Manchester United 1 - 0 West Ham United

Match info: FA Cup - 3rd Rnd at Old Trafford

Date: 16/01/2013 KO: 20:05 Ref: P Dowd Att: 71,081

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Man Utd

Wayne Rooney 9


West Ham

FT (ht: 1-0)

  • Last Updated: January 17 2013, 0:16 GMT

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was adamant his side must improve their penalty conversion rate after seeing them miss yet another spot-kick in their 1-0 FA Cup third-round replay victory over West Ham.

Wayne Rooney missed a penalty for Man United
Wayne Rooney missed a penalty for Man United

Wayne Rooney's failed effort from the spot at Old Trafford, blazed high over the bar in the 79th minute, leaves United with a record of four penalties scored and five missed for the season so far.

Asked about that after the game, Ferguson told MUTV: "I don't think it is just one of those things.

"I think we have to improve at that.

"If you get a penalty kick, really... there has been talk about (the good penalty record of) Rickie Lambert at Southampton. That is what taking penalty kicks is about.

"There have been several great examples over the years - (former Southampton midfielder) Matthew Le Tissier scoring 47 out of 48.

"A penalty kick is your opportunity to take advantage of a foul or a handball or whatever and score a goal."

The penalty miss made it a night of mixed fortunes for Rooney, who had scored what proved to be the only goal of the game in the ninth minute.

The England striker - back in action after sitting out United's last five matches due to a knee injury - turned in Javier Hernandez's square ball from close range, and after taking the congratulations of his team-mates, then paid his respects to his late sister-in-law, kissing his hands, looking to the skies and raising his arms as he walked back towards the halfway line.

United had chances to extend their advantage but could not take them and West Ham grew into the contest, particularly after the break.

The visitors had a penalty appeal for handball against Rafael waved away by referee Phil Dowd, who then awarded a spot-kick at the other end for a similar infringement by Jordan Spence, only for Rooney to waste the opportunity.

The Red Devils had done enough, though, to secure a place in round four, where they will host Fulham.

A stand-out performer for United was veteran Ryan Giggs, who wore the captain's armband in a team showing 10 changes from Sunday's Barclays Premier League win over Liverpool.

Referring to the 39-year-old midfielder after the game, Ferguson said: "He will play for another year.

"There is no discerning signs of tiredness or weakness in his game, his quality is still there, he has fantastic balance and he has appetite for it.

"He is just an incredible human being."

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce lamented his team's inability to make the most of the chances that came their way, but also made it clear he was unhappy with Dowd's decision-making with regard to the two handball incidents, and suggested the referee lacked courage.

Allardyce - whose side had held United to a 2-2 draw in the original tie at Upton Park - said: "It was very frustrating due to the fact that we have created so many opportunities to get ourselves back in the game, and then very disappointing that we were not given a penalty at 1-0 in the second half for Rafael's handball, which was blatant and clear for the referee to see in the position he was in.

"He couldn't find the courage to give it unfortunately, and he then went down the other end and there was a very similar incident with Jordan Spence and it was given.

"That is a very big disappointment for me - the lack of consistency in that area.

"But the frustration was that we really lost the game due to our lack of finishing quality. We didn't produce that when we had a great opportunity to do it on several occasions.

"I think you have to have courage to play here and to referee here.

"But why are you a professional referee or player? To come to these places to do your job, and do it to the best of your ability.

"Phil Dowd is a hugely experienced referee and one of the top ones in this country, but today I have to say he did get it wrong."

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