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Worst ref decision this season costs Hammers dear

West Ham were forced to play the final 25 minutes of their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal with 10 men after one of the worst refereeing decisions seen in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners were one up at the time, with Gabriel Martinelli having scored a quite excellent goal to give the home side the lead at the Emirates.

Cutting in from left flank, the attacker received the ball from Alexandre Lacazette and proceeded to bend a finish into the bottom corner and beyond the despairing reach of Lukasz Fabianski.

In the 66th minute, though, there was a genuine refereeing calamity.

Vlad Coufal slid in to win the ball from Lacazette in the box, with replays showing that he did, indeed, do just that with a clean challenge, although the Frenchman rolled repeatedly on the ground, feigning injury.

Anthony Taylor, the referee, inexplicably pointed to the penalty spot and showed Coufal a second yellow card. VAR, for some reason, stuck with the on-pitch decision, which may have many of us wondering what on earth the point of it is.

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Fabianski actually saved Lacazette’s penalty but the Hammers struggled to sustain pressure with 10 men, despite some admirable attempts, and Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to kill the game in the 86th minute.

Said Benrahma meekly surrendered possession in the Gunners half and they broke, with Bukayo Saka finding Smith Rowe, who sent a shot through the legs of Issa Diop and into the bottom corner.

It cannot be stated just how much of an effect the referee’s decision to brandish that red card had on the game, and we are still genuinely astonished that Coufal was sent off.

Still, special mention should go to Craig Dawson, who was magnificent in central defence, and the ongoing efforts of Fabianski, who made a number of excellent saves, including that stop from Lacazette’s penalty.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.

4 comments on “Worst ref decision this season costs Hammers dear

  1. Lacazette spent most of the match diving and feigning injury, should have been booked. As for the ” penalty ” and sending off what was VAR looking at ? Arteta should be disciplined for sending an ” injured ” player on to the pitch so he could lay down and halt the game. If all matches were like this I’d give up on football.

    • I thought the referee was going to book Lacazette for either ‘simulation’ or a foul on Coufal…. disgraceful

  2. Couldn’t believe it was a pen…..but ref, commentator, pundits and now Moysie all agree.
    That said, we deserved nothing, we got nothing. Looking weary, lacking upfront and despite Arthur’s best efforts we are weake down our left.
    We all know it, we need decent and early recruitment in January. In my view that equals Jesse, a striker and a centre half (presuming Zouma is out for most or all of the season).

    I thought the Boys of 21 were going to eclipse the class of 86 but not now. Lacking how to win games when we aren’t playing well. A shame but shouldn’t hide how much progress we’ve made under Moysie in 2x years. Phenomenal .

    COYI

  3. The decision was poor but at the end of the day we were not good enough . It’s not the performance we needed . We move in but need to get back to winning ways , the players need to get back on it , I’m sure we will . COYI ⚒

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