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By ESPN Staff

'Criminal' Man Utd were robbed, says Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson labelled his side's failure to hold on for victory at Arsenal on Saturday as 'criminal'.

Ferguson accused referee Howard Webb of favouring Arsenal in Manchester United's 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

William Gallas, whose own goal had given United a first-half lead, volleyed an injury-time equaliser for the Gunners.

Cesc Fabregas had brought Arsenal level early in the second half but Ferguson thought Cristiano Ronaldo's goal eight minutes from time had won it until Gallas salvaged a draw.

Ferguson was frustrated United had not been able to hang on for a win that would have taken them top of the Barclays Premier League.

He said: 'I think we have thrown it away. At 2-1 you think you've won the game and for them to get a second goal when they did - for us to give it way in injury time - it is very hard to take I can tell you. It is a fact that they got out of jail.

'We spoke about it at half-time, the importance of not letting them back in and we started the second half well and then we lose a goal from having our own throw-in near their corner flag. It's amazing. It's criminal.'

Chelsea boss Avram Grant admitted he had been impressed by Shaun Wright-Phillips' contribution in the comfortable 2-0 win at Wigan.

'Shaun was good, he played well,' the Blues boss said after the win, which came courtesy of goals by Frank Lampard and Juliano Belletti.

'We have a very big squad so any player who is in our squad, even if he is not on the bench one day, we will need him later. Shaun did that for me today.'

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez refused to be critical of his players despite their profligacy in the goalless draw at Blackburn.

After the game at Ewood Park, Benitez said: 'If you don't play well and you don't create chances it is a problem but if you create chances in every game for me that is the most important thing.'

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce was devastated after seeing his side ripped apart by Portsmouth as they claimed their first victory on Tyneside in 58 years.

The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead after 11 minutes of the kick-off, and eventually ran out deserved 4-1 winners after putting down a brief Magpies fightback.

Allardyce admitted: 'To say I am disappointed is an understatement, I am devastated by what has happened here. I am completely gutted inside.'

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp said: 'It was a terrific performance and great goals. The first three goals were fantastic.'

Everton grabbed two injury-time goals to claim a 3-1 win over Birmingham at Goodison Park.

Manager David Moyes said: 'Not to have won would have been unjust.

'We showed great character and stuck at it, and I think we deserved the situation to turn in our favour.'

After Middlesbrough's 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham, boss Gareth Southgate admitted a point apiece was a fair outcome.

'I don't think we should have won,' he said.

'I think from being a goal down at half-time we have got to be pleased with the result.'

Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez cheered only the second win of the season for his team as they beat Reading 3-1.

The former Northern Ireland boss got his substitutions right when sending on on-loan Shefki Kuqi and David Healy at 1-1 when Kevin Doyle had cancelled out Simon Davies' opener.

Healy's goal clinched the match after Clint Dempsey had put Fulham 2-1 up when Kuqi's header was blocked.

'Sometimes they go for you but you can also live or die by substitutions,' said Sanchez.

Opposite number Steve Coppell said: 'Once we equalised early in the second half I was sure we would get something out of the game and I think we deserved to.'

Aston Villa beat Derby 2-0 at home with goals by Martin Laursen and Ashley Young.