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Vieira accuses refs of United bias

Manchester City executive Patrick Vieira claims Manchester United gain an advantage because referees are intimidated by Old Trafford.

Former Arsenal midfielder Vieira feels City have been the best side in the English Premier League this season, but their hard work has been undone by questionable decisions from match officials in their local rivals’ favour.

During United’s last match at home to Fulham, the visitors were denied what would have been a last-minute penalty when Michael Carrick appeared to trip Danny Murphy in the box.

United defender Jonny Evans conceded after the 1-0 win his side were lucky a spot-kick was not awarded.

“When United play at home they get some advantage that other teams don’t get,” Vieira told BBC Sport.

“I think when you go to United, (Real) Madrid, Barcelona, or (AC) Milan, when the referees referee these kind of games, it’s always difficult to go against these kind of teams. This is the way it is.

“It’s something the teams who are used to winning get all the time, so we need to win games so we have this advantage in the future.

“This is our moment. Since the start of the season we’ve been the best team and played the best football. I believe the club deserves it (the Premier League title).”

City now trail leaders United by three points in the standings, and Viera has said the defending champions are now the favourites.

“When you are first, you have the advantage, they (United) are favourites,” he said.

The Frenchman also hailed the return of Carlos Tevez, playing down the dispute which saw the player spend four months in self-imposed exile.

“We’re glad Carlos is back,” he said.

“The quality of these kind of players will be really important at this stage of the season.

“The issue was between him and the club. The players were really pleased to see him back.

“It’s important not to lose focus, so many things can happen.

“People try to build this fire between the clubs. The heat is going to get more and more.”

Wed 28 Mar, 2012
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