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Webb in penalty row

Referee Howard Webb was at the centre of controversy after a dramatic 3-3 draw between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

United were denied a clear penalty in the first-half, and were 3-0 down early in the second-half. Webb then awarded them two rather contentious penalties as they fought back to secure a vital point.

The Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was still nursing a grievance from perceived poor decisions in the Old Trafford fixture last year, and this match compounded his sense of injustice.

"In both games against United we've had top, top refs, so you expect it to be perfect in terms of refereeing," he said. "But they have had a direct influence on the result. The second today was very dubious. Too soft … Welbeck's legs collide with Ivanovic. I'm not sure if Howard was compensating for anything from the first half but it was the wrong decision. For them to get from 3-1 to 3-2 was immense. There's big disappointment with the way it all happened."

Sir Alex Ferguson, characteristically, had his own grievances. "They should've had a man sent off," Ferguson said. "Danny Welbeck's clear through, brought down, but nothing, no decision. I don't blame Howard Webb. He needed help in that situation and didn't get it. That assistant referee, who's all too happy to flag at Old Trafford for penalty kicks, didn't give them."

The refereeing decisions overshadowed an action-packed match, featuring, in Juan Mata’s volley from a Fernando Torres cross, one of the goals of the season.

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