Sir Alex Ferguson has scoffed at Arsene Wenger’s complaints about the Old Trafford playing surface, with the Manchester United manager apparently believing the Frenchman’s remarks were a ‘diversion tactic’ to distract attention from Arsenal’s poor performance in Monday night’s defeat.
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Though Wenger avoided blaming the pitch for his side’s lame loss, the Frenchman was adamant that the surface had hindered play and was a key factor in the game’s low quality.
"The technical quality of the game was very average on both sides because the pitch was so poor in my opinion and the game suffered a lot from it. It was bouncy and slippery," said the Arsenal manager. "The technical quality suffered from a very bad pitch and both sides made technical mistakes."
However, those words have drawn a strong response from Ferguson, with the Scot telling a radio station: "I don’t think the pitch had anything to do with it. We were just the better team.
"The pitch was good, fine. I’ve no problem with the pitch at all and it was a surprise to everyone that this was mentioned. I don’t think anyone can complain about our pitch."
The Guardian describes Ferguson as feeling ‘aggrieved by Wenger’s remarks’ and believing them to ‘a diversion tactic’.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that ‘although Ferguson’s irritation with the pitch comments was clear, it does not mask the club’s embarrassment that Wenger was targeted, once again, with crude chants.
Ferguson had appealed to supporters via his programme notes and in several pre-match interviews to behave better, saying the Arsenal manager "deserves better, much better" and United are at a loss about how to stop it’.