Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Darren Fletcher today for his reaction to the red card, but concedes he isn’t hopeful of getting it overturned by UEFA.

“I am not optimistic at all,” said Ferguson. “We have to do it for Darren and sometimes in these situations, you never know. But I don’t think it will be overturned. The referee made an honest decision.”

On the television, the first viewing made the referee’s decision doubtful and the second viewing confirmed he had got it wrong. But Sir Alex Ferguson honestly claims from his seat it looked like a penalty and isn’t quick to come down on the ref. Given the way Chelsea players reacted to the referee, Ferguson is full of praise for how Fletcher reacted.

“Darren is quite a placid lad,” Ferguson added. “He is not an over-emotional boy. He just accepts it. He takes great credit for the way he handled it. I honestly believed the referee made the right decision at the time. From his angle – and from mine – it looked like a penalty. It was only when I saw the replay that I saw that Darren had managed to get his leg round Fabregas and flick the ball away. Darren is an honest player, so honest if he had been an old stager he would probably have let him go on and score. But he was still determined to try and do his job and prevent a goal. In the process he gave away a penalty.”