SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND (REUTERS) - West Ham United manager David Moyes was left to rue a stoppage-time VAR decision that denied his side a precious Premier League point at Sheffield United on Friday (Jan 10).
Trailing 1-0 to Oli McBurnie’s goal, West Ham appeared to have grabbed a late equaliser when Declan Rice bundled his way through and set up Robert Snodgrass to score.
West Ham’s celebrations were cut short though as referee Michael Oliver went to a Video Assistant Referee check and Rice was adjudged to have used his arm in the build-up.
While technically it was the correct decision, it was harsh on Rice who could do nothing to avoid the ball hitting his arm after it was headed against him by John Egan.
It condemned West Ham to their first defeat since Moyes returned to the club for a second spell after Manuel Pellegrini was sacked just after Christmas.
They remain in trouble in 16th place, two points above the bottom three.
“First of all I thought my players were terrific. We didn’t deserve to lose,” said Moyes, who looked incredulous at the VAR decision. “We were worth at least a draw.
“It was a good goal. Anybody who has played football or been around the game knows it was a good goal. Declan Rice did really good to break through the middle.
“From my point of view and the people who watch football, the decision is not right. Whoever was checking it got it wrong. I saw nothing wrong with it at all.”
It was the first taste of VAR controversy for Moyes, who has been away from the game since parting company with West Ham at the end of the 2017-18 season, having steered them away from relegation.
Rice said no players in the Premier League want it and that his teammates were “livid” about the decision, but Moyes was a little more measured in his response.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a great fan (of VAR) but we are having to come to terms with it. People who have played football know when it’s not right and tonight is one of those situations.”
His opposite number Chris Wilder has already expressed his frustration at VAR this season, notably at Tottenham Hotspur when his side had a goal harshly ruled out for offside.
“I feel for David and the players. The same thing has happened to us a few times. But we would’ve been devastated if we’d have drawn that game,” said Wilder, who signed a four-year contract extension on Friday.
“Soon as they scored, no one was looking at it but I felt for the opposition – it’s the same moan and groans as we’ve had in the past.”