Premier League - Ferguson escapes punishment over ref rant

Alex Ferguson will face no FA action over his confrontation with the officials during Manchester United's 4-3 win against Newcastle United.

Referee Mike Dean made no mention of Ferguson's conduct in his match report, meaning Ferguson cannot now be punished.

The Scot subjected Dean, his assistant Jake Collin and the fourth official Neil Swarbrick to a furious tirade before the second half of the Boxing Day clash at Old Trafford.

He was enraged by Dean's decision to award Newcastle's second goal - a Jonny Evans own goal - after consulting with the linesman who initially raised an offside flag.

Dean decided that Cisse, who was in an offside position when Danny Simpson struck a long-range shot, had not interfered with play.

Despite Ferguson's furious rant, Dean declined to send him to the stands, and made no subsequent complaint.

Ferguson said after the game: "The referee changed the linesman's mind.

"He said it was an own goal. But if you see it again, and the referee can't, the guy is in an offside position, then he pulls Evans' arm. If that is not interfering what is? I think it was a bad decision."

United's win, coupled with Manchester City's 1-0 defeat to Sunderland, means they are now seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Former referee Graham Poll, writing in the Daily Mail, dismissed Ferguson's grievances.

"Sir Alex Ferguson is the best and most successful manager in Premier League history and yet does not know seem to know the laws of the game. I can accept that he does not agree with them, a lot of referees don’t either, but they know them and have to apply them.

"Dean was absolutely correct to allow the goal due to the law and its mandated interpretation defined by FIFA in 2005. That is not my opinion but a fact. Whether Dean or I agree with that interpretation is irrelevant and everyone in football needs to see that and accept it."

In the end the goal had little bearing on the result - United came from behind to win 4-3, courtesy of a 90th-minute strike from Javier Hernandez.

Would you have let the goal stand? Should the FA look at Ferguson's reaction to the incident? Have your say in the comments section below!