WEST HAM manager Sam Allardyce was left seething with the match officials for failing to rule out Robin van Persie’s late equaliser, which he felt robbed his team of a “famous victory”.
Goals from Ricardo Vaz Te and Mohamed Diame either side of Antonio Valencia’s tap-in had the Hammers heading for three points that would have almost certainly ended any fears of relegation.
But with 13 minutes remaining Van Persie finished from close range after Shinji Kagawa’s initial effort came back off the post and Allardyce felt the forward should have been flagged for offside.
“We’ve had a famous victory taken away from us by the assistant referee. It was blatant, Van Persie was two yards offside,” said the West Ham boss.
“We’re on 39 points and that should probably be enough, but we should have sent our fans home knowing we were on 41 points to leave us certain and start planning for next year. There is £80m riding on these decisions.”
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said he “did not see” Van Persie was in an offside position and praised his team’s collective desire, despite dropping points for the second time in three matches.
“We had to stand up to a lot, but we kept going and played like champions and I’m pleased with the result,” he said.
“We have five games left, three at home, two away, the players are showing they want to win it [the Premier League title].”