Man Utd boss Ferguson angry over denied penalty against Spurs
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson accused assistant referee Simon Beck of denying Wayne Rooney a clear penalty as Spurs came from behind to snatch a draw at White Hart Lane.
Ferguson singled out Beck for criticism after Clint Dempsey's late goal prevented United restoring their seven-point lead over Manchester City.
Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United manager
“With Chelsea a couple of years back, he gave onside to Drogba and he was three yards offside”
"It was a clear penalty kick," he said.
"But there was no way the linesman was going to give that - he gave them everything. He had a really poor game."
It is not the first time Ferguson has had a high-profile disagreement with Beck. In 2010 the United manager was furious when Beck allowed Didier Drogba to score from an offside position as Chelsea won at Old Trafford to take control of the title race.
On this occasion, Rooney went down after a challenge by Spurs defender Steven Caulker midway through the second half and Ferguson was angry Beck did not flag for a foul.
"I am disappointed with him - we have not had a good record with him," Ferguson told BBC Sport.
"With Chelsea a couple of years back, he gave onside to Didier Drogba and he was three yards offside. You remember these things because it is [in] important games and that was an important game today.
"It was a clear decision. And he was 10 yards away, maybe 12 yards away from the incident and he doesn't give it. And yet he gave everything else."
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas was unsure whether Caulker had caught Rooney, but did not want the argument to overshadow what he described as a tremendous performance. "Obviously it is going to be debated and debated and I hope it doesn't mar the game," he said.
"During the game we got most of the decisions against us. I prefer to look at this game on my view and United prefer to look at it on their view."
While United lead City by five points, this was an opportunity missed, according to Ferguson.
"We have done so well in everything," he added.
"They kept pumping the ball in the penalty box and we kept heading it out - my disappointment is not finishing them off.
"We had about half a dozen opportunities on the counter-attack to do that but our final ball let us down. One-nil is not a healthy scoreline in any game of football but we were maybe a little bit unlucky to lose a goal so late. "
United goalkeeper David de Gea impressed throughout for United but his failure to punch Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross clear in stoppage time presented Spurs with a final opportunity to claim a point.
"Rafael was fouled first of all when Dempsey played it back to [Assou-] Ekotto," said Ferguson.
"Maybe De Gea could have got a better punch on it, but I will have to see it again."
Man Utd's next league games
- 30 Jan: Southampton (h)
- 2 Feb: Fulham (a)
- 10 Feb: Everton (h)
- 23 Feb: QPR (a)
- 2 March: Norwich (h)
- 9 March: West Ham (a)
- 16 March: Reading (h)
- 30 March: Sunderland (a)
Spurs dominated the second half and Ferguson admitted their performance deserved a point.
"You have to recognise that Tottenham were very, very committed and aggressive, got stuck into us," he said. "They are hard to beat on their own ground. Teams will drop points here, if they play like that."
And after seeing his side conclude a run of tough away fixtures with the trip to White Hart Lane, Ferguson suggested their results left them well placed for the second half of the season.
"If you look at our away programme we have been to Everton, been to Liverpool, been to Chelsea, been to Manchester City, been to Tottenham," he said.
"We have been to all the top teams away from home. We must be pleased at the outcome of that because we have had some fantastic results."