Michail Antonio has claimed that West Ham United got very lucky with both of the contentious VAR decisions from Monday evening.
The Hammers benefited from two controversial VAR calls on Monday night when they welcomed Bournemouth to the London Stadium, with their first goal being allowed to stand despite a handball before being awarded a penalty for handball late on.
Thilo Kehrer looked to launch the ball into the air with his arm before Kurt Zouma nodded home, while Jordan Zemura was adjudged to have handled the ball despite sliding in for a challenge to block a cross which saw Said Benrahma seal all three points from the penalty spot.
Antonio has dropped the controversial opinion on The Footballer’s Football podcast that West Ham perhaps got lucky with the refereeing and VAR decisions, claiming neither should’ve gone their way.
He said: “Honestly, I think neither of the goals could stand for us. I think the pen’s harsh, the pen is very harsh. [He’s] slid, he’s like a yard away, the ball’s hit him on his hand. It’s not in a natural position, but it’s so close to him, he’s sliding, his hand is just up there, so I think the pen is harsh.
Will West Ham win tonight?
“And the first goal, it’s hit his hand and we’ve scored from it. So if you’re going to talk about VAR, honestly, I don’t even know what the rules are anymore.
“Last week I said, if someone handballs the ball and then someone else scores, then that’s what it is, but what I’m hearing about Thilo’s goal is the fact that he’s handballed it, the defender’s headed it, and the fact the defender’s headed it makes it a new phase.”
TIF Thoughts on West Ham’s VAR decision…
It certainly raised a lot of questions following the game on Monday night, although former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes that the official and VAR team indeed at least got the first decision correct.
That certainly wasn’t the case for Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil, who was clearly fuming post-match and couldn’t believe that neither of West Ham’s goals had been ruled out, despite both being looked at by VAR.
It’s very impressive and refreshing to hear someone from the team that benefited from VAR speak openly about how he believes his side got lucky and didn’t deserve the luck which came their way, although it will do nothing to soften the blow for Bournemouth.