Sunday 14 April 2019

The West Ham Way Part 6: Refereeing Nonsense Denies West Ham at Old Trafford

Quoted at 7/1 against for a win before the match, Manuel Pellegrini's troops were clearly offended by the bookies lack of faith and reacted with an excellent performance. However, how many times have we said this, "but for some poor refereeing....deblah blah" and that was once again the story of the day as Man United were gifted the win by match referee Graham Scott who made a series of bad calls in the Mancs favour.

First up, Felipe Anderson scored  a perfectly legal goal but sadly referee Graham Scott and his henchmen failed to notice that Defender Diogo Dalot was playing the Brazilian on side.

Next up, Scott awarded Manchester United a penalty for an innocuous challenge by Robert Snodgrass on the easily toppled Juan Mata. Grrr.

Half time 1-0 to the wrong side.

However, the Hammers spirits were not dampened and they emerged for the second half full of determination and levelled the scores within 4 minutes of the restart with a delightful Anderson strike.

Thereafter, West Ham dominated proceedings going close on a number of occasions while the home side offered little in attack.

West Ham  could feel unlucky not to have been given a penalty  as Manuel lanzini was held back in the box  but  the matchday officials  were nowhere to be seen when the call was potentially going to go in West Hams favour.

Then, poor Michail Antonio was doubly disappointed as first he rattled the bar and then was foiled by an incredible save by David De Gea as somehow the Spaniard managed to keep out a thumping goalward bound header - pushibg the ball just outside the post.

In reality, at that point West Ham should have been at least a goal to the good and as they pushed forward sensing a victory, were caught on the break with another close offside call going man united's way as Anthony Martial found himself through on goal and was pulled down by a desperate lunge from Ryan Fredericks resulting in perhaps the only correct call by Mr Scott all day as he awarded a penalty allowing the otherwise anonymous Paul Pogba to score a second from the spot and give Manchester United an unlikely and remarkably fortunate win.

If Scott had got the earlier decisions right then West Ham would almost certainly not have been caught pushing up with just 10 minutes to go.

The normally restrained Pellegrini was visibly annoyed in his post match interview and made it clear that he felt West Ham had been outdone by poor refereeing decisions. In his post match interview, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded that Manchester United had 'got away with it' but countered that these things balance out over the course of a season.

With Spurs on an impressive run of victories and feeling buoyant having just moved into their new stadium, West Ham will be hoping that some of this bad luck is balanced out with good fortune when they visit White Hart Lane in a fortnight's time. Before then, Leicester City visit the London Stadium next weekend as the two sides do battle for the very middle of the middle of the Premiership table!


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