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Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson lauds his team after West Ham draw

Updated: Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 12:06 | Comments

Antonio Valencia scores the equalising goal last night
Antonio Valencia scores the equalising goal last night

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says his side "played like champions" in last night's 2-2 draw at West Ham.

Ferguson saw the Hammers twice take the lead in the match before a controversial Robin van Persie equaliser secured the Barclays Premier League leaders a share of the spoils.

West Ham had led the game twice courtesy of goals from Ricardo Vaz Te and Mohamed Diame, while Antonio Valencia had once levelled for United before van Persie's goal 17 minutes from time.

The Dutchman reacted quickest to the loose ball after Shinji Kagawa's effort hit the post but he appeared offside, although linesman Harry Lennard failed to raise his flag with the Dutchman appearing to be offside.

Ferguson, whose side now need four points to be assured of a 20th league crown, felt his side deserved the result.

"We had to stand up to a lot, we went down twice but we kept going. We played like champions tonight," he told Sky Sports 2.

"It was magnificent in terms of determination and courage to play.

"It's one more game away - we're determined to win, we don't like losing and they showed that tonight again."

"We know how they play, the ball is in the air most of the time" - Alex Ferguson

One area of contention for Ferguson was a challenge on goalkeeper David De Gea on the stroke of half-time.

Andy Carroll, fresh from a tangle with Wayne Rooney and a talking to from referee Lee Probert, crashed into De Gea as he launched himself towards a set-piece and Ferguson felt the on-loan Liverpool forward should have been dismissed for the challenge.

"I think it's obvious," he added. "I don't think we need to dwell on that, it's an obvious red card but the referee has seen it differently.

"We know how they play, the ball is in the air most of the time. You've got to defend those things and they're very, very aggressive so you hope there's a strong referee. I'm not so sure we got that tonight."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce feels match officials require more coaching if they are to improve their decision making.

The Hammers' chief was left to rue van Persie's equalising goal and believes the officiating in the game cost his side a "famous win".

"This level of football has to be equalled by the level of the officials who are in charge of the game," he said.

"His [Lennard's] coaches have to coach him properly and coach him into getting better - that is why they are professional these days. They need coaching on the good decisions, with a pat on the back, but also they need coaching on when they haven't made the right call.

"It is a major decision that has gone against us. In the end we have gained a point - this highlights again just how good we are here at Upton Park."

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