Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was left to bemoan a controversial late penalty decision as the Barclays Premier League leaders were held at Newcastle.

The Scot was convinced his side should have been awarded a last-gasp spot-kick for Danny Simpson's challenge on Javier Hernandez, only to see referee Lee Probert, who had earlier turned down similar appeals from Peter Lovenkrands, book the Mexican for diving.

Ferguson told Sky Sports: "It was a clear penalty. It's an insult because he's booked him."

He added: "I thought the referee had a good game, but he's let himself down by booking the player.

"If it's not a penalty, fine, but to book him is an insult. There is definitely contact, no doubt about that."

However, Magpies boss Alan Pardew was adamant Simpson's challenge did not warrant a penalty, and convinced that Lovenkrands would not have dived as he went down in the area under Anderson's challenge.

He said: "My heart sank because I thought the ref had given it. The history of Manchester United - last-minute goals, the club that they are, the manager that they have, I honestly thought the referee had given it.

"You have to applaud him for the decision he made because it was the correct decision.

"Danny stuck a leg out, if I am honest, but just retrieved it back in and Hernandez went over.

"He took that opportunity and in the last minute, I don't criticise him for that - I might have done it myself - but the referee got the decision right and we got, in my opinion, a deserved draw."

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Football
Premier League
Newcastle United
Alex
Manchester United
Javier Hernandez
Peter Lovenkrands
Danny Simpson
Anderson