Holloway Bemoans Penalty Decision as United Dig Deep
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has bemoaned the decision of referee Peter Walton not to award his side a penalty while they were leading Manchester United 2-0 at Bloomfield Road last night.
The Seasiders felt they were denied a clear cut spot-kick when Luke Varney appeared to be hauled to the ground by United defender Rafael Da Silva and the decision would prove pivotal as they went on to lose the game 3-2.
United were over-run by their exuberant hosts in the first half and struggled to deal with the set-piece delivery of Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam, who provided the corners that lead to both of the home side’s first half goals.
First it was former United trainee Craig Cathcart who evaded the attentions of Dimitar Berbatov to crash home a powerful header after 15 minutes and then DJ Campbell sent the home fans into fits of delirium with a second half an hour later.
However, the incident that Holloway felt the game hinged on occurred early in the second half when Varney burst into the United penalty area only to be felled by Da Silva – who appeared to make no effort to play the ball as the pair came together.
It was a big let-off that seemed to galvanise United’s players and they duly hit-back in the 72nd minute as the first cracks in Blackpool’s defence were exposed by Berbatov, who was alert enough to tuck home Darren Fletcher’s cross and start the comeback.
Substitute Javier Hernandez then pulled the visitors level just two minutes later as he latched onto Ryan Giggs’ pass before lashing a finish past Blackpool ‘keeper Richard Kingson and Berbatov completed the turnaround with a second right at the death.
The full time whistle meant it was heartbreak for Blackpool whose performance against the league leaders was more than worthy of all three points, but the Premier League is a results based business and United now sit five points clear at the top.