Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson said after yesterday’s victory over Liverpool that Jonjo Shelvey’s reaction to his sending off when he confronted the United boss as he was ushered down the tunnel was the result of naivety.
“Jonjo Shelvey’s sending off was a clear red card, there was a dangerous attempt to go for the ball. Jonny Evans went for the ball and got it, and I don’t think there was any other decision referee could make,” Ferguson said.
“He blamed me! But he is young and he will realise the stupidity of it.”
Shelvey apologised to Ferguson for the incident but suggested the manager influenced the referee’s decision.
“I apologise to the fans for getting sent off but no way was I pulling out of that tackle in a game of that importance. I’m sorry. I have also apologised to Sir Alex , just where I come from people don’t grass people up to get someone sent off.”
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers felt that Evans was just as culpable in the incident, and that overall the referee cost them the game.
“I’m bitterly disappointed because I thought the best team lost. Our performance in the first half was outstanding, but what you can’t control are the decisions of the referee.
“The players were outstanding and we dominated most of the game, but I know that if Jonjo Shelvey got sent off then Jonny Evans gets sent off as well.
“There were a number of poor decisions that went against us. They cost us the game. It was one of those days when we never got a decision that helped us.”