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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Tottenham to appeal over Keane red card

Tottenham Hotspur are to appeal Robbie Keane's red card in Sunday's 3-2 defeat by Birmingham amid confusion over the process that led to the dismissal.

Referee Phil Dowd gave Keane his marching orders for a clumsy lunge at Fabrice Muamba after initially appearing to consult the fourth official and linesman.

The sending-off was tough on Keane, who had hauled Spurs back into an action-packed match with two goals in four minutes after Gary McSheffrey had fired the Blues into a shock first-half lead.

Spurs will seek to have the dismissal overturned and while Ramos is unsure on how Dowd arrived at his decision, he insists Keane should never have seen red.

Keane said: 'I'm obviously disappointed. Anyone that has seen me play over the years knows that I'm not a dirty player. I never go into a tackle looking to hurt anyone.

'The two of us went for the ball, we both got a bit of the ball and Fabrice said sorry for what happened to me after the game. That says it all.

'The referee didn't explain why he was sending me off but there was no point me arguing because I wasn't going to change his mind.

'I like to think I'm honest and if it was a bad tackle I'd hold my hands up and admit it. But everyone in the ground knew it wasn't a sending off.

'The club is going to appeal and hopefully the referee will have another look at it and common sense will prevail.'

Keane is desperate to avoid the three-game ban that accompanies the offence as Spurs continue to loiter at the wrong end of the Barclays Premier League.

'No player wants to miss games. I love playing football and love playing every week. To have that taken away is a killer,' he said. 'It doesn't matter what games I miss it's a huge disappointment.

'To have 20 minutes of the Birmingham game taken away from me was hard enough to take, so to have three matches will be a massive blow.'

Sebastian Larsson's superb 93rd-minute winner opened Alex McLeish's Birmingham reign with a thrilling victory and condemned Spurs to their first defeat under Ramos.

Gary McSheffrey fired the visitors ahead from the spot after Dowd penalised the error-prone Younes Kaboul for clipping the Blues striker.

Keane responded in kind after Johan Djourou was penalised for a similar offence at the other end and then buried Tom Huddlestone's lofted cross.

A brilliant finish from Cameron Jerome pulled Birmingham level in the 62nd minute before Larsson pounced three minutes into injury time to end a thrilling contest.

It was a remarkable conclusion given Spurs' first-half dominance that saw a number of chances go begging and Ramos lamented the injustice of the result.

The Spaniard said: 'I didn't think it was fair to lose that game after the huge effort we put in.

'To let in a goal like near the end was not fair because we were much the better side.'

McLeish admitted Birmingham's first victory at White Hart Lane since 1984 was a dream start to life at St Andrews.

He said: 'This was more than I expected. I hoped we would keep Spurs quiet and escape with a dream 1-0 victory where everything went perfect.

'To win 3-2 was certainly not how I thought it would finish. But this is only the start.

'It's a terrific boost for us in the fight to climb up the Premiership, especially as Spurs has such phenomenal quality on show.'