Belfast Telegraph

Bowyer should have been sent off, rages Sir Alex

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson felt Birmingham goal hero Lee Bowyer should have been sent off for his first half challenge on Ulsterman Darron Gibson during the 1-1 draw at St Andrews.

Bowyer received a yellow card from referee Lee Mason after a late lunge at midfielder Gibson who was starting his first Barclays Premier League game since April. Ferguson felt Bowyer should have been given his marching orders and he took advantage of staying on the pitch by scoring a last gasp equaliser.

The United chief fumed: “The Bowyer tackle in the first half, I thought it was a red card.

“He's gone over the top of the ball. Bowyer has been given a yellow card so nothing can be done about it (retrospectively). But it's a dangerous tackle.”

Ferguson's anger was also not helped when replays suggested Blues striker Nikola Zigic had been guilty of handball and committing a foul in the build-up to Bowyer's goal.

But he can reflect with satisfaction on United heading into the New Year on top of the table.

Ferguson said: “I always say if we get to that top position on New Year's Day, then we've always got a great chance. There's five or six teams who are all contesting that area towards the top of the league.”

Meanwhile, Federico Macheda's agent has said that Manchester United are ready to let the 19-year-old leave on loan for six months.

“Federico could leave United, that is true, but only on loan,” said the Italy under-21 international's agent Marcello Bonetto. “The club and Ferguson have absolute faith in [him]. With the return of Michael Owen, confirmation of Wayne Rooney, plus fine form for Dimitar Berbatov, the space for him in Manchester has been reduced.

“We talked it over and were given the all-clear by Ferguson to go on loan for six months in January to gain experience. Until now we have not been contacted by anybody, but will only choose a club that can guarantee Federico consistent playing time.”

Belfast Telegraph

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