Wigan loss proves refs don’t favour us, Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Wigan proves Manchester United are not favoured by refereeing decisions.

Ferguson is a firm advocate of controversial calls evening themselves out.

And after benefiting from poor decisions against Fulham and QPR at Old Trafford recently, the United boss felt his side were on the rough end of things when they failed to get a penalty as Maynor Figueroa appeared to handle Phil Jones’s second-half cross at the DW Stadium.

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“Figueroa didn’t seem to handle it – he did handle it,” said Ferguson.

“The thing is if he had been close to Phil Jones then you would say you are not going to get that kind of decision but he was 15 yards away. That was disappointing.

“Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don’t. It evens itself out over the season.

“But Phil Dowd had a disappointing game. He never got to grips with it really.

“They talk about the big clubs getting all the big decisions but tonight we didn’t get one.”

It meant United suffered their first defeat since January, ended an eight-match winning streak and failed to beat Wigan for the first time in 15 meetings.

More importantly, with Manchester City winning, their lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to five points with five games remaining.

“A couple of months ago City were something like five to one on and we were well behind them in terms of goal difference and points,” said Ferguson.

“We have to take some credit that we have got ourselves back into the race.

“But Wigan were the better team.

“They are very underrated and we were completely dominated in the first half. We were second to every ball and only had one shot at goal.

“It was one of these off nights you get.

“We have been on a great run and it has put us in a position where we can win the league, so we have to get over the disappointment of tonight.”

Liverpool have failed with their appeal against the red card issued to goalkeeper Alexander Doni in Tuesday’s victory at Blackburn.

Liverpool appealed citing wrongful dismissal but it was rejected by a Football Association regulatory commission, who ruled the one-match suspension remains.

It means third-choice stopper Brad Jones, the former Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough goalkeeper, is likely to play in goal in tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final against Everton at Wembley, with first-choice Jose Reina already suspended.