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Page last updated at 20:35 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 21:35 UK

Ferdinand in clear over challenge

Mike Riley books Rio Ferdinand
Riley was happy with his handling of United's players on Sunday

The FA will take no further action against Manchester United after seven of their players picked up bookings in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

United were already expecting an automatic 25,000 fine for more than six cautions, but referee Mike Riley raised no more concerns in his report.

Riley did not take issue with Rio Ferdinand's challenge on Didier Drogba in the final seconds of the match.

And there was no mention of any incidents following the final whistle.

Some United players, Ferdinand included, had appeared to react aggressively at full-time, but Riley's report makes clear he was happy with his handling of the game.

A team receiving six or more cautions in a game automatically triggers an investigation and a fine of up to 25,000 from the FA.

The game is one of the best games we've played this season because we have many problems

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari

Officials could have been called upon to assess the clash between Ferdinand and Drogba, which left the striker needing treatment, but no action will be taken following Riley's report.

That incident was the last of the match - Riley blew the whistle for full-time after the pair collided in the air.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson earlier said he had not felt the match was a dirty encounter, and he refused to be drawn on Riley's performance.

"It was a competitive game but I did not think there was one bad tackle in it," said Ferguson.

"People are saying what is going on here but it is difficult to say anything about the referee. I do not want to get involved."

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari was quick to suggest any punishment meted out to United on the pitch was deserved.

Scolari views draw as a point won

"That is what the referee is there for," said Scolari. "If players do not respect him, it should be yellow and red cards. It doesn't matter who you are - Liverpool or Manchester United, whoever."

Matters continued to be aggravated off the pitch as United's team coach was attacked after leaving Stamford Bridge.

A bottle was hurled from the pavement, cracking the windscreen, although no-one was injured, with United officials eager to play down the incident afterwards.

"There was an incident but the matter is now in the hands of the police," said a club spokesman.

As for the game itself, Scolari was relieved to escape with a point after injuries to Deco and Ricardo Carvalho.

Deco injured a thigh in the warm-up and Carvalho suffered a knee injury early on.

Scolari said: "The game is one of the best games we've played this season, because we have many problems.

606: DEBATE
"After we lost Deco, Manchester controlled the game for 15 minutes and they played better than us.

"They made a goal - and after this, we improved. We had more chances than them but we missed some chances in front of goal.

"At half-time I said we wanted Lampard and Ballack more up front, nearer the strikers - and we put Drogba on."

Ferguson admitted he was disappointed not to be leaving London with a victory after his side led for much of the game.

"I feel we have missed a good chance, obviously. If we had had a bit more energy, we would have been OK," he said.

"We started to drop off the pace a bit in terms of the speed we were playing at.

"That was a bit of a disappointment because it allowed them to regroup at half-time.

"We started to give the ball away in the second half and that got them back into the game. They had a couple of chances, but that's about all they had."


see also
Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd
21 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Lee Dixon's tactical view
22 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Ferguson rues missed chance
21 Sep 08 |  Football
Premier League as it happened
21 Sep 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
21 Sep 08 |  Football


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