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Boss pleased with point


United and Chelsea deserved to share the points on Sunday, according to Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

“In football terms, I think we certainly deserved a point,” he told MUTV. “That said, I think in some ways it was a point gained – we didn’t know what was going to happen on that pitch with so many free-kicks being awarded around the edge of the box. I was starting to worry.”

It’s no wonder the manager was fretting. Referee Mike Riley was particularly whistle-happy at the Bridge, awarding 35 free kicks (19 against the Reds, 16 against Chelsea) and handing out eight yellow cards (seven to United).

“I don’t want to get into that,” Sir Alex said. “All I’ll say is that the match went out around the world and I think some people will be wondering what was going on.

“I didn’t think there was one bad tackle in the game.”

After a feeble performance at Anfield last weekend, Sir Alex was pleased in midweek with United’s performance against Spanish side Villarreal. At Chelsea, too, the boss found there was much to take heart from.

“I think we played with great tempo to our game, particularly in the first 20 minutes. We played some excellent football.

“If there is a criticism of us today, then we didn’t go for the jugular when we were 1-0 up and in complete control. We eased off and allowed Chelsea to regroup at half-time.”

Injuries forced Sir Alex to hand Jonny Evans a Premier League debut and pick Gary Neville for his first league start since March 2007. Ji-sung Park and Owen Hargreaves were also included from kick-off after impressing in their first starts of the season in midweek.

“I’m very happy with how Gary Neville and Jonny Evans played,” the boss confirmed. “I think they’ve all done well. There were a couple of moments where Joe Cole got free – once in the first half and once in the second half – but I think we defended quite well.

“We maybe lost a little energy towards the end of the game because we’ve still got a few players, like Berbatov, Hargreaves, Park, Ronaldo and Neville who haven’t played all that much football recently.

“They started to tire a little and that allowed Chelsea to break on a few occasions when we should have kept possession of the ball. But everyone worked hard on a hot day.”


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