Belfast Telegraph

Rival bosses back Ashley Young after tumble earns yellow card

By Damian Spellman

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and his Sunderland counterpart Gus Poyet both defended Ashley Young after the England winger was booked for simulation.

United dominated the latter stages, but could not find a winner, although Van Gaal insisted they might have been awarded a penalty after first Robin van Persie then Ashley Young went down in the box, the latter earning a yellow card for his pains.

Asked about Young's booking, the Dutchman said: "I have said that he has been touched by the opponent in the 16m area and when it is like that there are referees who are whistling because you cannot touch players in that area because it is a risk.

"The referee wasn't whistling and nor was he for the tackle on Van Persie. I have seen the images since and I saw that Van Persie was already falling a little bit, but nevertheless the opponent takes the risk and it was a tackle on his ankle.

"Normally it is a penalty. There are referees giving those penalties and those who don't."

Opposite number Poyet said: "It was tough on Ashley. The only problem is his reputation. Before he even went for that ball, everybody was expecting him to jump.

"I didn't think it was a yellow card. I am not sure if it was a penalty. It was one of those that is even difficult for the referee. Either way, some people will be upset, some people will be happy.

"It was one of those. It was a difficult 50-50 and the outcome was only because of what has happened in the past and it's not fair on him. I don't like it."

Poyet was understandably pleased with his side's performance on an afternoon when summer signing Will Buckley shone on his first start for the club.

The Uruguayan said: "I am so pleased that he had a very good first half because now everybody knows why I was so consistent in asking the club to bring him.

"It took us seven and a half months – we got him here and now everybody knows why, because he is electric, because he's direct, because he brings the stands into a different atmosphere.

"He is going to do plenty of things. He showed why he is here and that makes me very happy."

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