GB Men’s Football: Ryan Giggs criticizes Senegal tackles

Ryan Giggs has claimed Senegal's Sadio Manu could have been sent off three times for the challenges he made in the 1-1 draw with Great Britain.

Giggs was unhappy with some of the tackles in the match, which left goalscorer Craig Bellamy and Joe Allen doubtful for the team's next game.

"In a Premier League game he [Manu] would probably have been sent off three times," said Giggs.

Analysis

"A draw was a fair result. The big decision was the penalty not given on the challenge on Bellamy. It's astonishing the referee didn't pick up on it. It's assault! If they had got the penalty kick and scored it would have been game over. For the Senegal goal, Micah Richards commits the cardinal error of turning his back on the play. The goal had been coming."

"There were a few naughty challenges. A few of our lads are struggling now."

Senegal's coach, Aliou Cisse, insisted there was nothing wrong with his side's approach to the game, and said: "I can't say I saw a bad tackle on the pitch.

"I am surprised at what people are saying, given this is Great Britain, where they talk so much about fighting spirit."

The issue dominated the post-match discussion of a game in which Stuart Pearce felt his team suffered with nerves.

Bellamy opened the scoring at Old Trafford, in their first competitive outing since 1960, but Senegal battled back to earn a draw through Moussa Konate's late strike.

"I saw nerves before the game," admitted manager Pearce.

"A lot of our players have played Premier League football, but this cranked it up a bit."

Great Britain struggled to sustain a rhythm against their physical opponents, who finished the stronger side.

Bellamy gave the hosts a perfect start, scoring in the 20th minute after Steven Caulker had headed a Giggs free-kick into his path, but Konate raced through in the 82nd minute to level.

Fouls Committed

Great Britain: 7 (One yellow card)

Senegal: 17 (Three yellow cards)

Great Britain thought they should have had a penalty midway through the second half when Bellamy was hacked down by Saliou Ciss, while Bolton's Marvin Sordell hit the bar after being teed up by fellow substitute Aaron Ramsey.

However, it was a far from convincing performance - and Pearce is hoping his team can improve ahead of their second Group A match against United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

"Late on in the game we ran out of a bit of gas and it went end to end at that stage," added Pearce.

"We would have liked to have gone on [and scored more] after getting our noses in front, but we are still in the mix, it's going to be a wide open group, and we have to take confidence from this.

"Physically, Senegal were a bigger side than us and more powerful. But that's not an excuse, we will come away from the match, have a good look at it and see where we go from there."