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Page last updated at 07:53 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 08:53 UK

Webb crumbled on penalty - Jenas

Jermaine Jenas
Jermaine Jenas saw his side concede five times in 22 second-half minutes

Tottenham's Jermaine Jenas believes referee Howard Webb was swayed into awarding Manchester United a penalty by the profile of the teams' clash.

Cristiano Ronaldo converted the spot-kick to begin Manchester United's comeback as they overhauled a two-goal deficit to beat Spurs 5-2 on Saturday.

"I think it was a case of a referee crumbling under the pressure at Old Trafford really," said Jenas.

"One thing which struck me about it was that he didn't even think."

The result put United three points clear at the top of the league after Liverpool had briefly assumed leadership of the Premier League with a victory 3-1 over Hull earlier in the afternoon.

Referee had a bad day - Redknapp

"The atmosphere, the occasion, the importance of the match, a lot of factors take their toll when making decisions," midfielder Jenas added.

"I think he (Webb) will definitely admit he got that one wrong. It was a very important moment in the season."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp called for match officials to use technology which might have overturned Webb's decision that Heurelho Gomes had fouled Michael Carrick.

"The players can't believe it," said Redknapp. "It changed the game.

606: DEBATE
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"The referee made a terrible mistake. You should have technology. The fourth official should be watching the TV monitor and talking to the referee."

Spurs dominated the opening period with goals from Darren Bent and Luka Modric before conceding five second-half goals to lose after the penalty award by Webb, who will referee the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Everton.

The 37-year-old is regarded as one of England's best officials and took charge of two group games at Euro 2008.

So far this season he has issued five red cards, including dismissals for Manchester United pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Nemanja Vidic, in 39 games.

Title is ours to lose now - Rooney

Ronaldo converted the penalty to spark the deluge of goals with the Portuguese forward also scoring a header, Wayne Rooney weighing in with a brace, while Dimitar Berbatov got on the scoresheet to lift the Old Trafford side to the top of the table, three points ahead of Liverpool.

Convinced Gomes had got a hand to the ball before contact was made with Carrick, Redknapp added: "United were not going to win unless something like that happened.

"The referee has not done it on purpose, it is just a bad decision but it was the turning point."

United were denied a penalty by Mike Riley in last week's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Everton when Danny Welbeck appeared to be felled by Phil Jagielka, a decision that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was quick to highlight in discussing Webb's decision.

"We were a bit fortunate but football is a funny game," said Ferguson.

First goal was key - Phelan

"You get terrible decisions. We got one last week. You have to deal with them and get on with it."

Former Tottenham player Berbatov was impressive throughout, prompting his manager to describe his performance as "fantastic".

"I don't think he gave the ball away once," added Ferguson. "He was our best player in the first-half and in the second he produced some wonderful moments.

"He does things that are world class."



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see also
Man Utd 5-2 Tottenham
25 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
25 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
25 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Aston Villa 3-3 Everton
12 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Webb appointed for FA Cup final
21 Apr 09 |  FA Cup
Ferguson questions ref decision
19 Apr 09 |  FA Cup


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