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Ferguson unhappy with Dowd, Wenger rues equaliser

ESPN staff
April 28, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Sir Alex Ferguson felt Phil Dowd allowed Arsenal players to get away with several fouls © Getty Images
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Sir Alex Ferguson criticised referee Phil Dowd after five of his Manchester United players received a yellow card in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Sunday.

Ex-Arsenal striker Robin van Persie netted from the penalty spot to secure a point for the champions against the Gunners at The Emirates, but Ferguson was unhappy with the way Dowd officiated the encounter.

"Arsenal set off at a fantastic pace, very aggressive and a lot of tackles," Ferguson told Sky Sports after the match, implying afterwards Dowd allowed Arsenal players to escape bookings with similar challenges to the ones United players made.

"The referee just could not keep up at that point. When we had a foul, he booked us straight away. We had five players booked.

"We have got probably the best disciplinary record in the country. For Manchester United to have five players booked, I do not think that is right."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger meanwhile said his players had been committed and that "from the first to the last minute, it was two teams giving absolutely everything to win".

"We gave everything and, at the end of the day, the regret you have is the way we conceded the goal just before half-time," Wenger said. "That was a serious blow to us."

The Frenchman had urged the home fans to show respect to former player Van Persie, but the Dutchman was booed throughout the game, and on the subject Wenger said: "I think it's disappointing that, when you come back, you get real aggression from the fans."

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