David Moyes railed against a “scandalous” VAR decision after West Ham were denied a dramatic equaliser in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, though Thomas Tuchel agreed with the call to disallow Maxwel Cornet’s late strike.
Chelsea were staring at back-to-back defeats when Michail Antonio gave West Ham a second-half lead at Stamford Bridge, but Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz stepped off the bench to turn the contest around with a goal apiece.
The drama was not done there, however, as Hammers substitute Cornet had a fine right-footed effort chalked off after Jarrod Bowen was adjudged to have fouled Eduoard Mendy at the death.
Moyes has now failed to win in 18 Premier League trips to Chelsea – the joint-longest winless streak managed by any coach at a single team in the competition (also Moyes at Arsenal).
The West Ham boss was furious with the decision and accused Mendy of feigning injury after the incident, declaring: “You have seen it, it is a scandalous decision.
“It’s absolutely rotten from one of the supposedly elite referees – it doesn’t say much about whoever sent him over from VAR as well – it is an unbelievable decision against us.
“We feel we got back to 2-2 and it [the loss] was not down to anything we have done. I support a lot of the VAR stuff.
“I actually think the goalkeeper dives, he is faking an injury because he cannot get to the next one, he did the same on the first goal as well. The referee somehow gets that so wrong it is incredible.”
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice also made his displeasure clear on social media after the match, tweeting: “That’s up there with one of the worst VAR decisions made since it’s come into the game. Shambles.”
But Moyes’ counterpart Tuchel backed Andy Madley’s decision to overturn the goal, telling the BBC: “The momentum of luck is always present, you can never plan things, you can never be sure in a league like this, anything can be turned upside down in any second.
“We were lucky today to get the VAR decision in our favour, which was for me the correct decision. But as we have discussed many times, the decisions don’t always go your way.”
Chelsea came back to win a Premier League match after conceding the game’s first goal after the break for the first time since January 2009 (2-1 v Stoke City), and Tuchel was delighted with the Blues’ response after they were beaten at Southampton on Tuesday.
“We wanted to restart the season, turn the game around and keep the three points here,” he added.
“I never see a spectacular game against them. It’s so, so hard to find spaces, to create spaces, to create chances. They defend deep, they defend with bodies, discipline and physicality.
“It’s so, so hard to find a consistent rhythm, and if you lack a little bit of belief like we do, it’s even harder. Then you go 1-0 down, this is almost impossible.
“To keep believing is very important, and to get the opener from the bench from Chilwell, and then from Kai the decisive goal, is so good.
“We wanted to define ourselves as a team who play with team spirit and to have a huge influence from the bench, which he had today, so full credit.
“I think it’s also down to the situation that the transfer window is closed, now everybody knows that he is in the group, and we need to set the standards again.
“One of the standards was to toughen up and not be soft, to block shots, to give everything to defend our goal. We need to improve consistently and this is not over.”