Rio Ferdinand has attempted to justify the behaviour of Manchester United players who crowded round the linesman following Dimitar Berbatov’s goal at White Hart Lane on Saturday. The champions had seven players booked during the course of the 1-1 draw against Spurs, prompting the FA to fine the club £25,000. However, Ferdinand continues to claim that the opposition’s goal should never have stood. The Manchester Evening News reports:
“I thought they were fortunate with their goal. It was handball and how the linesman didn’t see it I will never know,” he added.
“I was behind it and I could see it and I don’t know how the linesman didn’t. That’s why I was remonstrating with him.
“I thought he handled it. Owen would have cleaned up if he hadn’t hit the ball with his hand and then it led to the cross and the goal.”
Quite what footballers hope to achieve with these impassioned appeals is anybody’s guess. The referee and linesmen are hardly going to change their mind on the basis of a player yelling into their face. Mind you, that hasn’t stopped the Chelsea team turning into a pack of snarling wolves whenever one of their players has been red-carded this season.