West Ham boss David Moyes questions ‘strange’ VAR decision to rule out goal

·3 min read
Mike Egerton/PA Wire

David Moyes believes West Ham have been on the wrong end of too many strange VAR decisions.

Having been denied penalties for handballs against Liverpool and Manchester United in recent weeks, the Hammers had a goal contentiously ruled out in their 2-0 defeat at Brentford.

When Said Benrahma’s cross came back off a post it hit Divin Mubama, who had put his hand up to prevent himself from crashing into the woodwork.

Manuel Lanzini swept the ball back into the box to leave Dany Ings with a tap-in to halve the deficit with 25 minutes remaining.

But referee Michael Oliver went to the pitchside monitor and ruled that young striker Mubama had handled the ball.

“Very strange,” said Hammers boss Moyes. “The Premier League have come out and called it deliberate handball. I think we need a bit of explanation on that.

“The first thing I would say about it is it is inconclusive. If anything I think it hits his shoulder, right on his collarbone.

“If it’s a handball that leads to a goal we all know that rule, but I certainly don’t see deliberate. If anything he might be protecting himself from going into the post. I’m amazed it was chalked off.

“But, let’s be fair, if this was the first one we were talking about in recent games I would say it can happen, but we’re now talking about three of these.

“It’s getting regular. It really is. I don’t want to get in trouble but we’ve had three real ones that could have altered things, and if you said we’ve had our fair share, I’m saying I don’t think we have.”

In truth Brentford, leading through first-half goals from Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa, could have been four or five up by the time Ings’ goal was disallowed.

Moyes’ priorities clearly lie elsewhere despite not being mathematically safe from relegation, with the Hammers boss making nine changes to his side ahead of Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against AZ Alkmaar.

However, if Moyes was hoping to be given some selection dilemmas for the trip to the Netherlands, he was left sorely disappointed.

Mbeumo pounced after a mistake by Nayef Aguerd and Wissa headed the second after West Ham failed to deal with Mathias Jensen’s long throw.

“I didn’t enjoy the performance. I thought we were soft, easy to play against. It was so poor,” added Moyes.

“We did some work on defending long throws, but you wouldn’t have thought it watching that today. I’m so disappointed the players didn’t deal with it.”

The Bees are now assured of a top-10 finish, proving there is no such thing as second-season syndrome in this corner of west London.

“I was asked before the season about that,” said boss Thomas Frank, “and without sounding too smart we tried to analyse things, looked at the players, the other teams, our performances, our culture, and we thought why shouldn’t we be able to do well in our second season?

“Now we are 100 per cent in the top 10, which is a brilliant achievement.”