David Moyes bemoaned his side having a ‘good goal’ ruled out in injury-time after West Ham slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
The Hammers thought they had snatched a late equaliser after Robert Snodgrass fired a low drive inside Dean Henderson’s near post, but the celebrations were cut short after VAR picked up on an incidental handball from Declan Rice in the build-up.
Speaking to Sky Sports immediately following the match, Hammers boss Moyes said: “We were worthy of at least a draw, maybe more.
“We are disappointed we scored a good goal and it didn’t count.
“The defender did well, got his head to it, headed against Declan but it was a good goal.
“Whoever checked it I think got it wrong because it was a really good but of play by Declan Rice, where’d you put your hands, tie them behind your back?
“It doesn’t change my view we scored a really good goal. I am a football man, watched and played it all my life and it looked good enough to me. Overall I cannot be disappointed with how the players played. Not at all.”
The result on the night wasn’t the only sour note for the Hammers after goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was replaced after just 15 minutes after picking up an injury after a goal kick.
Regarding the injury, Moyes said: He felt something in his thigh. I hope he will not be out for long but until we get the scans we won’t be able to say conclusively what it was.”
Midfielder Rice was at the centre of the VAR drama and spoke passionately following the match.
“We are fuming. All the lads are livid,” said Rice to Sky Sports.
“This is a tough place to come, credit to them they ground it out. We created some chances and missed some chances. The goal at the end was a tough one to take because a point on the road would have been good for us.
“I’ve just watched it back. He has knocked the ball into my hand. If you are running with your arms like that with the rules as they are now it is handball but it is not intentional. It is a kick in the teeth.
“I think it is the thoughts of every Premier League player, not just me – pretty much every one doesn’t want to have VAR in the game.
“There have been so many decisions this season that have been absolutely crazy. They were celebrating VAR like it was a goal and football should not be like that. We are not too happy but it is in the game now and we have to get on with it.
“I can’t get over it, he knocked it into my hand. It is not intentional handball. I was buzzing. I ran 20 metres up the pitch, slipped the ball in for Snods.”