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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson courts FA action after tirade

Sir Alex Ferguson can expect a call from the Football Association within the next 48 hours - but not the one he wants.

Ferguson has called on referee Steve Bennett to look again his decision to dismiss Cristiano Ronaldo during the second-half of Manchester United's derby-day disaster.

Instead, Soho Square chiefs are likely to spend more time analysing Bennett's version of Ferguson's four-letter tunnel tirade at half-time and the Scot's post-match observation of the Orpington official enjoying City's hospitality after the game.

Unless the FA are feeling distinctly more charitable than Bennett was when he dished out only the second red card of Ronaldo's career, for his wild lunge at Andy Cole, Ferguson can expect a fairly firm tap on the shoulder.

So too can Wayne Rooney, who eye-witnesses claim left his stud marks on a dressing room door he booted in frustration during the interval.

United officials are relaxed about Rooney's conduct, privately claiming the youngster's flash of temper was purely a sign of frustration at a first half when everything went wrong for United.

But in distancing Ferguson from allegations he had warned Bennett he would require an escort to get out of Eastlands, United were forced to admit the Scot had lambasted the referee with a frank assessment of his performance, which, the entire Red Devils camp agreed, was not up to much.

'There was a heated exchange but the content was limited to the manager's assessment of the referee's first-half performance,' said a United spokesman, who has received Ferguson's version of events. 'But any talk of a threat is nonsense.'