• Premier League

Di Matteo: Referees favour Man United

ESPN staff
November 2, 2012

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has continued his war of words with Sir Alex Ferguson by implying that referees unconsciously favour Manchester United.

Friday's press conferences at both United and Chelsea had been characterised by a tit-for-tat exchange as the Stamford Bridge boss criticised Ferguson for commenting on the Mark Clattenburg issue.

And, when specifically asked whether he was concerned about repeated decisions supposedly going United's way in recent high-profile games, Di Matteo spoke with surprising frankness.

"I think there's a lot of evidence for that. So, there's some kind of feelings in general but I don't think the referees do that with a purpose," he said. "It's just part of the decision-making, and it seems to go one direction."

Di Matteo was then asked whether that was because United are a 'big club' and vented his anger over the fact that certain decision have not gone the way of the Blues.

"I don't know. We're a big club as well and Liverpool are a big club too," he said. "As much as it angers me personally, as a manager, when key decisions go against us, we need to do everything to support the officials and make sure they can perform at the best of their ability.

"I think that I made my feelings very clear after the game [on Sunday] and after the game on Wednesday [in which Chelsea beat United 5-4 in the Capital One Cup]. It was very clear. The evidence with the TV was very clear that certain decisions were wrong."

Having said earlier in the day that Ferguson's propensity for commenting on other clubs is 'unhelpful', Di Matteo elaborated further.

"I have to say that it happened in the past as well," he said. "I think there is a lot of respect between your colleagues, the managers in general. And everybody has a different approach. Some people talk about other clubs and clubs' issues and some don't. We'll take the knowledge from his comments but it doesn't mean that we share it."

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