A furious West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has accused officials of being biased towards Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Allardyce was speaking after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup on Wednesday, losing a third-round replay to the hosts 1-0 thanks to Wayne Rooney’s early strike.
United won a contentious spot-kick late in the match, which was missed by Rooney, after West Ham defender Jordan Spence was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area.
Earlier in the match West Ham believed they had won a definite penalty – when Rafael also handballed in the box – and when that was not given, but Manchester United’s shout was, Allardyce was seething.
“There’s no doubt about the difference between Rafael’s handball and Jordan Spence’s,” Allardyce told ITV.
“Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford.
“With Rafael, the ball hits his hand but no penalty is given. With Jordan Spence, the ball hits his hand and it’s a penalty.
“You see it time and time again at Old Trafford. (Referee) Phil Dowd (was in) a perfect position, (it’s) arm to ball, (and Rafael) pushes the ball away with his left arm.
“You go the other end, Jordan Spence’s arm comes up, (the) ball hits his hand, (Dowd) gives the penalty… if you’re gonna give one you’ve got to give them both.
“I’ve looked at (Dowd’s) position and it’s perfect, straight in line with it and straight in front of it. He had a worse position than Jordan Spence’s to see that one than he did on Rafael’s.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with the performance of Ryan Giggs in the victory, with the 39-year-old particularly impressive.
And he has predicted that Giggs will play on again next season.
“He will play for another year,” Ferguson told MUTV.
“There are no discerning signs of tiredness or weakness in his game, his quality is still there and he has fantastic balance. He has the appetite for it and he is just an incredible human being.”