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Ancelotti warns of Gunners threat as Fergie fumes

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Nov 2009

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Carlo Ancelotti has rubbed salt into Manchester United’s wounds over their controversial defeat at Chelsea by suggesting Arsenal are just as big a threat to his side’s Premier League title ambitions.

Chelsea’s 1-0 win, sealed by John Terry’s late header, allowed Ancelotti’s men to open a five-point lead at the top and left his United counterpart, Sir Alex Ferguson, once again aggrieved over his side’s treatment at the hands of a referee.

While Ferguson admitted his side now face a tough task in attempting to close the gap on a Chelsea squad that is becoming as rich in confidence as it is in experience, Ancelotti was quick to underline the unexpected vibrancy of Arsenal’s challenge as a reminder of the dangers of complacency.

“If Arsenal win their game in hand, they will be within two points of us,” he said when asked to speculate on whether the title race was now a two-horse affair.

“I think also Arsenal is doing very well.

“A five-point lead is important, but at the same time, not so important. We have 30 points in 12 matches but we know the season is very long. We have to stay focused.”

Chelsea fans’ optimism that Ancelotti could emulate Jose Mourinho in wresting the Premier League trophy away from Old Trafford will have been encouraged by the fact that, three months into his first season in England, the Italian has now master-minded wins over both United and Liverpool.

“That is important,” Ancelotti said. “But we lost against Wigan and Aston Villa. This means every game is the same. It is always three points and we have to maintain concentration against Manchester United, against all teams.

“It was very difficult to beat Manchester, the match was very balanced for 90 minutes and it was difficult for both teams to create chances to score. Sometimes we lost with the set plays, this time we won.”

The set play that decided Sunday’s match was a 76th-minute freekick awarded to Chelsea after referee Martin Atkinson — mistakenly — judged that Darren Fletcher, who had been outstanding for United, had fouled Ashley Cole close to the left touchline.

Frank Lampard’s inswinging delivery was glanced into the net by Terry, although Nicolas Anelka also celebrated as if he had got the final touch.

Either way, Chelsea were fortunate to take all three points after a contest that a depleted United side had controlled for long periods, which only contributed to Ferguson’s frustration over the critical free-kick.

“Clearly, Darren Fletcher’s won the ball, Ashley Cole’s never touched and has jumped up in the air, and then (Didier) Drogba’s pulled Brown to the ground for the goal,” Ferguson said.

“The referee’s position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous, he can’t see anything. He’s got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him and he doesn’t even move.

“That goal shoudn’t have been allowed. It was a bad decision, but there’s nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that’s the way the players are talking in there. It was a bad one.”

Ferguson maintained sufficient composure to acknowledge that United could only blame themselves for failing, over the course of the 90 minutes, to turn their domination of possession into better chances.

“We had great opportunities to get to the edge of the box and some really good chances in and around the box, but we should be finishing it off,” the Scot recognised.

“We’ve only ourselves to blame in that respect. But you do need a break – and we never got the break we needed.”

Ferguson also admitted that the setback at Stamford Bridge was far more significant than last month’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool.

“The fact is Chelsea go five points clear of us,” he said. “The defeat to Liverpool didn’t affect our position in the league, this affects our position in the sense that if we’d have won we’d have gone top.”

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Guest

Ferguson you are the biggest sore loser the world has ever seen. If anything, the referees have you more games than you have lost. How many last minute winners has your team scored when the game should have been stopped several minutes prior. Wake up Fergie, could it be the onset of dementia. Time will tell.

xavi89
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xavi89

i agreed. i think fergie had no choice but to blame the refereeing for part of his team’s loss. he never shouted at any players’ misbehaviour on the pitch, j.evans for example should really have been red carded for his kick in drogba stomach, instead drogba got a yellow card as surprise gift.
the refereeing was bad for both sides, only that chelsea captain j.terry was the only one capable for putting the ball into the net. that was the difference, man u missing ronaldo.

Brad
Guest

(Expletive) you idiots! How many times have we seen Rafa Benitez, Mourinho, Wenger, etc., etc. act like that? 2 many to count! And it is clear that you are sore, yourselves. A manager will take what his team is given, and when that doesnt happen, he shows the ref the business end of the gun! They all do it! Why bother only calling the world’s best manager (at managing a successful team, just so you cant easily counter that) a sore loser? huh? Huh? C’ mon guys, I feel like yall jes dont understand anything to do with football at… Read more »

Xavi 89
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Xavi 89

I’m surprised by your comment really. To me ferguson is never a sore loser, he actually is the only manager in England that is able to shout at referee without getting serious punishment. He showed great professionalism to remind of refereeing error and without harming man u or chelsea reputation. He’s responsible as to protect his own player as well as the team pride by admitting themselves to blame for the loss. I really can’t see if anyone would say he’s sore loser.

gooner-11
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gooner-11

‘Soccer’ calls Fergie a sore loser…
But what great manager is not a sore loser?

I would agree about ref’s giving MUFC more games than they’ve lost but I also agree that every manager will tear into the Ref if it doesnt go their way (and because of the ref)…

Drogba got the yellow cause it looked like he rammed Evans, only the replay showed the cleat to the chest- which probably only happened because Drogba went straight into him.

Brad
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OK, Xavi 89, I see your point on Fergie showing the world the ref’s error, and I thank you. He seems to be good at that. I wonder if he watched the Liverpool v. Birmingham City game. . . haha. That piece of refing would set him on fire. Gooner 11, you also have a point about my beloved Red Devils getting more games than they lose (in particular the Manchester derby) and that ALL managers blame the ref if their fantasy football doesnt show up (sometimes that happens because of the ref, like you said). And Drogba MIGHT just… Read more »

musa02
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musa02

i was not in church but was warching the game i saw nothing other than that sweet chelsea win. forget about fergie he is alwayz giving refs some money so they can win him the game. sori fergie, u wont touch any cup this season.

Brad
Guest

As if!
Fergie doesnt pay refs to fix matches! (But I sure bet Guardiola or however you spell his name does)
Blues, you have won the Comm. Shield. Dont get used to seeing the suddent burst of silverware in your trophy cabinet. MU to FOURPEAT the title!!!

baka
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baka

Die, Ancelotti, die! You fascist, mafia dude! Next time at Old Traford Jonny Evans will kick you in the face!

Manchester United Indonesia
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Why is fergie’s name here?

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