Austrian defends role in red
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Austria defender Andreas Ibertsberger has refuted suggestions he dived.
Austria defender Andreas Ibertsberger has refuted suggestions he manipulated the referee into sending-off England captain David Beckham in The Three Lions' 1-0 win on Saturday.
Ibertsberger did concede Beckham was unfortunate to receive his first yellow card when the two tussled for an aerial ball, with Luis Cantalejo controversially claiming the Real Madrid midfielder had led with his elbow.
The pair clashed again moments later when the full back's run towards the area was halted by Beckham's desperate challenge, drawing the inevitable second yellow.
Ibertsberger's subsequent substitution was greeted with a chorus of boos from the Old Trafford crowd, however the Austrian was objective when quizzed on the two incidents.
"The first yellow card given out by the referee to Beckham shouldn't have happened. It was an ordinary challenge," he said.
"We both went for the ball. Yes, he touched me a little bit but it was a normal sort of thing and not a yellow card offence. It was a mistake by the referee.
"Beckham touched me on the feet [in the second challenge] and it meant I could not run. He touched me and it was a foul but I didn't dive if that is what he is saying.
"The second yellow card was his fault."
Beckham reacted to the sending off by confronting Ibertsberger and appeared to offer his hand in a sarcastic gesture leaving Ibertsberger to surmise the 30-year-old had lost his temper
Ibertsberger added: "He gave me his hand and said 'well done'. Was he being sarcastic? Maybe, maybe. Was Beckham losing his temper? Maybe there was anger there."