Fergie hits back at City
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson on Thursday hit back at claims by title rivals Manchester City that the defending champions received preferential treatment from referees.
Manchester City football development executive Patrick Vieira was widely quoted this week as saying that United and other top clubs around Europe were often given the benefit of the doubt by referees, particularly in home matches.
The former Arsenal and City midfielder pointed to United escaping what looked a clear penalty decision against them following a challenge by Michael Carrick on Danny Murphy late in the 1-0 victory over Fulham on Monday.
City later insisted Vieira's remarks were taken out of context -- but Ferguson was in no mood to ignore the comments on Thursday, as the battle for the Premier League enters a tension-filled climax.
Ferguson said United themselves could have had a penalty in Monday's win over Fulham, insisting that decisions even themselves out over a season.
"I think we could have had a penalty on Monday night," said Ferguson.
"But you don't often get these ones when a wide player has crossed the ball and the player almost caught the ball between his arm and his body. We could have got a penalty but I wouldn't have expected one to be honest with you.
"I think that from the referee's position I could see why the referee didn't give one when Danny Murphy was brought down because the ball was moved to the angle as Michael Carrick challenged him.
"From that position it wasn't clear but it was a good claim.
"But then City could have had a penalty kick against them at Stoke, as everyone saw, with Gareth Barry (challenge on Glenn Whelan). So you get breaks here and there.
"Every club gets good breaks, they get bad breaks that even themselves out over a season and that will never change.
"We've had some terrible decisions at Old Trafford, when Newcastle got a penalty kick. Tottenham could claim the same when Balotelli wasn't sent off and ended up scoring the winning goal (in City's 3-2 win).