MANCHESTER CITY chief Patrick Vieira has reignited his war of words with Premier League title rivals Manchester United by claiming the champions get preferential treatment from referees at Old Trafford.
Vieira’s comments come after Fulham were denied a potentially decisive penalty late in Monday’s 1-0 defeat at United, despite Sir Alex Ferguson admitting Danny Murphy had been “caught” by Michael Carrick.
“When United play at home they get some advantage that other teams don’t get,” said former Arsenal captain Vieira, now City’s football development executive.
“When you go to United, [Real] Madrid, Barcelona, or [AC] Milan, it’s always difficult for the referee to go against these kind of teams. This is the way it is. It’s something teams who are used to winning get all the time, so we need to win games so we have this advantage in the future.”
Vieira riled United manager Ferguson last week when he suggested bringing veteran Paul Scholes out of retirement was a sign of desperation.
Ferguson, no stranger to mind games himself, swiftly retorted that City had shown their own weakness by recalling rebel striker Carlos Tevez, who fled to his native Argentina for five months after a row with boss Roberto Mancini.
Monday’s win lifted United three points clear of City, with eight games remaining, including a pivotal Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on 30 April.