Fergie irked by ‘aggressive’ West Ham

2013-04-18 08:58

London – Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson criticised West Ham United for their aggression and claimed Andy Carroll should have been sent off after his side drew 2-2 at Upton Park.

Robin van Persie hit a 77th-minute equaliser to leave United 13 points above nearest rivals Manchester City in the Premier League, with five games to play, but Ferguson was critical of the hosts’ approach.

“We know how they play – the ball’s in the air most of the time. You’ve got to defend those things, and they’re very, very aggressive, as we’ve seen tonight,” he told Sky Sports after yesterday’s game.

“You hope there’s a strong referee – I’m not so sure we got that tonight.”

Ferguson was particularly aggrieved that referee Lee Probert failed to punish West Ham striker Carroll for a full-blooded first-half challenge that left United goalkeeper David de Gea flat on the turf.

Carroll claimed afterwards that his “momentum” had been responsible for the collision, but Ferguson said the on-loan Liverpool striker should have been sent off.

“I think it’s obvious. I don’t think you need to dwell on that. It’s an obvious red card, but the referee’s seen it differently,” he said.

Ferguson also gave short shrift to complaints from West Ham manager Sam Allardyce that van Persie’s equaliser had been offside, despite television replays suggesting he had a strong case.

Asked about Allardyce’s comments by a television interviewer, Ferguson looked incredulous before replying: “Really? I didn’t see that.”

Allardyce, in contrast, felt that his team had “possibly had a famous victory taken away from us”.

“At this level, the level of football has to be matched by the level of the officials,” he said.

“If I think it’s an easy decision and he (the referee’s assistant) has not given it, it’s a major decision that’s gone against us. But we’ve gained a very precious point from a very good performance.”

Allardyce also disagreed with Ferguson’s contention that Carroll should have been sent off.

“I don’t agree with that. I think, at the very most, it’s a yellow card because Andy Carroll is committed to try and go for the header and can’t stop,” he said.

“You can’t commit to a corner and set off running and, even though you know you’re not going to get it, just stop dead. Red card? Never, for me.

Yellow, perhaps, but not a red.”

A fine strike from Mohamed Diame had put West Ham ahead, early in the second half, after Ricardo Vaz Te’s 17th-minute header for the hosts was cancelled out by United winger Antonio Valencia’s tap-in.

The visitors’ attackers dominated the final stages, but it was the United goalkeeper, De Gea, who Ferguson singled out for praise.

Allardyce revealed in his post-match press conference that he had asked Vaz Te, Kevin Nolan and Winston Reid to put pressure on the Spaniard at set pieces, and Ferguson felt he resisted their attentions manfully.

“David has been improving all the time, all season, developing into a fantastic goalkeeper,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of experience of the English game. He’s got stronger, his training performances are really good, and he’s shown that again tonight.

“As we’ve been saying for quite a while now, he’s developed into a really first-class goalkeeper.”

United could win the title as early as Monday, if they win at home to Aston Villa and City lose at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

In any case, Ferguson is content with his side’s form as the title race enters its decisive phase.

“It’s one game away again,” he said. “We’ve got five games left, three at home and two away. The players are showing they want to win it, there’s no doubt about that.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.