Gary Neville faces censure for middle-finger gesture at Carlos Tevez

Posted Thursday, January 21, 2010 by

Gary Neville faces censure for middle-finger gesture at Carlos Tevez
The Manchester United substitute Gary Neville gestures with his middle finger after Carlos Tevez scores his first goal.

Gary Neville could be in trouble with the Football Association after he reacted to Carlos Tevez's first goal in the Carling Cup semi-final by raising his middle finger towards the Manchester City striker.

The FA wrote to Neville to warn him about his provocative celebration after Michael Owen had scored the winner when the two sides met in September, and the governing body have confirmed they will look at photographs of the latest incident to determine whether they need to take action.

Tevez went on to celebrate his second goal by running to the touchline and cupping his ears in front of the two dugouts, provoking the response from unused substitute Neville. But Sir Alex Ferguson chose not to question his former player's behaviour.

"That's just the way it happens," the United manager said of Tevez's match-winning contribution. "It can be like that. It can bite you, football. We've had a few players leave the club and score against us. It's not an issue. I'm happy with the players we have."

The victory has left Manchester City as "51% favourites" to reach the final, according to their manager, Roberto Mancini, but Ferguson was not too disconsolate as he reflected on his team's performance.

"I thought we played well. We ­dominated the match. There were a mad couple of minutes before the equalising goal and we lost composure for 15 minutes but, after that, we were OK. It will be a Man United crowd at Old Trafford and, with the occasion and what is at stake, we will be OK. The most important thing is that we perform like we did today."

Ferguson had described Tevez earlier this season as not being worth his £25.5m fee but the Argentina international is the most prolific player in English football on current form, with 13 goals in his last 11 games.

"I don't know if what was said made a difference for Carlos," Mancini said. "I just hope that he plays as well in the ­second game because it will be very difficult at Old Trafford. I am just happy that he plays for us."

Mancini acknowledged that United had "three or four good chances" to equalise and there was an element of good fortune attached to the penalty that was given against Rafael da Silva for ­pulling Craig Bellamy's arm. The first contact was outside the penalty area and Ferguson said: "It's there for everyone to see."


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