Ferguson vents his fury at 'ridiculous' referee

United manager risks FA wrath after latest rant about officials after Terry plunders victory for Chelsea

Sir Alex Ferguson described referee Martin Atkinson's performance as "absolutely ridiculous" after Manchester United lost 1-0 at Chelsea and fell five points behind Carlo Ancelotti's Premier League leaders.

A bad-tempered match was settled by Chelsea's winner in the 76th minute, when John Terry and Nicolas Anelka rose to head a free-kick from Frank Lampard. TV replays suggest Anelka had the final touch, but Chelsea captain Terry was claiming it afterwards.

Ferguson was furious that Atkinson had not disallowed the goal for a foul by Didier Drogba on Wes Brown. The United manager was also upset about the award of the free-kick, for a foul by Darren Fletcher on Ashley Cole.

Wayne Rooney was seen mouthing the words "12th man" to Sky TV cameras as he left the pitch at the final whistle. Ferguson, who is already facing a charge of improper conduct over his comments about Alan Wiley's fitness after United's 2-2 draw with Sunderland last month, said: "Clearly Darren Fletcher has won the ball.

"He's never touched Ashley Cole who just jumped up in the air, and then Drogba has pulled Brown to the ground at the goal. The referee's position to make a decision there was absolutely ridiculous. He can't see it.

"There was a Chelsea player standing right in front of him and he doesn't even move. It was a bad decision, but what can you do? You lose faith in the refereeing sometimes. That's the way the players are talking in there. It was a bad one. That goal should not have been allowed."

Ferguson has criticised Atkinson before, for not giving United a penalty in an FA Cup tie with Portsmouth in March 2008.

Chelsea manager Ancelotti criticised United players for moaning too much to the match officials, after Fletcher mimed waving a card. The Italian said: "I think the United players protested a lot. I don't know why. I don't like this, for sure."

Ferguson claimed his side had had the better of a tense contest, and deserved to have won. "We've dominated the game and had great chances to win the match," he said.

"And that's our fault. Some of the football we played getting up to the box, and some of the chances in and around the box, and we should have finished them off, but you do need a break. We never got the break we needed."

Chelsea now boast a five-point lead over United, who have been champions for the past three seasons. Terry said: "It's exactly what we wanted – to be five points clear. It wasn't the best of games, but we deserved it. Another clean sheet. Even the attackers got back and defended for the team. That's what we want them to do and that's what they did."

Terry played despite newspaper reports yesterday that his father, Ted, 55, had been filmed selling cocaine in the toilet of an Essex wine bar.

Ancelotti said: "I don't know the story about John Terry. We spoke about the game, nothing else. I told him to block Rooney. And I think he did that very well."

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo, writes Paul Scholes
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker