West Ham boss Moyes defends captain Rice after ref blast

West Ham boss David Moyes has defended captain Declan Rice after his foul-mouthed rant during which he accused Europa League referee Jesus Gil Manzano of corruption.

Hammers captain Rice was filmed berating the Spanish official in the tunnel after his side suffered semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday evening.

Moyes – who was sent-off during the match for kicking a ball at a ball boy – felt it demonstrated the passion within his squad and was also aggrieved at the standard of officiating.

“It just shows you how much all the players cared,” the Scotsman said on Friday afternoon.

“We all cared very much last night. We felt as if we had been treated quite badly overall and that is what happens.

“If you know about football, everybody is emotional so unless you’re in the heat of it sometimes people don’t understand how it feels.

“Last night, we had a group of players who were really connected, trying to win the game and felt it was very difficult under lots of different circumstances.”

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