As Cristiano Ronaldo was scrabbling to stay on his feet, Phil Neville bulldozed in to our winger, winning the ball with one foot, planting his studs in to Ronaldo’s knee with the other.
Alan Wiley surely would have seemed to have had no option but to send off Wayne Rooney had he been guilty of such a challenge, yet it was clear from the moment the whistle was blown that no red card would be shown for Phil, despite the furious reaction from our players. It was reckless and needless, with Ronaldo struggling to get to his feet, let alone keep possession of the ball, meaning the force at which Phil ploughed in to Ronaldo with was entirely unnecessary.
Ryan Giggs chased after his former team mate to give him a piece of his mind, Rio Ferdinand doing the same. If there’s any way to win your fans over these days it’s giving Ronaldo, this country’s hate figure, a good kicking, but you’d have liked to think Phil wouldn’t have sunk to such nasty tactics. I suppose I’m being naive though and we could ask Jose Antonio Reyes all about what Neville is like to play against!
“Tackles were flying in and you accept that in these kind of games,” said Giggs. “But I felt Cristiano was on the floor and couldn’t really defend himself.”
Giggs, who was our man of the match, was disappointing to drop two points at Goodison Park, although concedes it could have been worse.
“We knew we needed that second goal because we expected Everton to put us under a lot of pressure after the break and that’s how it proved,” he said. “We should have been able to overcome that though because it’s something we’re used to. But unfortunately we couldn’t really get back into our rhythm and we just didn’t pass and move as well as we did before the break. When you go 1-0 ahead at a place like this you do feel it’s two points dropped,” added the 34-year-old. “But in the end we could have lost it. So we’re disappointed, but know it could have been worse.”