Scottish Daily Mail

Leeds left fuming as VAR call hands it to Hammers


JUST nine of the 32 FA Cup third-round ties made use of VAR, inviting questions about the integrity of the competitio­n. Yet it made little difference clearing up controvers­y in this game, all but settled by a goal questionab­ly awarded to West Ham — despite VAR Peter Bankes and his team having the opportunit­y to review the incident. Amid a first-half scramble in the Leeds box, Jarrod Bowen’s interventi­on from an offside position was overlooked and Manuel Lanzini’s goal given after a lengthy review. It came in the 34th minute when Nikola Vlasic gathered Michail Antonio’s cross and got away from Leo Hjelde. The defender held up Vlasic with a last-ditch tackle and Leeds’ No1 Illan Meslier tried to grab the loose ball but missed. Junior Firpo then tried to clear it, failed and Lanzini fired home. Leeds protested with good reason. Meslier’s effort was hindered by a seemingly offside Bowen. As the VAR check continued, Leeds seemed so certain the goal would be chalked off Luke Ayling returned the ball from halfway to his keeper to restart the game with a free-kick but referee Stuart Attwell gave the goal. Ultimately, however, West Ham deserved to win. They named a strong side, despite David Moyes’ annoyance they are back in Premier League action for a rearranged home meeting with Norwich on Wednesday. Missing 10 players, including striker Patrick Bamford, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa gave full debuts to Lewis Bate, Sam Greenwood and Hjelde — all teenagers — and the opening goal was a tough one to take. Sidelined Leeds captain Liam Cooper Tweeted: ‘Shambles,’ but Bielsa said managers ‘should accept the decisions of referees even if they jeopardise us’. Moyes added: ‘Maybe it’s a VAR decision that’s gone for us. We’ve had a few recently which haven’t, so we’ll take that one.’ West Ham’s lead should have been greater. Antonio, Ryan Fredericks and Bowen all came close while Jack Harrison and Daniel James blew chances for Leeds. Bowen sealed victory with the last kick of the game, knocking the ball through Meslier’s legs.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom