Alex Ferguson to face no action over linesman criticism

 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will not face a disciplinary charge over his criticism of linesman Darren Cann in yesterday's 3-3 draw at Chelsea, Press Association Sport understands.

Ferguson's joy at seeing his team come back from 3-0 down was tempered to an extent by his anger at Cann's decision not to flag for a foul by Gary Cahill on Danny Welbeck after the Red Devils striker raced through in the first half.

The United boss thought Chelsea debutant Cahill should have been sent off as he was the last man, and launched an angry tirade against Cann after the match.

Ferguson said: "They should've had a man sent off... (but there was) nothing, no decision. That linesman (Cann), (has) given a penalty kick against us from 40 yards away last year against Liverpool, this year against Arsenal - and he can't see that? He is all too happy to flag at Old Trafford for penalty kicks."

It is understood the Football Association ruled today that the Scot was within his rights to criticise Cann, and that he did not question the assistant referee's integrity with his comments.

The decision will come as a relief to the United manager, who was hit with a five-match touchline ban and a £30,000 fine last March after the same fixture.

Then, after seeing his team lose 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, Ferguson incurred the wrath of the FA by claiming Martin Atkinson did not referee the game fairly.

Ferguson admitted after yesterday's game that his team had lost two points, rather than gained one despite the epic nature of their comeback.

The Scot's men were 3-0 down after 50 minutes but rallied to snatch a valuable point courtesy of two Wayne Rooney penalties and a late header from substitute Javier Hernandez.

United trail Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City by two points going into a difficult run of fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham and away at Norwich, who have only lost three times at home this term.

Rooney hopes the comeback will make City realise that United should never be written off.

"It can have a psychological impact, for sure," Rooney said.

"City will have been watching and probably went out at 3-0 thinking the game was over but we would like to think they saw how we fought back and saw our team spirit.

"We showed how hard we work for each other and when we are like that we are very difficult to beat.

"We didn't deserve to be 3-0 down. We controlled the game from the first minute.

"To concede two goals so early in the second half was a disaster but we stuck in there, fought hard and never gave up.

"Most teams would lie down at 3-0 but we fought well. Even if we had lost 3-2 at least we could have come off and said we gave our all. We are thankful for the point but still disappointed it wasn't three.

"If anyone was going to win the game it was going to be us."

Rooney struggled to make an impact in open play yesterday, but he showed nerves of steel to lash home two penalties in front of the Chelsea fans.

The goals came as a relief for the England striker, who had missed his two previous spot-kicks.

"The manager asked me if I wanted to continue taking them and there was no doubt in my mind I would," he said.

"I am a confident player and I keep practising penalties for the last two or three years now since I have been the penalty taker. There was no doubt in my mind I was going to score."

Rooney was delighted to see young goalkeeper David De Gea bounce back from his nightmare performance against Liverpool with a much-improved display yesterday.

The Spaniard could do little about Chelsea's three goals and pulled off two world-class saves to deny Mata and Cahill at the death.

"He made some fantastic late saves," Rooney said.

"He is still a young lad and has a lot to learn. He has made some great saves here and I think he is going to be one of the best in the future."

PA

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