Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Ferguson blasts 'impossible' pitch



Manchester United's groundsmen could face the wrath of Alex Ferguson after the manager blamed the Old Trafford playing surface for a scrappy performance in a nervy 2-1 home defeat of Southampton on Wednesday.

Wayne Rooney scored twice on a threadbare pitch to seal the points for United after Jay Rodriguez had punished a mixup between Michael Carrick and keeper David de Gea to put Southampton ahead after three minutes.

Rooney's first goal was his 100th at home for United but it did not disguise a lethargic performance from his teammates who were merely hanging on before the final whistle.

Ferguson was full of praise for Southampton who were impressive under new manager Mauricio Pochettino but clearly unhappy with the lack of grass on the pitch.

"In the second half, the players just found the pitch impossible," Ferguson, whose side moved seven points clesar of Manchester City, told the club's website (www.manutd.com)

"We tried to play the way we normally play and found it difficult because the pitch had dried out a lot. It was an ice cold night and it happens.

"We lost an early goal but it didn't deter us from playing some fantastic football and we could have been four or five up at halftime, but once the pitch started to dry out the players found it difficult to play a different way and it really required us to play the ball into the gaps, which we don't normally do.

"For the first 30 minutes I thought we were fantastic, we played really well," he added. "But in the second half Southampton have been the best team to play here this season. We were fortunate to win the game.

"The pitch didn't help us. We can't use that as an excuse, but it didn't help us. It's a worry."

Pochettino, who surprisingly replaced Nigel Adkins whose sacking drew words of support from Ferguson in the match day programme, said the praise was welcome.

"I'm very proud (of Ferguson's praise)," he told the BBC through an interpretor. "It's very important for my players to hear. But we leave with no points.

"We did play well but I'm upset at not getting a draw at least. It doesn't console me."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...