By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger admits that Manchester United probably ‘played the system' with their handling of Rio Ferdinand's suspension.
The England defender was handed a three-match ban by the Football Association after striking Hull's Craig Fagan during his club's 4-0 Premier League win last weekend.
Ferdinand would have been sidelined with immediate effect but United appealed the decision, freeing up the 31-year-old to play in the Carling Cup Semi-Final against Manchester City in midweek.
Having helped United book their place at Wembley, Ferdinand was banned for four matches - starting with Sunday's trip to Arsenal - after his appeal was deemed ‘frivolous' by the FA.
But Wenger understands why United chose that particular course of action.
"They had certainly in mind that he could be suspended in the games after and might have [Nemanja] Vidic available [after injury]," said the Arsenal manager at his pre-match press conference.
"It could have been the thought process behind it, and why not?"