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Alex Ferguson stands by his 'typical Germans' Bayern swipe


Ivica Olic celebrates after scoring Bayern Munich's first goal

Ivica Olic celebrates after scoring Bayern Munich's first goal


Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to apologise for his ‘Typical Germans' swipe at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and hit out at media coverage of his team's exit from Europe.

Ferguson's comment came in a television interview immediately after his team's 3-2 win over Bayern in midweek, after his team went out on away goals. He claimed that Bayern's players crowding referee Nicola Rizzoli ensured Rafael was given a second yellow card for a tug on Franck Ribery at the start of the second period, which turned the game in Bayern's favour.

The United manager has been criticised by Bayern coach Louis Van Gaal and president Uli Hoeness over his comments and behaviour, and although Ferguson sought to put his remarks into context yesterday, there was no backing down from the anger that motivated them.

“It was the end of the game. Right at the end of the game you have to do the interview, because of Uefa rules,” Ferguson said. “It's a bad time.

“The Germans let themselves down in the way they behaved to get him sent off. If they don't recognise that, there's nothing I can do about that.

“It was not a sending off, but they bullied the referee into it. He's a young referee and he succumbed to that pressure because he wasn't going to send the boy off.

“He barely touched him and, in fact Ribery did more to him than he did to Ribery. The issue was how the Germans reacted; they knew the boy was on a yellow card, they surrounded the referee, and that happens. We see it time and again with players waving an imaginary card to the referee, and he succumbed.”

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United led 3-0 on the night, and were in control before Ivica Olic pulled a goal back. After Rafael's dismissal, Arjen Robben scored Bayern's vital second goal.

Ferguson has been left frustrated that his team's performance has not been given the credit he feels it deserves, and also claimed that sections of the British press were pleased when United lost the Champions League final to Barcelona last season.

“People forget that the most important thing about Wednesday night's match was how well we played, but that was lost in the mist of the venom of the headlines,” he said.

“At 3-0 it could have been 5-0 and we were magnificent, but that gets lost just because people want a headline about what I said about the Germans. That is disgusting. It's disgusting because the players deserved some praise because the performance was outstanding.”

The exit against Bayern was the latest point in a gloomy week for United, who also surrendered their advantage in the title race with a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Victory at Blackburn will move United a point above Carlo Ancelotti's side — who are not in Premier League action until their game against Bolton on Tuesday — and Ferguson has told his players they have to be in position to pounce on any slip-ups.

“If Chelsea make a mistake and we're winning our games, it'll be too late in the season to recover,” he said. “That's the only advantage we've got.

“The only thing we can do is set out to win our matches. It's a hard task but the nature of our club shows we are capable. Five wins would give us a good chance but Chelsea will be thinking the same thing, and five wins gets them the title.”

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