Sheffield United 1-0 West Ham: VAR denies Hammers injury time equaliser

Sheffield United climbed to fifth in the Premier League table after beating us – how we’d love to be having the season the Blades are!

John Fleck took advantage of a big mistake by substitute goalkeeper David Martin, latching on to his wayward pass to tee up Oli McBurnie to finish from close range after 53 minutes.

Substitute Robert Snodgrass thought he had levelled for the visitors, but the goal was disallowed after the ball was judged to have hit Declan Rice’s arm in the build-up.

“VAR, VAR”, the home fans chanted as the final whistle sounded, as we were condemned to our eighth defeat in 11 Premier League games and our first under new manager David Moyes.

The result means we remain two points above the relegation zone and we could drop into the bottom three if results go against us this weekend.

West Ham’s goalkeeping nightmare

It was on the 13-minute mark when ‘keeper Lukasz Fabianski took a goal-kick and immediately signalled to the bench he had a problem. The Poland international was only into his fourth game back after surgery to fix a torn hip muscle that had kept him out for three months.

That injury effectively cost Manuel Pellegrini his job given Fabianski’s deputy, Roberto, failed to keep a clean sheet in seven Premier League games, none of which we won.

Fabianski’s frustration was obvious as he beat the ground, then sat sadly in his penalty area, waiting for our medical team to arrive. The pushes and prods visible from the media seats suggested a repeat of his past problem. Either way, his game was over.

Martin was only meant to be a training keeper after his arrival from Millwall but the son of former Hammers legend Alvin was called off the bench. It really did not work out well.

He played a routine goal-kick straight to Fleck, who ran into the box to square to McBurnie for the only goal.

“First of all I thought my players were terrific. We didn’t deserve to lose. It was a good goal. Anybody who has played football or been around the game knows it was a good goal. Declan Rice did really good to break through the middle. I’m just telling you it’s a really good goal. From my point of view and the people who watch football, the decision is not right. I wouldn’t say I’m a great fan [of VAR] but we have to come to terms with it. People who have played football know when it’s not right and tonight is one of those situations.”

David Moyes

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