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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 08:16 GMT
Ferguson fumes at Ronaldo booking
Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo had already scored twice when he was booked
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has described Cristiano Ronaldo's yellow card for diving against Fulham as "ridiculous".

Ronaldo, who grabbed both goals in the 2-0 win, went down under a challenge from Fulham keeper Antti Niemi.

Rob Styles booked him for simulation but Ferguson said: "Why would he want to go down? He was on a hat-trick.

"His reputation from years ago is still playing on the minds of referees. It was a ridiculous decision."

The Manchester United manager said that Ronaldo no longer deserved the diving tag that was attached to the Portuguese winger in his early days at the club.

"It is quite unfair because he is nothing like that now", said Ferguson. "He is more mature and a magnificent footballer."

I try to do my job and I try to play honestly

Cristiano Ronaldo

Replays showed that Niemi did not touch the ball and forced Ronaldo to take evasive action but it was unclear how much contact was made.

Ronaldo himself refused to condemn Styles but was certain the referee had got the decision wrong.

"I try to do my job and I try to play honestly", he said. "I respect the referee's decision but I do not have the same opinion because I thought it was a penalty.

"If you see the replay, the goalkeeper never touched the ball, so it is frustrating the referee gave me a yellow card."

United's assistant manager Carlos Queiroz was more concerned about the booking leading to Ronaldo being suspended at some stage in the future.

606: DEBATE

"Ronaldo has reasons to complain this time," he said. "The team should have had a penalty, but what is totally unfair is it was a wrong decision.

"It gives him one more yellow which damages him and the team."

However, Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez said that he was sure there had been no contact between Niemi and Ronaldo.

"Antti was trying to tell the referee he had not touched Ronaldo - and he hadn't," said Sanchez.

"Maybe if Ronaldo had dragged his feet, he would have got a penalty but he didn't, he sprawled over him. Is that a penalty or not? I don't know.

"But if he had gone straight over the top, he probably would have scored."

According to BBC Radio Five Live's Mike Ingham who was covering the game, it's not the first time this season that Rob Styles has been involved in controversy.

He said: "Earlier in the season he awarded Chelsea a very debatable and generous penalty which earned them a point at Liverpool."



SEE ALSO
Man Utd 2-0 Fulham
03 Dec 07 |  Premier League
Ronaldo on world player shortlist
01 Dec 07 |  Football


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