Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his discontent with the amount of stoppage time added onto the end of his side’s 3-2 defeat to Tottenham, describing the four allocated minutes as “an insult to the game”.
The Red Devils found themselves trailing 2-0 at half-time but two goals from Nani and Shinji Kagawa provided Sir Alex’s men with a lifeline shortly after the restart.
United were thoroughly on top for the majority of the second half, but Spurs hung on for a first victory at Old Trafford in 23 yards - and Sir Alex felt the referee should have sanctioned additional time.
"They gave us four minutes [stoppage time], that's an insult to the game.” he told reporters. “It denies you a proper chance to win a football match.
"There were six substitutions, the trainer came on, so that's four minutes right away and the goalkeeper must have wasted about two or three minutes and they took their time at every goal kick.
"That's obvious to everyone today and it's a flaw in the game that the referee is responsible for time-keeping. It's ridiculous that it's 2012 and the referee still has control of that."
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Despite failing to get anything against Tottenham, Sir Alex was pleased with his side’s “ fantastic “ second-half performance.
"It was quite a game.” he continued. “The first half we never started, didn't get into the game. From there we were just playing against the wind. The second half we played fantastic, just trying to get something from the game, and I think we were very unlucky.
"I think the attitude changed, that was the important thing. Wayne's [Rooney] ability does help but the attitude of the players was excellent everywhere on the pitch."
When asked about his side’s numerous penalty appeals throughout the game, Sir Alex admitted he thought Nani exaggerated a tackle in search for a spot-kick but refused to comment any further.
He added: "There were quite a few [penalty shouts. I think the one in the first half was a clear penalty kick, but maybe Nani made a meal of it and he didn't need to do that. He was clearly pulled back.
"The ones in the second half, I'm not so sure."