Allardyce fuming at Johnson ‘dive’

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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West Ham boss Sam Allardyce accused Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson of diving for a penalty after the two teams played out a frustrating 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Johnson toppled under the challenge of James Tomkins in the 22nd minute and – despite minimal contact – referee Phil Dowd had no hesitation in awarding a spot-kick from which Jordi Gomez struck the opener.

Allardyce said: “It’s a dive. I have to say, Johnno knew he was going nowhere – he knew it was going out of play – so (he thought) I’ll have a little fall down and make the referee make a decision, and it went in his favour.

“I’ve seen it from four angles on the laptop and the assistant referee has made the wrong decision in my opinion. It wasn’t the referee’s decision because he couldn’t see from where he was because (his view) was obscured by three players.”

But Allardyce was equally convinced that Dowd got it right when he waved away a strong spot-kick appeal in the second half after Hammers defender Winston Reid plainly handled a Santiago Vergini cross in the box.

Allardyce added: “Handball has to be intentional and I don’t think it was intentional at all. Everybody thinks that when it hits somebody’s hand today it has to be a penalty, but it doesn’t.”

Allardyce’s rather predictable reaction to the two most significant talking points of an otherwise forgettable encounter were mocked by Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.

Poyet agreed with Allardyce that the penalty award might have been harsh but asked: “Have his (Allardyce’s) players never dived? The second one was a definite penalty and a manager can be more honest sometimes. Sometimes you get it and sometimes it is against you.

“I thought it (the penalty) was a bit harsh. I didn’t think it was a penalty but I don’t think he dived. The defender was in front of him and he was stronger and bigger and when the referee gives the penalty you are not going to say no to it.”

The Hammers drew level within five minutes when Stewart Downing lashed home from the right side of the Sunderland box but the game was also notable for an horrendous miss by Black Cats striker Jozy Altidore, who fluffed a shot from three yards with the goal at his mercy.

Altidore’s goalscoring record for Sunderland now stands at one in 41 appearances and Poyet described the American as “devastated” by his howler in first half injury time.

Poyet added: “I have never seen Jozy like that. But we’ve got a long week and a great game to play next week and if we win that nobody will remember today or the miss or whatever we have done in a different way.

“If Jozy had scored you would have said it was a great decision to play him. I tried to say at him at half-time to look for the net and don’t keep thinking about that, but he needs a goal.”

Published: Saturday 13th December 2014 by The News Editor

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