West Ham boss David Moyes exasperated by VAR handball decisions in Villa draw

David Moyes was left exasperated after two more tight VAR handball decisions went against West Ham in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

The Hammers were denied a stoppage-time winner when a five minute 37 second VAR check – the longest in Premier League history – ruled Tomas Soucek had handled the ball before it crossed the line.

They had earlier been denied by another VAR review which ruled the ball had brushed Michail Antonio’s arm when he bundled it into the net.

Moyes also pointed to more handball decisions not given for his side, against Burnley last weekend and Freiburg in the Europa League 10 days ago.

“I’ve got nothing to say on VAR, contact Howard (Webb, referees’ chief) yourself,” was Moyes’ initial terse response.

But he added: “Burnley last week, Freiburg, and now two today have gone against us. It’s hard to take.

“If VAR thinks it’s right it must be right. I think football people see things differently. We’ve had two hit people’s arms in the last week and not one went for us.”

Antonio headed West Ham into a deserved lead after half-an-hour, diving in front of Ezri Konsa to steer Vladimir Coufal’s cross home.

West Ham United v Aston Villa – Premier League – London Stadium
A lengthy VAR check for handball eventually ruled in Aston Villa’s favour (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mohammed Kudus had the ball in the net shortly after but referee Jarred Gillett had already blown for a foul on Emi Martinez.

Antonio thought he had a second when he struck at a corner, but VAR had other ideas.

Villa, much improved in the second half, equalised when Nicolo Zaniolo finished from fellow substitute Moussa Diaby’s cutback.

Then, in the fifth minute of seven added on, Konstantinos Mavropanos, up for a free-kick, scooped the ball towards the net.

In a scene reminiscent of Saturday’s Six Nations, Jarrod Bowen and Soucek were both on the ground trying to force the ball over the line as the Villa rearguard tried to repel them.

After more than five minutes Gillett was beckoned to the pitchside TV screen and decided the Czech midfielder had used an arm, disallowing the goal to a chorus of boos and earning an earful from Moyes after the final whistle.

Villa boss Unai Emery said: “When they scored the plan changed and in the second half we did better than in the first half.

“We created – not clear chances – but we were dominating and playing well. We dominated, scored the goal and tried to win the match. It’s a draw but the result is good for us.

“I’m very happy for Nicolo, hopefully we can keep him in this mood for the rest of the season.”