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19th Sep 2021

Keane and Souness blast David Moyes’ “poor” Mark Noble penalty decision

“It’s a poor decision”

Roy Keane and Graeme Souness have criticised West Ham manager David Moyes for bringing Mark Noble on to take a penalty in added time against Manchester United.

The Hammers took the lead in the 30th minute courtesy of Said Benrahma’s deflected effort, but Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the tie just five minutes later with a simple finish.

Former West Ham loanee Jesse Lingard – who was a second-half substitute – marked his return to the London Stadium with a fabulous strike in the 89th minute to give United a 2-1 lead.

However, even after Lingard’s late strike, the home side still had a chance to make it 2-2 in the 94th minute after they were awarded a penalty when Luke Shaw was deemed to have used his arm to prevent Andriy Yarmolenko’s attempted cross.

It appeared that captain Declan Rice would be taking the penalty, before Moyes made the bold decision to send on club captain Mark Noble to take the injury-time spot-kick.

The risky decision failed to pay off as David De Get stood strong to save Noble’s penalty – his first and only touch of the fixture.

When discussing the Scot’s decision to bring on Noble purely to take the penalty, Keane and Souness argued that there were other ‘experienced’ players on the pitch that should’ve taken it, with the latter labelling it a ‘poor decision’.

“He’s [Noble] took penalties before, he’s an experienced player, I don’t care,” said Keane.

“There must be players on the pitch who are up to speed with the game like [Declan] Rice or [Aaron] Cresswell, experienced players, who can slot the ball away.”

Souness went on to discuss the fact that, because the 34-year-old had not warmed up at all, he should not have been brought on to take a penalty of that magnitude.

“It’s a poor decision. It’s the 94th minute, he’s not been warming up to come on as a sub in the 94th minute so he’s stone cold,” he stated.

“It’s one of two things: it’s either the manager’s decision where he’s said ‘on you go, I want you to take it,’ or it’s Noble who’s onto the manager saying ‘get me on boss, I’ll take it’, either way it’s the wrong decision.

“It doesn’t matter if he’s scored every penalty he takes in training or every penalty before today, you don’t bring someone on who’s stone cold and been watching the game for 90 minutes to take a penalty in that situation.”

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