Sir Alex Ferguson: "poor, poor performance" by match officials after Chelsea defeats Manchester United

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Manchester United F.C. 1 2 Chelsea F.C.

Chelsea defeated rivals Manchester United 2-1 in an English Premier League match today, thereby moving to the top of the league table, two points ahead of Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of the losing side said the match officials were to blame for Manchester's defeat.

The first half we looked leggy, it took us too long to get going and Chelsea were by far the better team. The second half we did well, we were unfortunate not to get something from the game. We dominated it in the second period but we just didn't get there.

—Sir Alex Ferguson

Chelsea, managed by Carlo Ancelotti, was provided the lead by Joe Cole in the 20th minute. Didier Drogba scored again for the visitors (Chelsea) in the 79th minute. United's Federico Macheda scored a goal two minutes later. The victory took Chelsea two points ahead of their rivals with five matches in hand for both teams.

Replays of Drogba's goal showed that the striker was offside. In connection to this, the Manchester United manager commented, "What I can't understand is the linesman's directly in front of it. He has no-one near him and he gets it wrong." He added: "A game of that magnitude, you really need quality officials and we didn't get them today. It was a poor, poor performance."

According to Ferguson, Chelsea were the title favorites for this season. "Five games left, they're two points ahead and four goals better than us - they're in the driving seat," he said. "Chelsea are favourites now, there's no question. I'm certain we'll respond but we could win the next five games and not win it," he added.

Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti said that his team "kept a high intensity" in the first half of the match. "We had good control of the game. We trained very well during the week because we didn't have a Champions League match. You lose a lot of energy. We played very well in the first half. It's a very important victory for us and a very important performance. To win here is not easy, we did a good job," he further commented

Ancelotti left out Drogba from the starting team and chose the team that defeated Aston Villa 7-1 last week. "It was very tough to take out Didier but he understood because he trained not 100 per cent during the week. I preferred to put him on during the match and he did very well because he was fresh and he scored a fantastic goal," the Italian said.

Ancelotti agreed that Chelsea were favorites. He said it was normal as they were back at top of the league standings. "There are five games left and we have to stay focused. We are happy but nothing is decided so we must stay calm and focused on our game. [It has been a] good reaction after the defeat against Inter. My players are strong," he noted.

Florent Malouda of Chelsea said that it was going to be very difficult to win the championship. "If we play the way we played today, we have a big possibility but it's going to be very, very hard," he said.

According to him, Chelsea "wanted to be on top of the league after this game." He told Sky Sports that "it was hard but I think we played really well and for us it means a lot after the bad week we had. We had to react and we reacted in the best way."