Man United 1 Fulham 0: They should have had a penalty, admits Sir Alex
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson concedes Michael Carrick fouled Fulham's Danny Murphy late on at Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted Fulham were denied a late penalty after Wayne Rooney’s first-half strike sent Manchester United three points clear at the top of the table.
Rooney fired the home side ahead three minutes before half-time, turning home Jonny Evans’ cutback to net his 29th goal of the season.
With United unable to build on their lead after the break thanks to a resilient defensive display by the visitors, substitute Danny Murphy was tripped by Michael Carrick in the box in the 87th minute – but referee Michael Oliver waved away the Cottagers’ protests.
“I think they had a claim [for a penalty], no doubt,” said Ferguson after the game. “We had a claim for a penalty in the first half when there was a clear hand ball.
“Maybe the referee was thinking about that. Michael Carrick has caught Danny Murphy’s heel.”
Fulham boss Martin Jol felt it would have been a “brave” decision by the 27-year-old official, but maintained that a spot-kick would have been the right call.
“I thought it was a difficult decision,” Jol told Sky Sports. “I think if he had given the penalty he would have had to send Michael Carrick off.
“I think everyone in the stadium expected a penalty to be honest. You have to be brave to give a penalty away at Manchester United.”