Cristiano Ronaldo News

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Macari: It wasn't a penalty

02/12/2006 19:45, Report by Ben Hibbs

Former United forward Lou Macari says the Reds were lucky to earn a penalty against Middlesbrough.

Cristiano Ronaldo went tumbling in the box under the challenge of Boro keeper Mark Schwarzer in the first half to earn the spot-kick that Louis Saha converted for United’s first goal. But television replays appeared to show little or no contact on the Portuguese winger.

However, Macari says the good fortune at the Riverside is recompense for the decision which led to Shunsuke Nakamura’s winning goal from a dubious free-kick against Celtic.

“It wasn’t a penalty,” Macari said of the incident against Middlesbrough. “But over the course of the season it evens itself out. Against Celtic we conceded a free kick that wasn’t a free kick and that led to their goal. You have to say the luck was on United’s side on Saturday, because I don’t think it was a penalty.”

However, Macari sympathised with referee Chris Foy, telling MUTV: “When I first saw it I thought it was a penalty. The referee doesn’t have the benefit of a television replays. It went our way against Boro. But if you look over the whole season you probably getting ten decisions that go your way and ten that go against you.”

The 2-1 victory takes United six points clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premiership. Macari says next Saturday’s derby against Manchester City could put the current champions under the kind of pressure they have yet to encounter under Jose Mourinho.

“If we can go nine points clear, we will be asking serious questions of Chelsea,” he said. “I really hope we can win that and say to Chelsea, ‘let’s see what you can do’.”


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