Fergie defends Torres remark

United manager denies calling striker a cheat

Ferguson: Never called Torres a cheat

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Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted he did not accuse Fernando Torres of being a cheat following Manchester United's victory over Liverpool.

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Dimitar Berbatov scored a stunning hat-trick to inspire the Red Devils to a 3-2 success against their fierce rivals at Old Trafford last weekend.

And Ferguson believes it is a shame that coverage of the game was dominated by his remarks about Torres rather than the Bulgarian's brilliant performance.

The United manager stated that Torres 'tried to get our player sent off' after 'making a meal of' a challenge by John O'Shea that led to the Irish defender being booked.

This was interpreted as Ferguson calling the Spain striker 'a cheat' but is a comment the Scot says is not correct.

"You'd think Berbatov would get the headlines, but it was all me saying Torres was a cheat, which was ridiculous," he said.

"I thought he made the most of it. That's not to say the guy's a cheat."

Owen dilemma

While Berbatov has been in fine form during the early part of the season, Ferguson admits that Michael Owen has given him a selection dilemma.

Owen has been forced to wait for his chance but on his first start since the Community Shield at Scunthorpe on Wednesday, the English striker reminded Ferguson he is still a force to be reckoned with by grabbing a second-half brace.

Now Owen is hoping to play some part against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday, the start of a big week that also includes a UEFA Champions League trip to Valencia.

"It does give me a problem," Ferguson told MUTV.

"I have known it was going to be a problem since the start of the season, that is why I let Danny Welbeck go to Sunderland and Mame Biram Diouf to Sunderland on loan.

"The form of Dimitar Berbatov has meant that other players have taken a back seat, which is unfortunate for them because they are good players."