Alex Ferguson hits out at 'aggressive Hammers'
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 said.
"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 Carroll for a full-blooded first-half challenge that left United keeper David de Gea flat on the turf.
Carroll claimed afterwards that his "momentum" had been responsible, but Ferguson said the on-loan Liverpool striker should have been sent off.
"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, 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."
Allardyce also disagreed with Ferguson's contention that Carroll should have been sent off.