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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Lille still want Giggs goal to be disallowed

Lille have announced they will appeal against UEFA's decision to throw out the club's protest about the validity of Manchester United's winning goal in the Champions League last week.

UEFA disciplinary chiefs rejected a complaint from Lille, who argued Ryan Giggs' quickly taken free-kick - which secured a 1-0 win for the Red Devils in the last-16 first leg - should not have stood.

The European governing body also charged Lille's players with improper conduct, after the French side threatened to walk off the pitch in disgust at the goal being awarded.

Lille have now said they will appeal against UEFA's verdict.

A statement released on Lille's website, www.losc.fr, said: 'President (Michel) Seydoux and the board of LOSC have decided to appeal against the decision made on Friday by the European authority.'

Lille are complaining that referee Eric Braamhaar should have blown his whistle before Giggs took the free-kick that ultimately won the match for United at Lens' Felix-Bollaert.

Goalkeeper Tony Sylva was left stranded as the quick free-kick curled into the corner while he was lining up his defensive wall.

'The true question is to determine how the Mancunian players came to take so quickly the free-kick that led to the goal, as they showed signs of a different intention,' added the statement.

Lille refer to quotes attributed to Giggs after the match, which appear to say it was the referee who suggested the Wales winger take the free-kick quickly.

The statement continued: 'Following these principles, LOSC have therefore taken the decision to go through with a fight that seems correct to them.'

Lille also claimed last week that Braamhaar 'warned the kicker he should wait for his whistle before restarting the game' at every other free-kick apart from Giggs' match-winner.

The French club also reiterated their players were not attempting a 'walk-off' when they made their way to the sideline moments after the goal was allowed to stand.

Seydoux at the time said the team were merely protesting against the official, but added that 'it was not an attempt to get the game abandoned'.

The statement continued: 'The players thought that, as is the case in French rules, the objection should be made ... at the next stoppage of play following the incident.

'At no moment did (coach) Claude Puel have the intention of making his team leave the pitch.'

Lille claimed they had not been told UEFA affords clubs 24 hours to make a complaint after a match.

Lille could also face charges of breaches of security and safety regulations with respect to last week's game.

United believe a tragedy was only narrowly averted after some of their supporters became crushed into a section of the stadium.

Lille have pointed the finger at United, claiming their early distribution of tickets allowed high-quality fakes to be produced.

Damien Vanoise, the head of security at the Felix-Bollaert, has accused United fans of sparking the problems by 'violent behaviour'.

United will answer the allegations in a report to UEFA.