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United stars queue up to blame officials

ESPN staff
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Andre Villas-Boas praises Tottenham

Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick joined Sir Alex Ferguson in complaining that Manchester United were denied a penalty in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

Ferguson blamed assistant referee Simon Beck after the officials did not deem Steven Caulker's 62nd-minute challenge on Wayne Rooney a foul.

It would have allowed the league leaders a chance to go 2-0 ahead at White Hart Lane but instead Clint Dempsey went on to score an injury-time equaliser, leaving two of United's senior players to declare that it was a turning point.

Ferdinand echoed his manager's criticisms of Beck's performance, telling MUTV: "One hundred per cent, it was a penalty. I can't believe he didn't give it. The linesman on that side didn't really help us at all during the second half. We're disappointed the referee [Chris Foy] didn't give what was a stonewall penalty."

Former Tottenham midfielder Carrick added: "It was as clear a penalty as you're going to get. We're disappointed with that because it would have put us in a great position. Big decisions like that can change games and it did."

United had mounted a fine rearguard action before Dempsey's late leveller and Carrick said: "While Tottenham were coming at us, I thought we defended very well as a team. People were putting their bodies on their line to block shots and we hoped we could see the game out.

"We were in a good position but we just couldn't quite see it out. It's disappointing after leading for so long, but we just have to move on and we can take a lot of positives from the game."

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