Villa were chasing for much of the game after falling behind to Angelo Ogbonna’s early header. Grealish then levelled the score with a wonderful individual goal only for the Hammers to retake the lead thanks to a Jarrod Bowen header.
Ollie Watkins missed from the penalty spot but seemed sure to have atoned for that error when he broke free of the last defender and finished a fine Matt Targett cross in stoppage time.
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However, after a lengthy VAR delay, the goal was disallowed for offside, with the top of the striker’s arm ruled to have strayed beyond the last defender, even if barely negligible to the naked eye.
Villa captain Grealish was infuriated by the decision and took to Twitter after the game. “As for VAR, I've shared my views before and it's now just getting borderline embarrassing with some off the decisions. Ruining the game,” he wrote.
As for VAR, I’ve shared my views before and it’s now just getting borderline embarrassing with some off the decisions. Ruining the game 🥴
— Jack Grealish (@JackGrealish) November 30, 2020
Villa manager Dean Smith echoed the view of his captain. “They have given offside for a part of the body that can't put the ball in the back of the net,' Villa boss Smith said after the game. 'The only reason the arm is where it is, is because he is being fouled by someone who had his arms round his neck.”