Without question, the Manchester derby between City and United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday is this weekend’s most anticipated game in Europe. United coach Alex Ferguson started the mind games during his pregame press conference on Friday when he suggested that there would be a House of Commons inquiry if his team was awarded as many penalties as City has at home over the last few seasons.
"The number of penalty kicks they get – 21 in the last year or something like that. If we got that number there'd be an inquiry in the House of Commons,” he said. “There'd be a protest."
Indeed, City has been awarded 21 penalties since the beginning of the 2010/2011 season. While that number is quite a lot, Ferguson failed to point out that United has been awarded more penalties -- five -- than City so far this season. Maybe he forgot because United missed three of them. In any event, Ferguson’s comments will no doubt add pressure to referee Martin Atkinson’s already pressure-packed position as referee of the derby.