West Ham United boss Manuel Pellegrini felt hard done by after VAR awarded a goal against his Hammers side for the second week running. Jordan Ayew was flagged offside as he prodded Martin Kelly’s knock-down into the net three minutes from time.
But after a lengthy VAR review, offside checks on Kelly and Ayew both went Palace’s way by millimetres to condemn West Ham to a dramatic 2-1 defeat.
It came a week after Joshua King was initially flagged offside, only for the decision to be reversed, as the Hammers were held 2-2 at Bournemouth.
Pellegrini’s frustration was compounded by a penalty awarded for handball against Declan Rice which let Palace back into the match.
Sebastien Haller had given the Hammers the lead early in the second half, but England midfielder Rice looked like he was hailing a taxi when the ball struck him in the area, and Patrick Van Aanholt took full advantage from the spot.
Pellegrini felt the result was harsh on his side and they deserved to take much more from the game. “We created enough chances in the first 45 minutes to be at least one goal in front, we scored in the second half and then came the penalty which the referee decided was intentional handball,” said Hammers boss Pellegrini.
“I don’t want to talk about the refereeing decisions, he’s the referee, we have to accept it. But it’s an instant reaction. I didn’t think Rice wanted to block the ball. “We are a little bit unlucky with the VAR, in the last game and this one.”
While the Hammers missed the chance to climb back to third, Palace moved up to fourth and are now top dogs in London, for 24 hours at least.
West Ham are next in action when they face Everton after the international.