• Premier League

Moyes slams 'scandalous' decision

ESPN staff
January 2, 2014
Moyes laments penalty decision

David Moyes has launched an outspoken attack on referee Howard Webb and said it was "scandalous" and "incredible" he did not award Manchester United a penalty and send off Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in Spurs' 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

Moyes also revealed after the game that he may have to omit Wayne Rooney in future matches to allow the striker to recover from a groin injury.

The United manager was furious that Lloris escaped unpunished for an 86th-minute challenge on Ashley Young. And an angry Moyes claimed it was one of the worst decisions he had ever seen and said he despaired of United's chances of getting a penalty again this season.

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He said: "It was scandalous. If you follow through on a player anywhere else on the pitch with your foot high, it would be a sending off and a red card. You couldn't do that anywhere else. It's an incredible decision which didn't go our way. In fact, it is probably the one of the worst I think I saw."

Webb, who refereed the World Cup final in 2010, has long been incorrectly accused of supporting United but Moyes added: "All I can tell you is that is a stonewall penalty kick. If that isn't given a penalty kick, I don't think we will get any more in the league this season.

"You can't give him the benefit of the doubt at all: it is reckless, it is late, it is in the penalty box. I don't know what else you can say. You'd hope the people who put the referees out there would have a look at it and look to see if they think the referees are doing as well as they can be."

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood also felt that Young could have earned a spot kick, saying: "I haven't seen it back but at the time I thought it was a penalty."

Moyes has reprimanded Young for diving already this season and the United manager was asked if he feels the winger is suffering because of his reputation.

He added: "That is for the referee to decide. That certainly wasn't the case for this."

Moyes was also annoyed that Webb cautioned United's teenage midfielder Adnan Januzaj for diving, saying: "Have you seen that decision? That is a terrible decision. The boy has bumped Adnan off the ball."

Meanwhile Rooney, who sat out Saturday's 1-0 win against Norwich, returned for the defeat to Tottenham but his injury ills are far from over. And with United chasing the game after going 2-0 down, Moyes had no option but to keep Rooney on the pitch for the full game.

He said: "The plan was to play Wayne 90 minutes. He has got a bit of a groin injury but the longer it went on, we had to try and get more attacking players on the pitch to try and find more ways to score. The games are coming thick and fast. He has missed a couple of games with his groin and may well miss some more in the games coming up."

Moyes said it was too soon to know if Robin van Persie, who has missed the last six games, will be fit to return for Sunday's FA Cup tie against Swansea. But he defended his players for their performance against Tottenham, even as they lost at Old Trafford for the fourth time this season.

He added: "I thought the team played really well. We didn't play badly today. We deserved to win and if not win it, at worst [we deserved] a draw."

Moyes insisted the defeat, which leaves United 11 points behind league leaders Arsenal, will not have any impact on whether he spends in the winter transfer window. He said: "The result today would never have any effect on what we do, whether in January or the summer. It wasn't our day but it won't change the way we go about our business."

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