Payet dived, says Van Gaal

West Ham's Dimitri Payet going down in the box after a challenge from Manchester United's Marcos Rojo. Replays showed that Payet received minimal contact from the defender.
West Ham's Dimitri Payet going down in the box after a challenge from Manchester United's Marcos Rojo. Replays showed that Payet received minimal contact from the defender. PHOTO: REUTERS

However, West Ham boss Bilic defends his player and says it should have been a penalty

LONDON • Louis van Gaal accused Dimitri Payet of a dive, which would have earned him a second yellow card, shortly before he scored a stunning free kick in West Ham United's 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Payet scored a contender for goal of the season in the 68th minute of the FA Cup quarter-final when he beat United goalkeeper David de Gea from 30 metres.

But the Frenchman was fortunate to be on the pitch at all. Having been booked for a foul on Jesse Lingard earlier, he went to ground in the box after contesting the ball with Marcos Rojo.

Replays showed that Payet received minimal contact from the defender, but Martin Atkinson, the referee, let the midfielder off without a second yellow card.

"When I was sitting on the bench, it looked like he dived and, after looking at the replay, I have seen that there was a little contact, but you can see he dives because you can fall a different way," the United manager said.

FIGHTING SPIRIT

The first 15 minutes, West Ham were the better team but after that, we came back in the match. When you can come back from that, I think it is amazing spirit in the team in spite of the very nasty week.

LOUIS VAN GAAL, Man United manager, on their 1-1 FA Cup draw with West Ham which came after their poor Europa League defeat by Liverpool.

Slaven Bilic reacted angrily to van Gaal's claim. "Come on," the West Ham manager protested.

"There is more than a contact. It is definitely not a dive. Nobody in the world can say there wasn't a touch. Then if it was a touch, and it is more than a touch, it is a penalty.

"When you are sliding in the box from behind, I am not saying it was nasty, but it was mistimed."

Anthony Martial's equaliser for United was also shrouded in controversy. Bastian Schweinsteiger nudged Darren Randolph, the West Ham goalkeeper, as he tried to collect Ander Herrera's cross and Martial tapped in.

"The equaliser, it was hard to see, but it was obvious, a foul by Schweinsteiger on Randy," Bilic said.

Van Gaal defended the German midfielder and insisted that he only nudged Randolph because of an earlier collision with his marker.

"I've seen the video and I think Schweinsteiger got a push off the defender and he did not push the goalkeeper deliberately," van Gaal said.

The United manager felt that his team were below par because, unlike West Ham, they had a midweek game.

"You have seen a great match between two good sides," he said.

"The first 15 minutes, West Ham were the better team but after that, we came back in the match. When you can come back from that, I think it is amazing spirit in the team in spite of the very nasty week."

Van Gaal's happiness, though, was tempered slightly by Marouane Fellaini being ironically cheered when he was replaced by Schweinsteiger.

"That was disappointing," the manager said.

"I think Fellaini played again a good match. He performed well in our game plan."

The replay will be staged next month and that means there will be a final Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground before West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium next season.

"It's going to be another epic home FA Cup match and we couldn't ask for more, it's like Spielberg," said Bilic. "But to make history we have to beat them."

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2016, with the headline 'PAYET DIVED, SAYS VAN GAAL'. Print Edition | Subscribe