Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson slams Cole over ugly challenge on Hernandez

By Simon Stone

Sir Alex Ferguson accused Ashley Cole of a reckless tackle on Javier Hernandez during Manchester United's 3-1 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Hernandez was forced off due to injury in the second half of United's fifth straight win of the season after being on the wrong end of what Ferguson felt was a “shocking tackle” from the England full-back.

It is not known how long the Mexican will be sidelined for but he was in obvious pain as he hobbled down the tunnel and Ferguson was not impressed.

“It was a shocking tackle,” he said. “The referee booked him, so I don't understand why he hasn't given a penalty.

“Ashley Cole is very reckless at times. He is committed of course but, being committed, you can sometimes go over the edge a bit.

“That was an example of that.”

Even Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas admitted it was not the greatest tackle.

However, Villas-Boas felt the incident might not have happened if the officials had got two earlier offside decisions correct, which would have wiped out goals for Chris Smalling and man-of-the-match Nani.

“Maybe he wouldn't get sent off if the linesman does his work,” said Villas-Boas.

“He [Cole] would have been less emotionally drained. I work the other way round. You are trying to say the referee did something wrong. I cannot forget the previous two.

“If it was 0-0 maybe Ashley is a little bit more mentally in control of the situation and doesn't do the red card foul.”

Phil Dowd's decision to book Cole means that the matter is now dealt with.

Fernando Torres will not be wanting to watch the game again after he followed up his second goal for the Blues with an embarrassing miss after rounding David de Gea but firing wide of an empty net on 81 minutes.

Ferguson diplomatically labelled it “a bad miss”.

Villas-Boas was even more sympathetic. “You have to be fair,” he said. “Today two of the best strikers in the world missed crazy chances. It happened to Fernando and Rooney. It is nothing dramatic. Sometimes the ball goes in. It didn't fall our side.

“Normally it is 3-2. At that point it might have given us a mental edge for the last 10 minutes.

“We would have been completely exposed at the back but we would have taken the risk to try and get a draw. It didn't happen.”

Villas-Boas was referring to Rooney's ‘Moscow moment' when, in an incident just like the one John Terry suffered to cost his side victory in the 2008 Champions League final, the United striker slipped as he went to take a second-half penalty.

In addition, Ramires and Dimitar Berbatov missed when it seemed like it was easier to score.

“Both passes were terrible; Torres to Ramires and Wayne's to Berbatov,” said Ferguson. “It was very difficult to get proper connection on them because the ball's going all over the place.”

Belfast Telegraph


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