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Scot urges Red Devils to recover in time for Anfield

Sir Alex Ferguson couldn’t hide his anger at referee Martin Atkinson after watching Manchester United crash to a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Red Devils took the lead in the game through Wayne Rooney, but goals from David Luiz and a Frank Lampard penalty handed the Blues victory whilst Nemanja Vidic was sent off late on for picking up his second booking for a foul on Ramires.

However, Ferguson was furious that Luiz had also not seen red after appearing to foul Rooney having already been booked.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, he said: “We played very well, it was a great performance by us, we didn’t deserve that [to lose]. That’s three years in a row here that referees have made decisions that have changed the game.

“It was incredible [Luiz not being sent off for a foul on Rooney], even before that he had done Chicharito off the ball, he did him late, nothing done, referee is in front of it. He did Rooney, clear as day, six yards from it, referee doesn’t do anything. It changes the game. You ask me what changes the game. These are decisions that change the game and he’s going to be refereeing every week.”

Ferguson also questioned why Atkinson was awarded the game in the first place, claiming the match did not get a "strong referee".

“You hope you get a really strong referee in games like this,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph. “It was a major game for both clubs and you want a fair referee. You want a strong referee anyway and we didn’t get that.

“I don’t know why he’s got the game. I must say that when I saw who was refereeing it, I feared the worst.”

Yet despite the defeat the Scot insisted he was proud of his team’s performance, even though they endured only their second league defeat of the season

“I’m proud of my players, they’ve endured a lot of decisions against them lately,” he added.

“They’ve carried themselves through it, done their best, created chances. They didn’t deserve that.”

When asked whether the win could allow Chelsea back into the title race, Ferguson also insisted it was entirely possible, but backed his team to recover as they head to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Sunday.

“Decisions like tonight can change everything,” he added.

“They got a lot of decisions tonight that surprised me, in a major game like that. There’s no doubt about that.

“We have to gather ourselves now. When you lose a game you have to recover. Sunday [against Liverpool] is always a massive game, it’ll be the same again. We have to recover and get ourselves ready for it."

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