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Luck evens out over the course of a season, insists Fergie

Manchester City executive Patrick Vieira yesterday claimed United get a soft ride from refs at Old Trafford.

Alex Ferguson: every club gets breaks.
Alex Ferguson: every club gets breaks.
Image: Alvaro Barrientos/AP/Press Association Images

ALEX FERGUSON HAS has dismissed suggestions by Patrick Vieira that Manchester United are treated differently by referees at home.

Vieira later said his views had been misrepresented and taken out of context but Ferguson insisted regardless that refereeing decisions even themselves out over the course of a season.

The United manager also pointed out that Manchester City themselves had benefited from questionable refereeing on occasion this season.

“Every club gets breaks here and there – you get good ones and bad ones,” he told reporters. ”It evens itself out over the season, that will never change.

“We had a terrible decision earlier this season when Newcastle got a penalty and Tottenham could claim the same when Mario Balotelli wasn’t sent off and ended up scoring the winning goal.  You could go through millions of things like that.

“Maybe smaller clubs feel that (decisions go against them when they play against big clubs) but someone said some years ago that we get lots of penalties. It is only averaging out at three a year. You can’t say that is a lot when you are attacking teams all the time. Most managers believe the breaks even themselves out.”

Ferguson was also sympathetic  to referee Michael Oliver, who turned down a strong late appeal for a Fulham penalty when Danny Murphy appeared to be tripped by Michael Carrick in the United box.

“From the referee’s position, I can see why he didn’t give a penalty when Danny Murphy was brought down,” he added. ”The ball moved to the angle as Michael Carrick challenged him. From that position, it wasn’t clear.

“It was a good claim but City could have had a penalty against them at Stoke (on Saturday) for a foul by Gareth Barry.”

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