West Ham had to count the cost of the decision to send off Aaron Cresswell in the first half of their Europa League clash with Lyon.
The Irons managed to earn a 1-1 draw with the French giants at a seesaw London stadium, a result that was all the more impressive considering they played the majority of the match with just ten men.
The decisive moment came just before half-time when Cresswell received a red card for a challenge on Moussa Dembele.
West Ham’s dugout and supporters were furious at the game-changing decision which left the Hammers facing a huge challenge – David Moyes was then booked for his protests against match officials at the break.
Asked about the red card after the game, Moyes took a much more pragmatic approach to delivering his verdict, saying: “I’m definitely not going to talk about the referee, not at all.
“The only thing I really want to focus on is do you think it was a foul on Jarrod Bowen before the goal? Because if so, VAR should have stepped in and brought him back.
“That’s what we do in the Premier League, it’s in the same phase of play and I expected VAR to have checked that.”
Moyes’ position was echoed by Craig Dawson, who when asked about the referee’s decision said: “He makes his decision very quickly, but there’s not much we can do as players.
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“We have to deal with it and I think we did that tonight and made a great change.”
One man who didn’t mince words was talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy, who described the referee’s display at the London Stadium as “shocking”.
First describing him as ‘a clown’, Cundy later told the Sports Bar: ‘I don’t even think that’s a foul.
“I can’t believe the referee, he was a shock. The referee was shocking.
“Everyone is butchering the referees we have here in the Premier League. I’ve been saying this for years, I think we have the best referees in the world, really.
“They sometimes make big mistakes, but I see what is happening on the continent and some of the debacles that are happening.
“I don’t think there is really a fault. Honestly, I don’t think it’s a foul, let alone a red card. The referee could have played. He touches his arm, he doesn’t drag or pull him, Dembele goes over, against the referee and the referee is eager to show the red card.
“They were mugged there, West Ham.”
In response, Darren Ambrose added: “I don’t think it’s a foul, but at worst you can pick it up, give a yellow and a little free kick. It’s at worst.
“He was eager to get the red card out.
“Look at the size of Moussa Dembele compared to Cresswell, he barely touched him. He is grazed by him with his shoulder.
“It’s not enough to fall like that.”
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