Man United 3 Chelsea 1: Sir Alex furious over ‘shocking’ tackle
The United boss was fuming over Ashley Cole's challenge on Javier HernÃ¡ndez during his side's win
Sir Alex Ferguson has hit out at Ashley Cole over the “shocking” tackle on Javier HernÃ¡ndez that forced the Mexico forward off during Manchester United’s victory over Chelsea on Sunday.
The United striker was clattered by Cole in the Chelsea box as he tried to find the net after Wayne Rooney’s shot rebounded off the post with 13 minutes left.
Referee Phil Dowd gave the Chelsea left-back a yellow card but did not award a penalty, seemingly because the ball was just out of play when the tackle was made.
“To me, it was a shocking tackle,” said Ferguson. “An absolutely shocking tackle. Ashley Cole is very reckless at times. Being committed, you can sometimes go over the edge a bit. The referee’s booked him and, if he’s booked him, I don’t know why it wasn’t a penalty.
“I must ask him [Dowd]. We don’t know how HernÃ¡ndez will be. We’re going to have to wait until the morning but, at the moment, his leg is very numb. He’s hardly got any feeling in it so he could be out for a couple of weeks.”
United defender Chris Smalling also had to be replaced after picking up a groin injury at Old Trafford. “Smalling’s got a groin injury so we’ll see what it’s like during the week,” added the United boss.
The Red Devils’ victory moves them two points clear at the top of the Premier League table ahead of Manchester City, who could drew 2-2 at Fulham.
And Ferguson was pleased with his side’s showing, despite Chelsea looking threatening in front of goal on a number of occasions.
“I think for the neutral it was a fantastic open match,” he said. “It was strange because games against Chelsea over the years have always been tight affairs. This was a very very open match.
“Some of our football was terrific at times. But I thought we created our own problems for ourselves by giving the ball away so many times in attacking areas and they kept counter-attacking against us. In the first half they could have scored two or three.”
Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas believes the score did not fairly reflect the balance of the match.
“It was a crazy game,” said the Portuguese coach. “The scoreline doesn’t represent what happened in the game. We had very good chances but it didn’t fall our way.”