A furious Sir Alex Ferguson could face action from the FA after blasting referee Martin Atkinson following Manchester United’s defeat against Chelsea.
After going ahead through a first-half goal from Wayne Rooney, a series of controversial decisions cost United – with Chelsea emerging 2-1 victors through goals from David Luiz and Frank Lampard.
United were denied a potential first half penalty when John Terry handled in the box while Chelsea defender David Luiz could easily have been sent off following a trip on Wayne Rooney – which went unpunished.
And Manchester United boss Ferguson was incensed by some of Atkinson’s decisions – particularly Luiz’s challenge on Rooney.
The Scot fumed:”It was incredible. Even before that he (Luiz) had done Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) off the ball.
“He’d done him late. Nothing done, the referee’s in front of it.
“He does Rooney clear as day, (the referee is) six yards from it, he doesn’t do anything. That changed the game.
“These are decisions that change the game. And he’s going to be refereeing every week.
He also slammed the FA’s decision to appoint Atkinson as the match referee.
Ferguson added: “It was a major game, you want a fair referee and we didn’t get that.
“I don’t know why he got the game. I feared the worst when I saw who was refereeing.
“It’s three years in a row now where the referee’s decisions have changed the game down here. And that’s hard to take.”
Ferguson’s comments could now land him in hot water but he’s not the only person to be critical of Atkinson’s performance.
Former referee Graham Poll said Atkinson’s decisions cost United in last night’s crunch clash.
Poll, who famously booked the same player three times in a 2008 World Cup tie, said: “Referees are remembered for their big decisions in big games.
“Unfortunately Martin Atkinson got some wrong on Tuesday night and they cost Manchester United.
“Atkinson failed to deliver consistency in similar incidents, the basic requirement for match officials.”
However, Poll defended Atkinson’s decision to give Chelsea a controversial late penalty following minor contact between United defender Chris Smalling and Chelsea substitute Yuri Zhirkov.
In his Daily Mail column he described the penalty as “soft, but just about the correct call”.
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