Goals from Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell were enough to erase the Hammers’ 62nd-minute lead thanks to a VAR decision to nullify Max Cornet’s 90th-minute effort much to the annoyance of the away crowd.
Chelsea, in their usual style, dominated for the major parts of the game but failed to make any threat until the later stages when two substitutes combined, Kai Havertz slamming the ball into the roof of the net from a Ben Chilwell’s pass to seal the game.
With tempers flaring in the game, Chelsea fans raged over the referee’s refusal to send Michail Antonio to the locker room after a tussle with Thiago Silva.
Shortly before that altercation, Chelsea defender Reece James was also lucky to remain on the pitch after stomping his studs into the legs of Antonio following the Jamaican striker’s challenge, the action led to a war of words between the two players as both ended up receiving yellow cards.
Tuchel’s frustration at the unproductive performance was further worsened when West Ham took the lead courtesy of Antonio’s tap-in from Declan Rice’s pass across the goal after Paqueta’s touch on Jarod Bowen’s corner took it beyond Mendy’s reach.
With plenty of options on the bench, the German manager turned to his attackers in a bid to turn the game around.
The German boss’ decision was pivotal as Chilwell slipped the ball through Lukasz Fabianski’s legs to make it 1-1 before turning provider as Harvertz swept home his pass to get in front, much to the eruption of the home crowd.
The game appeared to end in Chelsea’s favor until Max Cornet who had earlier hit the post with his header, latched on to a loose ball in the box before slamming it into the roof of the net, another dramatic setback for the blues. Celebrations were, however, cut short as the referee adjudged an error in the buildup and summoned the VAR for review.
Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Strikes Again
The decision to rule the goal out after Jarrod Bowen’s trailing leg hit Mendy following his spilled save from Reece James’ poor clearance much to the relief of Thomas Tuchel.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) has been subject to criticism week in and week out as it continues to cause controversies across the football world.
Earlier today, Liverpool was also subject to VAR’s favoritism with Conor Coady’s goal ruled out for offside and Van Dijk escaping red after clearly taking out Amadou Onana with his studs causing fans to believe the VAR appears more lenient to the Premier League’s big six.
Multiple footballing legends, including Alan Shearer and Micheal Owen, took to social media to express their displeasure at the inconsistency following VAR decisions. West Ham’s captain, Declan Rice, also took to Twitter to voice his team’s frustration.
That’s up there with one of the worst VAR decisions made since it’s come into the game. Shambles 😂 – Declan Rice said on twitter
That and the Newcastle decision. So so bad. Hope I’ve calmed down by 10.25pm when the show starts!!- Alan Shearer shared on twitter after Newcastle also had a goal ruled out following VAR’s consultation
Chelsea was, however, unimpressive despite spending over 300 million euros in the recently concluded transfer window, and Thomas Tuchel appears under pressure from American Owner Todd Boehly to turn his spending into results.