Wayne Rooney at centre of red card row

Wigan manager fumes over off-the-ball forearm and accuses United of targeting McCarthy

Wigan's manager Roberto Martinez accused Manchester United of deliberately targeting his midfielder James McCarthy and said Wayne Rooney should have been sent off in the first 10 minutes of the game at the JJB Stadium yesterday. United won by a flattering 4-0 margin after Rooney clearly caught McCarthy with his forearm off the ball.

"I thought Wayne Rooney was very, very fortunate," said the Spaniard. "The referee saw it and gave a free-kick. It was clearly a red card. If you see the replay, it's clearlyan elbow. There was another bad challenge by Paul Scholes on McCarthy, which should have been a yellow card. So the big decisions never went in our favour and when that happens against a team like United, you get punished. Going down to 10 men doesn't guarantee you winning the game but I think it would have been a completely different proposition from then on."

United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, attempted to play down the incident, saying: "It was next to nothing. Mark Clattenburg saw it and I think he said to Rooney that it was an accident." As the referee saw the incident, the FA will not be able to take any further action.

United will now go to Chelsea on Tuesday 15 points ahead of the champions and four clear at the top. Wigan will be bottom if West Ham beat Liverpool this afternoon.

Ferguson did give some credit to the home side, who were twice beaten 5-0 by United last season and have never taken so much as a point from them in a dozen League meetings. "In the first half they were all over us," he said. "Edwin van der Sar was terrific and stood up really well when we needed him. It's an acid test going to Chelsea and Liverpool next week and hopefully we'll have one or two [players] back."

Wolves moved out of the bottom three with a 4-0 win over Blackpool on the day it was announced that their former defender Dean Richards had died, aged only 36.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific