David Moyes was incensed that a West Ham goal was chalked off by VAR and played down his side’s expectations despite a resounding victory over Watford.
The Hammers had taken just one point from their past three top-flight games and had won only once in seven outings. But they roared back to form to down the Hornets 4-1 at Vicarage Road. And they had to come from behind after Emmanuel Dennis had given the hosts a fourth-minute lead.
Goals by Tomas Soucek and Said Benrahma ensured the Londoners were 2-1 up at the interval. And a Mark Noble penalty plus Nikola Vlasic’s first West Ham goal saw the points return to the East End.
Jarrod Bowen had a goal early in the second half disallowed by VAR. The video ref deemed there had been a foul on Dennis in the build-up.
Moyes was not happy and did not hold back with his assessment of the decision.
“It looks like we’ve gone back to the way we were a year and a half ago with soft free-kicks,” he told BBC Sport.
“That will be a shame for the game if that’s where we’re going. I’ve just seen it now, and it’s a ludicrous decision that they don’t give the third goal for that level of free-kick.
“I didn’t complain at the time because I thought I’d give VAR and the referee a chance. Ludicrously soft it was, and I just can’t believe that goal wasn’t given.”
Jarrod Bowen has been linked with Liverpool
West Ham's Jarrod Bowen has been linked with Liverpool.
Moyes refusing to get carried away
West Ham spent a number of weeks in the top four until the recent downturn in results. Tuesday’s triumph lifted them above Tottenham and into fifth spot.
But the Scot refused to set any targets when questioned on the possibility of qualifying for the Champions League.
“We’re not talking about the top four, you are,” he replied to reporters. “We’re only talking about doing the best we can, challenging the top, trying to be up and around the top teams if we can.
“We enjoyed it when we were in the top four, and I look forward to when we get back in again.”
And the former Everton chief picked out the West Ham player he felt was top dog at the Hertfordshire venue.
“I thought Mark Noble was as good as anyone on the pitch today,” he continued. “He is a great leader and he has that ability he can come into games, he could have played more.”