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Morning Ticker: Ferguson defends Man Utd, Reading offer replay after phantom goal and Inter eyeing Maradona


Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson defended his squad’s play despite the team receiving seven yellow cards in Sunday’s 1-1 draw vs. Chelsea. Ferguson insisted that there wasn’t a bad tackle in the bunch despite referee Mike Riley getting a sore arm from lifting so many cards.

"It was a competitive game but I did not think there was one bad tackle in it," Ferguson said. "People are saying what is going on here but it is difficult to say anything about the referee. I do not want to get involved."

Manchester United is likely to face some sort of sanction from the FA for the seven cards drawn. The FA investigates any match where a team receives six or more cards.

Reading open to replay after phantom goal vs. Watford

When is a goal not a goal? When it doesn’t go into the net? Wrong. Reading scored a goal on a blown call from a linesman who incorrectly thought the ball had gone in the net when it actually went wide of goal. The goal was the first in Reading’s 2-2 tie vs. Watford on Saturday and now Reading manager Steve Coppell has said he would be willing to replay the game if the league decides to replay it.

While a replay wouldn’t be the worst thing for the league to decide to do, I can’t help but wonder of Coppell would be so open to a replay if Reading had actually won the game.

Nigerian group interested in buying Newcastle

A report out of Africa has revealed that a group of wealthy Nigerian businessmen are preparing to make a bid for Newcastle United. Embattled current owner Mike Ashley has put a £400 million price tag on the team, with the Nigerian group currently possession £350 million.

Somewhere, Obafemi Martins is throwing a party.

If the group succeeds in buying Newcastle, it would become the first African ownership group in the English Premier League.

Inter Milan considers hiring Maradona

Just when you thought that hiring relatives to secure recruits was a trick only used on American college sports, now comes word out of Italy that Inter Milan is considering hiring Diego Maradona as a consultant. Now you might think that Maradona has enough appeal to merit the job on his own, but several reports believe the move is motivated, at least in part, by Inter Milan’s desire to sign Argentine starlet Sergio Aguero, who just happens to be the father of Maradona’s grandchild.

What do you think of the above stories? Does Man Utd deserver punishment for its play vs. Chelsea, or was Mike Riley just a bit too card happy? Do you think the Reading-Watford match should be replayed? What do you think of Maradona potentially moving to Inter?

These are just some of the stories making the rounds today. Please feel free to share your thoughts on these, and any other stories from today and Sunday, in the comments section below.


  1. I was at the Chelsea v Man Utd game in the Man Utd supporter’s section and it was amazing. I definitely think the ref was card-happy, and it was a bit of a disappointment.

  2. Diego

    lo mas grande

    viva EL diez..

    Who cares what the motives are? With his eye for knowing talent it will be very beneficial for EL diez…as well as for inter its a win win

  3. The FA couldn’t investigate its own ass with a flashlight and step-by-step instructions. Expect the FA to announce “no foul” sometime next spring. If then.

  4. Zilla, fair enough on Coppell. He has always been a stand-up manager. It should also be noted that he didn’t offer up the replay, but simply answered a question about how he would feel about a replay. I just wonder if he would be as open to a replay with three points in the bag instead of one. That’s a fair question, regardless of the manager.

  5. Reading got a point on the road. In their last 60 or so matches on the road, they have earned a total of 12 points. I know they were in the EPL last couple of years but the only other point they have earned on the road this season was against Nottingham Forest, who are/ were in the relegation zone. Check out their other games on the road and they are horrible. He knows he needs points on the road to get promoted and to risk it in fairness to the game is simply top-notch in my book.

  6. “I can’t help but wonder of Coppell would be so open to a replay if Reading had actually won the game.”

    Stop wondering, Ives. I’d love to see evidence of any manager in any league making similar comments before I got too cynical about it. I think anyone who pays attention to Coppell and the way he conducts himself should know that he at the very least appears to be a very honest man and simply says what he thinks. He also clearly measures his words well and is not the kind to spout off something just to sound like a good sport.

  7. Ferguson is nuts but he always is, this isn’t the least bit surprising.

    Like in every game, there were some bad calls during the United/Chelsea match. In a perfect world Chelsea players would have gotten a couple more cards and United players a few less.

    In fact, Chelsea are absolutely the worst team in the league when it comes to swarming referees. With the new “respect” initiative I can’t believe they didn’t receive more cards.

    But as this continues players will learn their lesson, this isn’t even remotely a big deal and will sort itself out as players begin to realize they don’t want to be be booked every single game.

  8. Ives- I think Coppell’s just trying to make things right. Watford isn’t a bad team and a draw on the road isn’t a bad result for them. They’re willing to give that up and risk losing that point in the interest of fair play, which is admirable to me.

    Of course, I think that the sporting thing to do at the time was to give the goal back the old fashioned way if the ref didn’t change his mind. But I don’t think you would ever see that.

  9. Yeah, Manic, I thought the game absolutely rocked. Big time skill, big time intensity. I do loathe ManUtd but damn, SAF had a great game plan in the first half. The tight structure between defense (on a high line) and midfield took all of Chelsea’s midfied advantage way. Good stuff and Scolari adjusted well after the 1st half hour.

  10. Honestly there were so many cards for Man U that they’ve all sort of run together in my head. I do agree with Ferguson that I don’t think there was a terribly bad challenge, and I don’t think it was a concerted strategy of Man U’s to beat up on Chelsea.

    In my opinion, Mike Riley went a bit card happy, but its hard to say that when Chelsea only got booked once.

    And I just though I’d mention that I also enjoyed watching Chelsea-Man U.

  11. I don’t think Riley was too card-happy but it was rather inexcusable not to book JCole for his bad challenge while issuing all the others. The lack of a call didn’t impact the result but it was a bit inconsistent.

    Hell, if there was one more minute of stoppage time, Rio would have been gone for that last slam on Drogba. Of course, how does the game end on that foul (or did the whistle blow while the ball was in the air?).


  12. When your two star players basically talk themselves into cards, it is hard to argue they didn’t deserve it. It wasn’t a particularly rough match, albeit an intense one. But United will have to clue in to the fact that bullying a referee is going to backfire on most occasions.

  13. I don’t know if it was the ref’s fault or not, but the ManU-Chelsea game was absolutely dreadful to watch.

    It seemed that there was a stoppage of play every 2 minutes. It got really old really quickly.


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