Moyes rages at ref

ON THE WARPATH: Manchester United manager Moyes (right) was incensed by referee Howard Webb's late decision not to award United a penalty kick after Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris challenged United winger Ashley Young.


    Jan 03, 2014

    Moyes rages at ref


    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 on Wednesday.

    The Manchester United manager was incensed by a late decision not to award United a penalty kick after 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 which 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 in there look to see if the referees 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 angry mood 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 that the talented winger has been punished for diving but, on this occasion, Moyes believed his player was more sinned against than sinning.

    "It was a terrible decision," Moyes added. "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 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.

    Said new Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood 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 (has) at the moment, he's almost unstoppable."