Andre Villas-Boas.
Andre Villas-Boas. Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Ref standards anger Villas-Boas

ANDRE Villas-Boas has complained to Mike Riley, who oversees referees in his position as manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, about the officiating at Old Trafford last weekend.

The Chelsea manager is aggrieved that Manchester United's first two goals in the 3-1 win were scored by men who should have been flagged offside. "I am very unhappy with the poor performance from the referees which had a decisive role in the result," he said. "You expect the linesman to do his job."

The first decision, when Chris Smalling headed in a free-kick, particularly infuriated Villas-Boas. "You organise the team to defend, to hold the line, then there is a person [the linesman] who does not do his job. The Nani one [ahead of the second goal] is more difficult but not that decision. I spoke to Mike Riley and made my unhappiness noticed."

As the Portuguese admitted, the result cannot be undone, but in protesting perhaps he hopes to ensure officials give Chelsea the benefit of any doubt next time. Most managers do this, though it does not always succeed - last week Kenny Dalglish met Riley to discuss the officiating of Liverpool matches, and his team then had two players dismissed at Spurs.

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