David Moyes and Jesse Lingard fume at costly VAR decision as West Ham lose ground in Champions League race to Chelsea
David Moyes bemoaned the lack of consistency from officials after Peter Bankes and Chris Kavanagh decided to send Fabian Balbeuna off for his challenge on Ben Chilwell.
A rare goal from Timo Werner, only his second in the league since November, saw the Blues move three points clear of their fifth-placed hosts courtesy of a 1-0 win.
It was hardly Super League stuff from Thomas Tuchel’s side, but they got the job done ahead of a genuine European showdown against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
West Ham, who kicked off behind Chelsea on goal difference, had every reason to be affronted at the proposed breakaway league given that they were above four of the six clubs involved when it was announced.
They were feeling hard done by again when a late VAR decision saw defender Balbuena shown one of the most ludicrous red cards of the season.
The Paraguayan cleared the ball, only to catch Chilwell’s leg, which prompted a slow motion VAR check and a costly dismissal for the hosts.
“Well I don’t think it is a red card because I don’t know where Fabby [Balbuena] can stick his leg,” Moyes told talkSPORT.
“He clears the ball, he has to follow through and he has to plant his foot somewhere. So I don’t think for a minute he tried to plant it in the boy’s leg.
“And then there was a very similar incident shortly after where Vladimir Coufal clears it and again, it is Rudiger and you would expect them to book Vladimir or send him off as well.
“So there is no consistency to it.”
The incident with Coufal and Rudiger was not even awarded as a foul, perhaps highlighting Moyes’ point, on a frustrating afternoon for those in claret and blue.
With an unlikely Champions League push now stuttering after consecutive defeats, the Scot was clear to let his feelings be known.
“I think the referee was really close to it and it is supposed to be clear and obvious, as far as I know.
“So if the referee didn’t see anything and he asked him to go over and have a look…
“I’m surprised; whoever done that has no understanding about the game. He’s made a decision, cleared the ball, he has to plant his foot somewhere and obviously he didn’t want to plant his foot in another player’s leg.
“But sometimes that just the way it was, there was no way he could get his foot out of the way!”
Jesse Lingard also got in the act on Twitter, offering a message of support and criticising the added officials.
“Heads up and keep fighting,” he wrote. “Still 5 games left.
“P.S VAR IS A JOKE”