West Ham star defends Dimitri Payet over diving row and claims Man United's players were worse

Upton Park

The Frenchman came under fire for going down in the box during the two sides' FA Cup tie at the weekend.

Winston Reid has leapt to the defence of Dimitri Payet after the West Ham star came in for criticism after going down in the box during the Hammers' FA Cup tie with Manchester United on Sunday, and claimed that the home side got away with a lot of simulation themselves, The Sun reports.

The Frenchman went down in the area after running by a challenge from United defender Marcos Rojo, but replays suggested that there was little contact between the pair. And with Payet on a yellow card already, there were some calls for him to be sent off after Martin Atkinson decided not to award a penalty to Slaven Bilic's men.

But Reid has insisted that the playmaker did not dive, before suggesting that Louis van Gaal's side are somewhat guilty of hypocrisy. 

"Dimitri is not a diver, he always tries to stay on his feet," he told The Sun.

"We can argue about stuff like that but they went down in some situations too. They had five or six. Look - they had some and we had some - but the referee is there to make the calls."

With plenty of pressure on van Gaal's shoulders currently, it is perhaps unsurprising that the incident led to him suggesting that Payet should have been dismissed as it was the former Marseille man who gave West Ham the lead with a stunning free-kick later on in the game. 

Had Payet been sent off it seems somewhat unlikely that another member of the Irons squad would have been audacious enough to try and beat one of the world's best goalkeepers from such a long way out in the manner that he did.

However, his teammate is more than confident that the attacking midfielder was not trying to cheat the referee, and if he was to be punished, then several of van Gaal's men could have been also. 

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