Ronaldo Red cardAugust 17, 2007
Sir Alex Ferguson admits Cristiano Ronaldo fell for Portsmouth’s intimidation tactics at Fratton Park after seeing the winger dismissed late on in United’s 1-1 draw, but says the Portuguese international has only himself to blame.
Ronaldo was sent off by referee Steve Bennett five minutes from time after a scuffle in the area. Bennett wasted no time in showing Ronaldo a straight red much to Sir Alex’s annoyance.
“I’ve looked at the replay a few times now and there’s nothing conclusive – you can’t really see anything,” he told MUTV. “I believe he was provoked and he fell for it. Steve Bennett sent him off at City [in January 2006] and he will have loved the opportunity to send him off again.
“Cristiano was simply responsible for falling into a trap of intimidation. He was surprised about the decision but really he’s only himself to blame. It left us with ten men and now we’re going to miss him for three games. It’s a big blow.”
The United boss urged the 22-year-old winger to have a wider awareness of the approach Portsmouth had taken towards him all evening.
“You get provoked and you have got to have the calmness to just remind yourself you’re a better player than these players and that is why they are doing it,” he said. “He has fallen into the trap and paid the penalty for it.
“[If you react] you have no recourse. For instance, Paul Scholes last season against Liverpool raised his hands, he didn’t touch the player, but he was given three matches for that.”