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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 18:42 UK

Ferguson defends Vidic over challenge on Elmander

Nemanja Vidic
Vidic was praised for his performance by Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has defended Nemanja Vidic after the Football Association decided to take no action over his challenge on Bolton's Johan Elmander.

Elmander needed five stitches in a head wound after contesting a header with the Manchester United defender.

After the 4-0 loss at the Reebok, incensed Bolton manager Owen Coyle described it as a "terrible challenge".

But Ferguson said: "His [Vidic's] eyes were on the ball - I would have been amazed if the FA had charged him."

After the match, Coyle said: "Anyone who has seen it knows it was a terrible challenge.

"I am not looking for excuses but Vidic has caught him with an elbow and there was blood pouring out. I can only assume the referee has not seen it."

But United boss Ferguson, whose side face Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, responded: "What is the old saying about people in glass houses?

"When Nemanja Vidic came off at half-time he had a lump on his head the size of an egg, his cheek was swollen and he had a black eye."

Scoreline flattered Man Utd - Coyle

Vidic, who went unpunished during the match, will not face an FA charge because referee Martin Atkinson had a clear view of the incident.

Ferguson added: "There was no intent there whatsoever [by Vidic]. I don't think he knew an opponent was there or who it was."

Victory over Coyle's side kept United, for whom Dimitar Berbatov netted twice either side of a Jlloyd Samuel own goal and a late effort from Darron Gibson, a point clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.

Carlo Ancelotti's men visit Old Trafford on Saturday for a clash that could have a decisive influence on the outcome of the title race.

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see also
Bolton 0-4 Man Utd
27 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Saturday's football photos
27 Mar 10 |  Football
Saturday football as it happened
27 Mar 10 |  Football

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