x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Card-happy Riley bemuses Sir Alex

Manchester United will be glad their Premier League trip to Chelsea is out of the way this season.

Manchester United will be glad their Premier League trip to Chelsea is out of the way this season. A point was gained against their fierce rivals, but more unsavoury incidents marred the Stamford Bridge encounter. Last season saw several United players clash with groundstaff after their 2-1 defeat, while Rio Ferdinand accidentally kicked a female steward in fury at the result. Sunday's showdown will be another to forget for Sir Alex Ferguson's side as they incurred an automatic £25,000 (Dh170,00) fine after picking up seven bookings.

On their way home, their bus was attacked, with a bottle cracking the windscreen. Ferguson will be relieved no one was hurt, his mood already prickly after the yellow cards dished out by the referee, Mike Riley, some for an apparent lack of respect towards the official. Chelsea got just one in return and the United manager said: "It was a competitive game, but I did not think there was one bad tackle.

"The game is being screened worldwide. Everyone is watching. People are saying what is going on here, but it is difficult to say anything about the referee. I do not want to get involved." Wise words as Ferguson is facing action from the FA for accusing the referees' chief Keith Hackett of influencing the decision to rescind John Terry's red card, clearing him to face United.