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Allardyce: Ref swayed by home support

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce claims the penalty won by Manchester United during his side's 1-0 FA Cup defeat on Wednesday was a result of their home advantage.

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Less than 24 hours after Luis Suarez accused United of "controlling the media", Allardyce also suggested the current Premier League leaders enjoy certain advantages, insisting decisions are weighted in their favour. United won a late penalty in the clash at Old Trafford - which Wayne Rooney eventually sent over the bar - after Hammers defender Jordan Spence was penalised for handball. The decision infuriated Allardyce as he had earlier seen his side denied a penalty for a similar incident involving Rafael. And the Hammers boss was left in no doubt after the match that his opponents had the big decisions going their way as a result of them playing in front of a large crowd. "You see it time and time again at Old Trafford," Allardyce said. "There's no doubt about the difference between Rafael's handball and Jordan Spence's. Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford. "With Rafael, the ball hits his hand but no penalty is given. With Jordan Spence, the ball hits his hand and it's a penalty. The incidents are the same. If you give one you've got to give both, simple as that." Allardyce then went on to suggest that referee Mike Dowd had not even seen the incident that led to United's penalty. "The ref did not see Rafael's handball because of his position," he said. "But he was in a worse position to see Jordan Spence's than Rafael's."

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