The Chelsea manager was furious at the award of United's second spot-kick but paid tribute to the resilience of the champions
Andre Villas-Boas suggested Howard Webb was not a top referee after Manchester United’s stirring comeback at Chelsea was kick-started by two penalties awarded by the official.
Villas-Boas believed Webb was compensating for decisions that went against United in the first half as he pointed to the spot twice in three minutes after Chelsea had taken a 3-0 lead.
Wayne Rooney emphatically netted both penalties, the second of which particularly drew the ire of the Chelsea manager.
“We expect in top games top refs, and it has not been happening for us,” said Villas-Boas in his post-match press conference. “It didn’t happen for us at Old Trafford with two off-side goals and maybe with today’s dubious decision, which, in the end, shaped the running of the game.
“The biggest disappointment is the way it happened. In both games they [referees] have had a direct influence on the result and today a dubious decision helped stimulate United to 3-3.
“I don’t know if he [Webb] is compensating for something in the first half. The second one is a wrong decision. [Danny] Welbeck’s legs got caught with Ivanovic. You can’t give a penalty for that, I’m sure. I don’t know if Howard Webb has the correct angle to make that decision.”
Nevertheless, Villas-Boas paid tribute to United’s resilience in mounting a comeback from three goals behind.
“The 3-3 is almost a normal score for them,” he said. “Their players never give up. It is not the result they would have wanted, for sure, but the draw, coming back from 3-0, is important.
“They made attacking substitutions to try and get something out of the game. In the end the opponent has nothing to lose. So they attack. Situations were occurring, mainly on the counter-attack, and we maybe lost control of the game.
“We could have found solutions to score one more. We had a big chance to go 4-3 but [David] De Gea made a great save.”
Villas-Boas refused to condemn the Chelsea supporters for jeering and baiting Rio Ferdinand, brother of Anton Ferdinand, throughout the game.
“This is a normal situation in the Premiership,” he said. “You don’t expect opposition fans to praise the other players.”
The Chelsea manager also revealed that John Terry’s knee injury will keep him out of the trip to Everton next Saturday.