Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has apologised to Reading assistant manager Wally Downes for the offensive gesture that sparked an FA probe following Manchester United's 2-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Ferguson spoke to Downes in the tunnel and told Steve Coppell's assistant that he did not aim the gesture at the Reading bench.

Downes said: "I was made out to be the bad guy but I have only been sent off once in my time as a coach."

The pair clashed over the amount of injury time added by referee Steve Bennett.