David Moyes hits out at referee after United’s loss to Spurs

2014-01-02 09:47

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Manchester – David Moyes labelled a controversial decision by World Cup final referee Howard Webb as “scandalous” in the wake of his team’s 2-1 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.

The Manchester United manager was incensed by a late decision not to award United a penalty kick when Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris challenged home winger Ashley Young and questioned whether England’s most respected official should be operating in the Premier League.

Despite television pundits widely backing Webb’s decision not to give United the penalty – an award that would surely also have led to the goalkeeper’s dismissal – Moyes was adamant that the 42-year-old Yorkshireman should be dealt with by the PGMO, the body that appoints match officials.

“It was a scandal,” fumed Moyes. “It’s reckless, it’s late, it’s in the penalty box, I don’t know what else you can say.

“If you follow through on a player anywhere else on the pitch, foot-high, it’s a sending off and a penalty kick. Ashley Young gets the ball and he follows through. It’s an incredible decision that didn’t go our way. It’s one of the worst I’ve seen.

“You only hope the people who put the referees there look to see if they are doing as well as they can. But they keep picking them, don’t they? The people who employ referees are going to have to look at that.”

The United manager’s anger was not helped by Webb showing a yellow card to United youngster Adnan Januzaj for “simulation” in the second half.

It is not the first time this season the talented winger has been punished for diving but, on this occasion, Moyes believed his player was more sinned against than sinning.

Moyes added: “It was a terrible decision. Adnan gets bumped, the boy tried to nudge him off the ball. That was a terrible decision.”

United have now dropped 26 points in the current campaign, one more than they squandered all of last season in winning the title in Alex Ferguson’s farewell term.

More alarmingly, they now face the real prospect of becoming only the second defending Premier League champions in history to finish outside the top three in the following year.

Moyes’ outburst therefore neatly deflected from another appalling result that ended a run of six successive victories.

Emmanuel Adebayor was one of a number of Tottenham heroes, scoring the opening goal and putting in a spirited display before being stretchered off injured after 70 minutes.

By that stage, Christian Eriksen had doubled the Spurs lead with Danny Welbeck quickly responding with the third, and final, goal of the day.

New Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood said of Adebayor: “He’s got ice on every part of his body at the moment, he doesn’t know what hurts more.

“But he’s a top striker, one of the best in the league. When he performs like he is at the moment, he’s almost unstoppable.

“Let’s hope we can keep him going because he’s massively important to us. He seems happy in himself and wants to play every minute – apart from when he has to come off on a stretcher!

“But they were all heroes today. We could have done better and moved the ball a bit sharper because I thought United were there for the taking, but I thought we showed the heart of a lion out there.”

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