David Moyes hits out at 'level of refereeing' after late penalty sees West Ham draw at Sheffield United

West Ham drew 2-2 with Sheffield United on Sunday (PA)
West Ham drew 2-2 with Sheffield United on Sunday (PA)

West Ham boss David Moyes says the level of Premier League refereeing has left him shrugging his shoulders, after Sheffield United were awarded a controversial late penalty in Sunday’s 2-2 draw.

In a chaotic finale, both teams had players sent off in stoppage time, before Oli McBurnie’s 103rd-minute spot-kick earned Chris Wilder’s men a share of the points.

Moyes was furious that the Blades were awarded the penalty, claiming a collision between goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and McBurnie ought to have instead resulted in a free-kick the other way.

“Absolutely, he was completely fouled,” said Moyes, who was also frustrated that his team were not awarded another, even later penalty for a foul on Jarrod Bowen.

“I’m not going to talk about any referees, I don’t want to get myself in trouble. You should ask the referee and see what they think. We’ve got to the stage now where we’re settling for a level of officiating where we’re all shrugging our shoulders and saying, ‘Yeah, okay’.”

The late twist saw the Hammers miss out on the chance to move within three points of fifth-placed Tottenham and means that, after a brilliant December, Moyes’s side are without a win in four matches in 2024.

“We gave up two points today which would have been a big two points for us against an improving Sheffield United, who’ve run a lot of teams close recently,” he added. “Obviously, they’d have seen this as a really important game today as well because of their position.

“My team performance was so poor today, maybe our worst. But it was a bit of a throwback game, loads of long throws, loads of balls into the box. We never passed it well, we didn’t control it, especially in the first half.

“As the game went on we got a bit better. We had a great chance at 1-0 to go 2-0 up. We had a great chance at 2-1 to go 3-1 up, we didn’t take it. I’m a bit disappointed with my own players and our own performance than anything else.”