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Manchester United's Ander Herrera: Penalty decision against City 'amazing'

MANCHESTER -- Ander Herrera has said he was amazed by Michael Oliver's decision not to award Manchester United a penalty in the derby defeat to Manchester City.

Herrera went down in the penalty area in the second-half at Old Trafford after a challenge from Nicolas Otamendi but, instead of pointing to the spot, Oliver booked the midfielder for diving.

Jose Mourinho complained after the game that the "huge penalty" had come at a "crucial" stage of the game with United trailing 2-1 with 11 minutes to play.

Herrera insisted there was contact with Otamendi and is adamant United should have had a penalty.

He said: "I think the penalty is amazing. He didn't expect to arrive for the ball. I touched the ball first and he stamped on my foot. I think everyone saw it. Everyone can make mistakes too, also the referee.

"It's hard to lose the way we did because we have lost with two unlucky goals. Apart from that I don't think they created too much.

"It is a big punch because of the way we lost. When you play against City you can expect to have problems when they have the ball, but we didn't have too many problems when they had the ball, that's why we feel even more disappointed."

Ander Herrera despite his size has become an enforcer for Jose Mourinho.
Ander Herrera said Nicolas Otamendi stamped on his foot in the penalty area during United's loss.

Herrera was left aggrieved at receiving a yellow card -- his fourth of the season, leaving him on the verge of a one-game suspension.

The midfielder pointed to incidents in the first half when Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane both went down in the penalty area.

Appeals for penalties were waved away by Oliver but neither City player received a yellow card.

Herrera said: "I didn't deserve the yellow card. In the first half the same situations with Gabriel Jesus and Sane and they didn't get yellow cards.

"Now that is my fourth yellow card and that is a big problem for me because I want to play every game."

United will not be able to appeal Herrera's yellow card meaning he must now negotiate six more games before Dec. 31 without another booking if he is to avoid a ban.

He added: "In Spain, if you get something undeserved you can appeal and they take it out.

"That is one of the things that could improve the Premier League because it is an amazing thing, an amazing competition.

"In my opinion the organisation is the best in the world, but it is a real shame that if you don't deserve a yellow card you cannot appeal afterwards. Hopefully one day that rule can change."

Defeat to City leaves United 11 points behind in the title race.

Mourinho's team have a chance to bounce back when Bournemouth visit Old Trafford on Wednesday and Herrera says he is pleased to have a chance to get back on track quickly.

He said: "When you lose a game and such a big game what you want is to play as quick as possible, and we have Bournemouth.

"We have to analyse quick what happened today. It is very easy to analyse what happened and after analyse Bournemouth and look forward.

"I don't like to think about Christmas because everyone can lose points and make mistakes, so win Bournemouth and after try to win West Brom. It's the only way we can think now. We are professionals we have to be ready to play.

"The only thing we can think now is we are still second, we want to keep chasing them. I know it is difficult, but we want to keep winning games and now beating Bournemouth is all we can do."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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