Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas says referee Howard Webb crumbling under the pressure was the reason behind his controversial penalty decision at Old Trafford on Saturday.
United - trailing 2-0 to Spurs at half-time - were handed a lifeline early in the second period after Webb adjudged goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes to have fouled Michael Carrick inside the danger-zone, with replays showing the glove-man clearly won the ball.
Cristiano Ronaldo despatched the spot-kick, with the Premier League holders going on to run riot against their flabbergasted opponents, scoring another four to complete the unlikeliest of 5-2 victories.
And Jenas believes the match official's dubious decision was a result of him buckling under the weight of a vociferous crowd at the Theatre of Dreams.
"That was a prime example of a referee crumbling over the pressure at Old Trafford," he said in the Mirror.
"I don't want to make excuses and we went on to concede another four after that, which were sloppy goals, but it would have been a completely different game had they not got that first goal. "It's just the way football is sometimes and pressure gets to people. The atmosphere, the occasion, the importance of the match, a lot of factors take their toll when making decisions.
"One thing that struck me about it was that he didn't even think. "It was like he'd already made his mind up when he came out for the second-half that he was going to give something."
UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan
Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter SPURS FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Les Ferdinand, Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker, Glenn Hoddle, Frederic Kanoute One on One Paul Gascoigne, Les Ferdinand, Ossie Ardiles Boy's A Bit Special Chris Gunter, John Bostock Ask A Silly Question Garth Crooks Perfect XI Ossie Ardiles My Secret Vice Neil Ruddockcomments