Sir Alex Ferguson: Amount of injury time an insult

 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said the four minutes of injury time added to his team's defeat by Tottenham was an "insult".

Clint Dempsey's decider helped Spurs win 3-2 to triumph at Old Trafford for the first time in 23 years.

Ferguson said: "It was disappointing because the record has been fantastic.

"They gave us four minutes [injury time], that's an insult to the game. It denies you a proper chance to win a football match."

Andre Villas Boas's side went two goals ahead as Jan Vertonghen scored within two minutes and Gareth Bale added another in the first half, before a frantic period after the break where three goals came in two minutes.

Nani reduced the deficit but a minute later Dempsey made it 3-1 and, although Shinji Kagawa closed the gap once more, Spurs defended stoutly to hang on.

Ferguson told BBC Sport: "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.

Slow starters

Manchester United conceded the opening goal in a Premier League match for the fifth time in their six league games this season.

"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."

Manchester United have now lost two of their six Premier League games, and sit third in the table behind leaders Chelsea and Everton.

Ferguson said he was pleased with the second half performance where Wayne Rooney hit the post from a free-kick, while Michael Carrick had a header come back off the bar.

But the Scot said his side paid for a poor first-half showing where both Vertonghen and Bale carved through the United defence.

"The most important thing was the first half," Ferguson added. "We didn't start, we were lackadaisical and lost a goal after two minutes, and you give yourself an uphill fight with that situation.

"In the second half we were terrific, it was a great performance by them, and we were unlucky not to win it... and if we had held the scoreline at 2-1 for a few minutes I think we would have won the match."