Referee the target of angry Torpedo

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The Torpedo Moscow manager, Vitali Shevchenko, believes Ipswich had more than their fair share of help in preserving their European record with a 1-1 draw at Portman Road on Thursday night.

Shevchenko criticised the Turkish referee, Orhan Erdemir, who disallowed Dmitri Vyasmikin's second-half goal for offside after he had turned in a rebound. Shevchenko was further incited by the first-half penalty awarded against Aliksandr Lukhvich for the pulling of Pablo Couñago's shirt.

"Our plan of counter-attacking would have borne even more fruit if the referee hadn't ruled out that goal for offside. Also, it wasn't a penalty, the referee was a disgrace."

John Gregory did not expect to face such a daunting task to prevent a summer full of Intertoto Cup matches being wasted. "This tie was always going to be over two legs regardless of what happened tonight, but our task now is bigger than I anticipated," the Aston Villa manager said after Villa lost 3-2 at home to Varteks of Croatia on Thursday. "I still feel we have goals in us for the second leg, but it is a huge task to keep a clean sheet and win by two goals."

Gregory said he expects to receive flak after his decision to leave out three key players in the first leg. He rested the skipper Paul Merson, Lee Hendrie and Dion Dublin, bringing in Mustapha Hadji, Steve Stone and Juan Pablo Angel.

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