“Torres made a meal of it, an absolute meal of it. There is no doubt he tried to get the player sent off,” said Ferguson of the foul which lead to the freekick that drew Liverpool level on Sunday.

Torres was never going to get the ball, with Edwin Van der Sar quick off his line, so the Spaniard made the most of a coming together with John O’Shea.

Some sections of the press printed Ferguson’s comments under a headline suggesting our manager had called Torres a cheat.

Fergie has today ridiculed this, reiterating his point that Torres made a meal of an innocuous challenge.

“It was absolutely ridiculous press,” he said. “I said, quite rightly, that I thought he had made the most of it. That’s not to say the guy’s a cheat.”

Maybe Hodgson doesn’t like to read or maybe he’s been too busy trying to formulate a plan to halt Liverpool’s shocking decline, but the Liverpool boss got sucked in to the media headlines, without actually bothering to see what Sir Alex said.

“Sir Alex is a good friend of mine and he knows how to use the mass media,” complained Hodgson. “Fernando Torres is not a cheat. He is a very respected player, he is strong and takes players on, he is not easy to stop and he is going to get fouls, as he did for our equalising goal at Old Trafford. There is no danger of us cheating. For me, it was one of Alex’s inflammatory little digs to make his victory even sweeter and our defeat even harder, and that is part of the game.”