Frustration at VAR rough justice


Moyes fed up with VAR rough justice

David Moyes expressed frustration after two contentious VAR handball decisions went against West Ham in their 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

The Hammers were denied a stoppage-time winner when a lengthy five-minute, 37-second VAR check – the longest in Premier League history – concluded that Tomas Soucek had handled the ball before it crossed the line. To be frank, on initial inspection it wasn’t clear whether Soucek, Jarrod Bowen, or Konstantinos Mavropanos was responsible for the disallowed goal.

However, the prolonged decision-making process felt like the video referee was seeking a reason to disallow the goal, leaving Manager David Moyes visibly unimpressed.

Moyes feels VAR rough justice has hit West Ham again

Moyes feels VAR rough justice has hit West Ham again

Earlier, we had a goal ruled out by another VAR review which determined that the ball had brushed Michail Antonio’s arm when he scored at the beginning of the second half. Once again, the process seemed to be scrutinizing for fault, even though the ball could have easily been deemed to have bounced off his chest.

Moyes also highlighted more handball decisions not given for his team, referencing incidents against Burnley last weekend and Freiburg in the Europa League first leg.

“I’ve got nothing to say on VAR, contact Howard Webb yourself,” was Moyes’ initial terse response.

But he added: “Burnley last week, Freiburg, and now two today have gone against us. It’s hard to take.

“If VAR thinks it’s right, it must be right. I think football people see things differently. We’ve had two hit people’s arms in the last week, and not one went for us.”

With the game poised at 1-1 and West Ham seemingly having substituted most of their attacking players, few would have expected the late drama.

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Then, in the fifth minute of seven added on, Konstantinos Mavropanos, up for a free-kick, scooped the ball towards the net. It was pure pinball as the ball deflected everywhere before eventually ending up in the net. Nothing about the goal was clear, even on closer inspection. Certainly, if the ball had touched someone’s arm, they would never have known, given that Bowen and Soucek were both on the floor.

After more than five minutes of video analysis, Gillett was summoned to the pitchside TV screen and decided that the Czech midfielder had used an arm, disallowing the goal amidst a chorus of boos and earning an earful from Moyes after the final whistle.

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