West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has bemoaned the decision to send off Arthur Masuaku in Monday’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa, calling it an “away” red card. The Hammers moved on to eight points for the season and extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to three matches with a battling display at Villa Park.
However, it could have been much better for the travelling side, who were very much in the game up until the dismissal of Masuaku with 23 minutes still to play.
The DR Congo international was given his second yellow card by referee Mike Dean in the second half after a foul on Villa full-back Ahmed Elmohamady.
Replays suggested Masuaku was unlucky to have been booked for the challenge and Pellegrini believes that on another night he wouldn’t have been given his marching orders, particularly if the game had been played at the London Stadium.
The Chilean, who celebrated his 66th birthday on Monday, said: “It’s a typical second yellow card when you play away. “It is easy to try to simulate a foul and try to get the fans to put pressure on – they tried it with Mark Noble in the first half.”
Even down to 10-men, West Ham still had chances to win the game late on in a frenetic finish to the match, with Pablo Fornals passing up a great opportunity right at the death.
The east London outfit could have moved up to third in the early Premier League standings with a win and Pellegrini was keen to take the positives, believing it had been another decent showing from his team, who have responded well from the 5-0 loss to Manchester City on the opening weekend.
“We came here from the first minute to try to win the game, but unfortunately we had to play part of the game with one player less,” he added.
The Hammers face a big test to their recent good run of form when they play host to Manchester United on Sunday.