What a game!
City boss Mark Hughes has demanded an explanation from the referee after United striker Michael Owen settled the Manchester derby in the 96th minute.
Substitute Owen slotted past Shay Given to seal a thrilling 4-3 win for United, despite the fourth official having indicated just four extra minutes.
“We need an explanation because I don’t know why the referee has added that amount of time on,” said Hughes.
“We just feel a little bit aggrieved that they were given that time.”
City looked on course for a point after Craig Bellamy’s fine individual goal made it 3-3 in the 90th minute.
“I have not had a word with the referee yet but the the fourth official (Alan Wiley) tried to give me an explanation of sorts as I was questioning the amount of time added on even before the game finished,” said Hughes.
“His explanation did not sit comfortably with me. He said a minute plus had been added because of our celebration. We scored on 90 minutes, the board was already up for four minutes, so Mr Wiley said he was going to add that minute on.
“The amount of time from when we scored to when we kicked-off was something like 45 seconds. He has got that wrong as well. It was 95 minutes 26 seconds.
“Obviously he has played too much time and we ended up playing 97 minutes. I just needed an explanation as to why so much time was needed. United were given a little more time than they should have been given to get the goal.
“Historically it has happened before. I was in teams here where we always had a little bit of benefit. I never felt it was an issue when we played here.
“But since I have left maybe I have changed my view on that. I am not going to question anyone’s integrity but I do not know where has got seven minutes from.
“It would be nice to get an explanation but I don’t think I will.” (BBC Sport)
I think two things are worth noting. Firstly Man United probably deserved to win but secondly it does seem that a couple of minutes were added for no good reason and as a result Michael Owen netted a winner. That must irritate the hell out of a manager who has seen his side come back from a goal down three times only to be beaten with a sucker punch in the dying seconds.
Clearly any home side tends to get the rub of the green on such occasions and because it’s Old Trafford there will be many conspiracy theorists shouting from the rooftops but I don’t subscribe to the theory that anything untoward has happened but I think Mark Hughes has every right to ask for an explanation.