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Ferguson launches new ref rant as Blues are five alive

SIR ALEX FERGUSON continued his assault on referees last night after lambasting Martin Atkinson for awarding Chelsea the goal which sent them five points clear at the top of the table.<br /><br />Ferguson was furious after Atkinson awarded a free-kick for Darren Fletcher&rsquo;s challenge on Frank Lampard which led to John Terry heading home the decisive winner 14 minutes from time to earn his side a 10th straight home win.<br /><br />It was the latest in a series of rants on officials from the Scot. Last month he was charged by the Football Association for comments made towards Alan Wiley, and then hit out at Andre Marriner for his performance in the defeat at Liverpool a fortnight ago.<br /><br />Now it&rsquo;s the turn of Atkinson, whose decisions, according to the Scot, were the kind which lead managers and players to &ldquo;lose faith in refereeing&rdquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;Clearly, Darren Fletcher&rsquo;s won the ball,&rdquo; Ferguson raged. &ldquo;Ashley Cole&rsquo;s never touched and has jumped up in the air and then Didier Drogba&rsquo;s pulled Brown to the ground for the goal. The referee&rsquo;s position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous, he can&rsquo;t see anything. He&rsquo;s got a Chelsea player Joe Cole standing right in front of him and he doesn&rsquo;t even move.<br /><br />&ldquo;It was a bad decision, but there&rsquo;s nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that&rsquo;s the way the players are talking in there &ndash; it was a bad one.&rdquo;<br /><br />It was a bitter pill to swallow for Ferguson, whose injury-hit side took the game to below-par Chelsea, only to lack a cutting edge in the final third. Wayne Rooney was fantastic in a lone role in the absence of&nbsp; Dimitar Berbatov, and twice went close to scoring, while Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs also tested Petr Cech.<br /><br />But Chelsea haven&rsquo;t conceded at home since the opening day of the season and somehow managed to keep their visitors in check. Lampard, at the other end, went close with a low drive before orchestrating the winner with a pin-point free-kick which Terry powered home.&nbsp; <br /><br />Delighted Blues boss Ancelotti said: &ldquo;It was a match with very good balance, a strong match and we did what we had to do. We beat a very good team, our best opponent.&rdquo;<br />