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West Ham boss: Rooney wondergoal was a blatant foul

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London. Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

Monday, March 24, 2014
8:00 AM

Wayne Rooney’s stunning goal for Manchester United against West Ham certainly divided opinion at Upton Park

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Home defeats are never usually ones to remember, but for the capacity crowd at Upton Park on Saturday evening, they will certainly remember the day that Wayne Rooney scored ‘that’ goal.

Just eight minutes were gone when the moment came and it was both glorious and controversial in equal measure.

Rooney and West Ham defender James Tomkins went for a forward pass, but it was the Manchester United man who got the better of the tussle, before watching the ball come down and volleying it goalwards from some 50 yards.

Adrian had come way off his line and as he desperately back-pedalled, the ball swerved, the Spanish keeper slipped and ended up in the back of the net with the ball.

Everyone was agreed that it was a sensational bit of football, no doubt even the watching David Beckham who scored something similar all those years ago.

But the goal provoked different opionions.

United boss David Moyes was naturally delighted: “It was a great goal from a top, top player,” he said.

“You’d never have thought he’s have known where the goalkeeper is. My only worry was the bounce. Whether it would go under the bar or not.”

Tomkins himself was convinced that it was a foul.

“I felt I got nudged,” he insisted. “It’s one of those that you’ve seen given, but it could have gone either way I suppose, but having seen it back, it could have been given.”

An angry Sam Allardyce was certainly not in two minds about it.

“It was such a wonderful goal from Rooney, but I thought it was a blatant foul on James Tomkins who was easily going to head the ball away,” said the Hammers boss.

“If Tomkins had fallen on the floor the ref would have given a free kick, but because he didn’t fall on the floor, he didn’t think it was a free kick.

“It doesn’t matter how slight it is, it is enough to stop him touching the ball and that is a foul. When you have an assistant referee just a few yards away, then he is not doing his job, because I think that was his decision.”

It is possible that Rooney himself thought it was a foul according to West Ham midfielder Mark Noble who was close to the incident.

“I was standing behind him when the ball came down and as soon as he hit it I said ‘that’s in’,” said Noble.

“One of their lads said he only hit it because he thought it was a foul, but you can’t take anything from him, it is one of the goals of the season and one of the best he has ever scored.”

It was, but it almost certainly should not have been given and it could prove so costly for the Hammers.

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