penalty for United – for a challenge by Branislav Ivanovic on Danny Welbeck – was "very, very dubious" and went further in his criticism by attacking Webb, the country's leading referee, personally. "We expect, in top games, top refs and, at the moment, it hasn't been happening for us," the Portuguese said. It didn't happen at Old Trafford [in September's league match, which United won 3-1] with two goals offside, and maybe today a dubious decision that, in the end, shifted the running of the game.

"I don't know if Howard Webb had the correct angle to make the decision, but it was unlucky for him to give it. I'm not sure if he's compensating for anything in the first half [when United were denied two strong claims], but it was the wrong decision.

"In both games against United, top, top refs... you expect it to be perfect in terms of refereeing. On these two, they have had a direct influence on the result. Maybe the United game could have gone 3-3 at Old Trafford. But today was a dubious decision that helped give them the stimulus to go 3-3."

Both penalties were converted by Wayne Rooney before the substitute Javier Hernandez scored the third with six minutes left - this after Chelsea had gone into a 3-0 lead within the hour. The incident that Villas-Boas appeared to be referring to from the first half – for which he suggested Webb might be "compensating" for – was a foul on Welbeck by Gary Cahill which Sir Alex Ferguson claimed should have led to the Chelsea defender's dismissal.

Ferguson said that United should have had two spot-kicks in the first half, for the Welbeck incident and when Ashley Young was brought down by Jose Bosingwa and placed the responsibility at the door of linesman Darren Cann.

"I don't blame Howard Webb, I blame the linesman. I can't understand that," Ferguson said. "The linesman should have given two penalties. They happened right in front of him - how can he not see that? We had two penalties in the second half which were justified; we could have had four penalties."

The draw for United meant they are two points behind leaders Manchester City. "I see it as two points dropped, we played so well especially as we got off to a terrible start," Ferguson said. "It's not easy to come back like that but we are a far better team than you saw. We had a bit of bad luck with the goals but the players didn't let it affect them."

Rooney backed up Ferguson's assertion that United had fallen further behind in the title race. "It's two points lost," he said. "We understand that, but after being 3-0 down – the City players at home must have liked that – we enjoyed the way we fought back. A lot of teams might have put their heads down and accepted defeat, but we never put our heads down."

Rio Ferdinand was the target of chants about his brother Anton who is at the centre of the racial abuse allegations against John Terry. Later Ferdinand offer sarcastic thanks to the Chelsea fans on Twitter for "inspiring" him. David de Gea's save, from Juan Mata's injury-time free-kick, helped preserve United's point, and Ferguson added: "De Gea's save was fantastic, we've seen that talent that he has and in two or three years' time you are going to see all that."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003