Hughes attacks 'lunatic' Neville and the referee

City manager feels 'robbed' as United win Manchester derby with Owen goal deep in injury time

Mark Hughes accused Gary Neville of acting like "a lunatic" yesterday after an extraordinary derby was won 4-3 by Manchester United with a controversial injury-time goal from Michael Owen.

Hughes said his team felt "frustrated and robbed" by referee Martin Atkinson's decision to play an extra six minutes and 47 seconds after the fourth official had earlier indicated a minimum of four minutes of added time. Owen struck in the 96th minute after Craig Bellamy had snatched a dramatic equaliser for Manchester City in the 90th minute of the game, levelling the score at 3-3.

Hughes stopped short of accusing his former United team-mate Neville of directly celebrating in front of the City fans, Emmanuel Adebayor-style, but he said United's relief at snatching the victory showed how much beating City now meant to them. "I saw Gary Neville running off like a lunatic," Hughes said. "What I saw reminded me of Sir Alex and Brian Kidd [against Sheffield Wednesday] in 1993. It shows what it meant to them. It shows we can compete."

As Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that United had silenced their "noisy neighbours", the Manchester City manager accused the referee of getting the timekeeping of the match wrong. Atkinson's fourth official, Alan Wiley, had signalled four minutes minimum of time added on, just before Bellamy scored City's third goal.

"I tried to get an explanation [for the added time] from the fourth official but it didn't sit comfortably with me," Hughes said. "He tried to say that he had added a minute-plus because of our goal celebration. We timed the amount of time from when we scored [to make it 3-3] to when we kicked off at 45 seconds. So he has got that wrong."

Owen scored on 95 minutes, 25 seconds. However, under Premier League rules, the referee is entitled to go 59 seconds over the added-on time displayed on the fourth official's board. Add that 59 seconds to the requisite one minute extra for a goal, plus 30 seconds extra for a substitution – Michael Carrick came on for Luis Anderson – and Atkinson was within his rights to play past the time Owen scored.

That did nothing to console Hughes, who admitted that Old Trafford was famous for mysterious added time when he was a player there. "Historically it has happened before," Hughes said. "There were times here when United had a bit of a benefit and I never really felt it was an issue when I was a United player. We didn't have a bad time from referees.

"I am not questioning the referee's integrity. I just don't know where he has got seven minutes [added time] from. It would be nice to get an explanation but I don't think I will. I have looked at the videos and I can't see where he has got it from. It is a shame. We came back three times and showed great quality and character as a team."

United took the lead three times, through Wayne Rooney and twice through Darren Fletcher, only for Gareth Barry and then Craig Bellamy on two occasions to score the goals that brought City back into the game. It was Owen's goal, laid on by Ryan Giggs, that ultimately decided the outcome of the game.

Bellamy could face a Football Association charge for appearing to hit a United fan who ran on to the pitch after Owen had scored the winning goal. Hughes said: "The guy should not have been on the pitch, that's not acceptable. I recall Brian Clough clipping someone round the ear for coming on the pitch at Nottingham Forest."

United made fundamental errors – through Ben Foster and Rio Ferdinand – for City's first and third goals, but Ferguson preferred to focus on his rivals' propensity for what he saw as self-promotion. "For us, it's unusual for us to accept that they [City] are the top dogs in terms of media attention but, sometimes you have got a noisy neighbour and have to live with it," he said.

"You can't do anything about them if they keep on making noise but what we can do is get on with our lives, put the television on and turn it up a bit louder. But as far as the players are concerned they showed their playing power and that's the best answer of all. These neighbours will always be noisy."

With the post-match adrenalin flowing, Ferguson also said he felt United should have won by a seven-goal margin. "I am unhappy about the goals we conceded because it spoilt a [potentially] really emphatic victory, we could have scored six or seven goals," he said. "The fact we made the mistakes probably made it the best derby game of all time so you're left wondering, what would you rather have had? Won 6-0 or won the greatest derby game of all time? I'd rather have won 6-0."

Hughes responded with a dig at the relative qualities of Foster and City's Shay Given, who two great saves from Dimitar Berbatov. "Maybe he [Ferguson] feels the need to say that [about the scoreline]," Hughes said, "but I don't think he needs to say that. I have an outstanding goalkeeper who is paid to save shots going into the net and that is what he does."

Owen said: "It's a privilege to play in a team like this and you're never going to pass up an opportunity like that. I thought the lads played really well, I thought we dominated most of the game, but there were a lot of individual mistakes that cost us the goals."

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?