Manchester United supremo Sir Alex Ferguson has waved his finger at both pundits and punters for what he says has been overly-harsh treatment of Dimitar Berbatov and pointed to his performance during the sensational come-from-behind victory against Tottenham as evidence that the Bulgarian is truly "world class".
The former Bayer Leverkusen standout was heavily criticised for the lackadaisical manner in which he took - or rather missed - his penalty during the shootout in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Everton last week. However, he showed more than just the odd flash of why United paid £30.7 million to land him in the summer against his former club in midweek.
"I don't think he gave the ball away once, throughout the entire game," Ferguson purred on MUTV. "I thought he was our best player in the first half and then in the second he produced some wonderful moments.
"He produces moments that make you sit back and say: 'that's world class'. The pass he gave Ronaldo in the second half was unbelievable.
"Look, he missed a penalty kick. Many players have done that," the gaffer added. "Rio missed one last weekend as well and it’s all forgotten about.
"But because we paid so much money for Berbatov people are on his back. I know it was a bad penalty kick, I'm not making excuses for it. But we have to move on. It’s only a missed penalty.
"He produced some fantastic football last week but didn’t get the credit because of the penalty miss."
Derek Wanner, Goal.com