West Ham United manager David Moyes has slammed the “scandalous” decision to disallow a late equaliser for his side following their 2-1 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
After a goalless first half, Michail Antonio broke the deadlock just after the hour mark with a close-range finish before strikes from substitutes Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz turned the game on its head.
The Hammers thought they had snatched a late equaliser in stoppage time courtesy of a strike from Maxwel Cornet, but the goal was disallowed following a VAR review.
A tame header from Reece James back towards his own goal fell short of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who managed to palm the ball away from the onrushing Jarrod Bowen before Cornet fired the ball into the top-left corner.
However, referee Andy Madley was informed by VAR to review the goal at the pitchside monitor and he eventually decided to disallow the goal as he deemed that Bowen had fouled Mendy with a late challenge in the build-up.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Moyes vented his frustration at the officials, particular VAR official Jarred Gillett, and believes Mendy was “faking” an injury to his shoulder before the disallowed goal.
“You have seen it, it is a scandalous decision, absolutely rotten from one of the supposedly elite referees – it doesn’t say much about whoever sent him over from VAR as well – it is an unbelievable decision against us,” the Scotsman said via the Evening Standard.
“We feel we got back to 2-2 and it was not down to anything we have done. I support a lot of the VAR stuff, I actually think the goalkeeper dives, he is faking an injury because he cannot get to the next one – he did the same on the first goal as well. The referee somehow gets that so wrong it is incredible.”
“I’m amazed that VAR sent the referee to see it but I had a quick glimpse myself and thought that even if he goes to the TV, there’s no way he’s overturning this. It was a ridiculously bad decision.
“I’d question VAR today as much as the referee. The referee should have stuck to his guns and be big enough to stick with what he said.”
Moyes added: “I’ve lost faith in them after that today. I’ve lost faith in the people putting it up for VAR. I can’t see how the goal wasn’t given.
“I make loads of mistakes so referees can make mistakes but I would hope that if the referee made a mistake it would be corrected by VAR. If you’re saying today that VAR has corrected a referee’s mistake, I’m saying I do not see that in a million years.
“I’m actually more embarrassed for the guy on VAR than for the referee. That’s someone who doesn’t understand football and probably shouldn’t be anywhere near it if that’s enough to send the referee to the screen.”
West Ham have now lost four of their opening six Premier League games of the new season and have slipped down to 17th in the table, hovering just above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Moyes and co will now turn their focus to Thursday’s Europa Conference League group-stage match at home to Steaua Bucharest, before they welcome Newcastle United to the London Stadium in the Premier League next Sunday.