Premier League – Paper Round: Fergie labels Torres a cheat

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a withering attack on Liverpool‘s Fernando Torres, branding the Spanish striker a cheat after Sunday’s pulsating North West derby.

The Scot claims that Torres tried to con referee Howard Webb and get John O’Shea red-carded, after United’s Irish defender hauled him down in front of goal in the 69th minute.

“I’ve watched it again and I have to say Torres made a meal of it. No doubt,” Ferguson fumed. “He was trying to get the lad sent off.”

Strong words from the Scot who, clearly revelling in getting one over on United’s perennial rivals, even went so far as to call the result a “catastrophe” for Liverpool.

However, the United manager is not alone in kicking the Anfield club when they’re down, with Merseyside’s favourite paper The Sun getting in on the action as well.

The red-top, rather paradoxically, labels yesterday’s trio of winners – Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City – as ‘champs’.

Liverpool, on the other hand? ‘Chumps’.

The Blue side of Manchester had their own reasons for cheering on Sunday after a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Wigan at the DW.

Yaya Toure scored City’s second, and the Daily Mirror emphatically declares that the Ivorian midfielder has ‘repaid City with a debut goal’.

After a £24 million transfer fee and with £220,000 paid to him every week in wages, such an enthusiastic declaration seems a little presumptuous.

That said, top marks must, one again, go to the Daily Mirror’s art department for producing some more inspired photographic jiggery-pokery.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if Roberto Mancini spontaneously decided to karate kick Roberto Martinez in the chin (and, lets be honest, who hasn’t?), then turn to page two of the ‘Mania’ supplement. Incredible.

In other news, the Daily Mail claims that ‘Newcastle are set to ask the Premier League for permission to re-sign Shay Given in an emergency loan deal after Roberto Mancini confirmed that the goalkeeper is free to leave Manchester City’.

Current Newcastle number one Steve Harper – Given’s understudy before his £8m transfer to City last season – has been ruled out for up to three months after picking up a shoulder injury, leaving the Magpies desperately short of goalkeeping options.

And finally, Arsene Wenger will today find out if he is to face a Premier League rap for pushing referee’s assistant Martin Atkinson after Arsenal‘s 1-1 draw at Sunderland. (The Sun)