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."

News
people
News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
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 drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes