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Efter: United – Liverpool

United vann mot Liverpool och avancerade till FA-cupens fjärde omgång. Efter matchen fokuserades det på två domslut som kom att bli matchavgörande.

Den första stora snackisen var den straff som United fick i matchens första minut sedan Berbatov ramlat i en duell med Agger. Berbatov själv tycker att straffen var korrekt dömd och bedyrar att han inte en spelare som ramlar enkelt:

”Of course it was a penalty. There was enough contact for me to lose my balance and people know I do not go to ground easily.”

Berbatovs manager Sir Alex Ferguson håller med:

”It was a penalty. Dimitar says he was definitely clipped. The replay shows he slightly touched him but the momentum is enough to bring the player down. There is no reason for him to go down anyway. He is not that kind of player. He is on the by-line, he is in the penalty box. I think it was right.”

Rio Ferdinand var inte lika säker på att straffen var korrekt och skrev följande på sin Twitter:

”I’ve just watched the penalty incident again…I’m 50/50 wether it was or wasn’t..ref gave it we scored it. Its a game of swings+roundabouts”

Liverpools nya manager Kenny Dalglish håller inte med och kallar domslutet för ett skämt:

”The penalty was a joke. I’ve seen the replay and unless they have changed the rules it is not a penalty.”

Ryan Babel tycker att det är ett skämt att kalla Webb för en av de bästa domarna och postade följande, nu raderade, rader på sin Twitter tillsammans med en bild på Webb i en Unitedtröja:

”And they call him one of the best referees? That’s a joke. [Shaking my head].”

Webb får dock stöd av den före detta domaren Jeff Winter som tycker att straffen var korrekt:

”Was it a penalty? In my opinion it was. A massive call for the officials but they got it right. Why on earth does Agger make a challenge in that position, when all he has to do is stay on his feet and block the cross? He makes contact with Berbatov and that is enough.

”The pundits describe it as minimal, but he does not have to murder him. It was a totally unnecessary challenge and a foul. Whether or not Berbatov makes a meal of it is immaterial. It was a foul.”

En annan gammal domare, Graham Poll, håller emellertid inte med:

”Webb’s body language indicated he was in two minds. If that was the case, he should not have awarded a penalty because referees are told not to give a decision unless they are 100 per cent convinced.”

Den andra stora snackisen var utvisningen på Steven Gerrard som med en brutal tvåfotstackling försökte avsluta Michael Carricks karriär. Ferguson tycker att utvisningen var solklar:

”As for the sending off, there was no doubt. It was two-footed and he was off the ground. Steven Gerrard is not that type of player but it was a reckless challenge. I don’t think he left the referee with any option.”

Dalglish tar däremot på sig de rödfärgade glasögonen och försöker, utan vettiga argument, få det till att utvisningen skulle ha varit felaktig:

”The other one, I can’t see that as a red card either. In the dressing room before the game someone said to me the game hasn’t changed that much and I said I thought it had become a non-contact sport. Maybe I was right.”

Jeff Winter är dock säker på att Webbs beslut att visa ut Gerrard var korrekt:

”Gerrard went in two footed and caught his opponent. Webb took his time and got this one right as well.”

Även Graham Poll tycker att utvisningen var riktig:

”The red card was correct.”

Tittar vi på matchen i stort tycker Sir Alex Ferguson att Uniteds seger var odiskutabel. Han är dock lite missnöjd över att United endast gjorde ett mål och påpekar att allt kan hända när det bara skiljer ett mål:

”It is amazing it was only 1-0. But sometimes, when a team is down to 10 men, you get that kind of resilient attitude. We should have put it to bed in the second half and it could have been three or four. But anything can happen at 1-0. The FA Cup is riddled with it. [..] Fortunately, we didn’t do anything stupid today that would have caused us embarrassment.”

Kenny Dalglish var nöjd med Liverpools insats trots förlusten och flörtar med lagets supportrar:

”Obviously we’re not going to be pleased to lose a match but the most important thing for us was a great deal of effort and commitment by the players. Their endeavour was matched by the supporters. If we can get everyone pulling in the right direction, we’ve got a good chance going forward. We might pass it better, we might shoot better, but I can’t fault them for their effort. Now we need to get some confidence into the players. There were really positive signs.”

Jonny Evans fick överraskande starta för United. Efter matchen erkände han att han har haft en tung säsong och tagit ett steg bakåt i sin utveckling. Han var nöjd med Uniteds försvarsspel även om han gärna hade sett ett 2-0-mål. Han var dock lite bitter över att han prickade stolpen och inte nätet med en nick i slutet av första halvlek och undrar om vad han gör för fel. Till sist ser han framåt och hoppas spela bra nästa gång han får chansen att spela:

”It’s been difficult in terms of dealing with the mental side of it. But I’ve always had confidence in my ability and great support from my family and the manager. I just had to step back and look at what things I needed to be doing – and that’s just doing the basic things well, like defending and keeping clean sheets.

”We would have liked it to have been more comfortable. We came in at half time and we were still only a goal ahead. We wanted to get that second goal to make it more comfortable for ourselves. But Liverpool made it hard. People say it’s tough against 10 men, and you have to pass it around well. We could maybe have done better in that respect. But we defended well and kept the clean sheet.

”I was getting texts before the game from mates saying, ’I’ve got a pound on you to score at fourteen to one!’ I’ve hit the post three times and missed a few sitters, so I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

”It’s funny how things can change in football, and you can’t become complacent. I just want to prepare and make sure I do well in my next game.”

Nemanja Vidic missade matchen sedan han fått en smäll på träning. Vidic väntas kunna spela mot Tottenham på söndag. Även Wayne Rooney väntas vara spelklar till matchen mot Tottenham. Edwin van der Sar beräknas dock missa även den matchen.

Arena: Old Trafford (Manchester) | Publik: 74 727 | Domare: Howard Webb
1-02RYAN GIGGS (straff)
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans (Smalling 84), Evra
Nani, Fletcher (Anderson 62), Carrick, Giggs
Berbatov, Hernandez (Owen 75)
Avbytare: Lindegaard, Fabio, Gibson, Obertan
Varningar: Fletcher, Anderson
Liverpool: Reina – Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio – Meireles (Babel 60), Lucas – Kuyt, Gerrard, Maxi (Shelvey 60) – Torres (N’Gog 77)
Avbytare: Gulasci, Wilson, Kyrgiakos, Poulsen
Varningar: inga
Utvisning: Gerrard (32, serious foul play)

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