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S'land 12:45 Man Utd

Fergie backs beach ball decision

Man Utd boss can understand why Sunderland goal stood

By Richard Bailey.   Last Updated: 23/10/09 11:39am

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Ferguson: Can see why Bent goal stood

Ferguson: Can see why Bent goal stood

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Sir Alex Ferguson has stoked the fire ahead of Manchester United's trip to Liverpool by saying he can understand why Sunderland's goal stood last week.

The Reds' dismal run of results continued when they succumbed 1-0 to the Black Cats thanks to a Darren Bent goal that deflected of a beach ball that was thrown onto the pitch by one of Liverpool's own supporters.

According to the laws of the game any goal that is aided by an 'outside agent' should be disallowed but referee Mike Jones allowed the strike to stand.

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez credibly did not use the freak goal as an excuse for the defeat but Ferguson can see why the goal stood.

"It was an unusual incident. Obviously the goal shouldn't have been allowed but in the spur of the moment I think the referee was caught off guard with that one," he said.

"I must admit I thought it was a goal but I read the laws of the game saying if there was an outside agent it should be disallowed.

"I thought it was a goal like the wind, the wind can take the ball. You can say that is an outside agent. When you see that it is unusual."

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