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Man Utd 17:30 Liverpool

Fergie fumes at Bennett

Ferguson slams match official over Ronaldo red card

Last Updated: 16/08/07 7:45am

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Ronaldo: Red card

Ronaldo: Red card

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was far from enamoured with the performance of referee Steve Bennett, following Cristiano Ronaldo's late red card against Portsmouth.

The Premier League champions could only take a 1-1 draw away from their trip to Fratton Park and collective frustrations were exacerbated by Ronaldo's red card in the final stages, after he appeared to head-butt Portsmouth substitute Richard Hughes.

Ferguson concedes that from his position he could not see the incident clearly but admits Ronaldo was wrong to strike out, even though the Portuguese claims he was provoked.

Ronaldo provoked

"My take is that he was provoked," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"He's fallen into the trap and he's paid the penalty for it.

"He was surprised at the decision. But Steve Bennett has sent him off before, and I think he took great delight in sending him off too.

"So it was a missed opportunity of staying on the pitch and winning the game against 10 men."

Ronaldo will now miss Manchester United's next three games, including Saturday's derby at Eastlands.

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