West Ham manager David Moyes said he felt “embarrassed” for VAR official Jarred Gillett following a controversial finish to his team’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
Moyes was involved in a furious confrontation with referee Andy Madley at the end of the match after the Hammers were denied a late equaliser when Maxwel Cornet had a goal disallowed by VAR.
Madley gave the goal, having no issues regarding Jarrod Bowen’s contact with Edouard Mendy after the Chelsea ‘keeper spilled the ball.
VAR, however, instructed Madley to review the incident on the pitchside monitors and the goal was chalked off.
An angry Moyes gave vent to his feelings during a post-match news conference following a London derby where Michail Antonio’s opener just after the hour mark was cancelled out by Chelsea substitute Ben Chilwell’s equaliser before Kai Havertz won the game for the Blues two minutes from time.
The Scottish boss insisted he had “lost faith” in “weak” Premier League refereeing standards.
Reflecting on Cornet’s disallowed goal, Moyes said: “The goalkeeper comes to take it, and actually fumbles it out of his hands five or six yards, so he could never recover it.
“Then he acted as if he had a shoulder injury. I’m amazed that VAR sent the referee for him to see it…It was a ridiculously bad decision.
“I’d question VAR today as much as the referee. But the referee should have stuck to his own guns today.
“There’s no excuse for VAR today, there is no excuse for that to be a goal, none whatsoever. The sad thing is this is the level of the weak refereeing at the moment.”
He added: “Look, ultimately, I make loads of mistakes, referees can make loads of mistakes. But I would hope if the referee made a mistake that’s why it’s corrected by VAR.
“But if you’re saying today that the referee’s mistake was corrected by VAR, I’m saying I do not see that in a million years.
“And I’m actually more embarrassed for the guy who did the VAR than I am even for the referee.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, unsurprisingly, took a different view.
“It (VAR) obviously went in our favour today, and there’s a reason I think it went in our favour: it’s my opinion, and I don’t know if everyone shares the opinion, that it’s very clear it’s a foul,” said the Blues boss.
The second-half action was a far cry from a dull opening 45 minutes in west London, where Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana starting just three days after his reported £70 million ($81.3 million) move from Leicester.
But the match eventually sparked into life after the hour mark, Antonio scoring from close range shortly after Mendy failed to punch clear from a West Ham corner.
But with Chelsea facing the prospect of a third defeat in six matches, Chilwell—sent on by Tuchel with 18 minutes left to play—turned the game in the hosts’ favour.
Thiago Silva’s pass split the West Ham defence but left Chilwell with plenty to do. But the substitute still headed the ball on to himself and then spun clear before shotting through the legs of Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Cornet should have put West Ham back in front with his first touch off the bench, but he headed against the post with Mendy beaten.
Chelsea immediately made the Hammers pay for that miss, sprinting up to the other end where Chilwell’s low cross found Havertz, who tapped home to make it 2-1.