Chelsea collected their third victory of the Premier League season on Saturday.  The match, however, was subject of a hotly contested refereeing decision late in the game.  West Ham’s Maxwel Cornet scored what would have been the tying goal in the 90th minute.  The ball was struck fiercely by the Ivory Coast international into an essentially open net.

The net was open because Chelsea’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was lying on the pitch in the middle of his 18-yard box.  Holding his shoulder, Mendy was claiming that he was clipped by West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen.

While the goal was initially allowed, referee Andrew Madley was instructed to take a further look by VAR.  Madley viewed the incident and subsequently ruled Bowen fouled Mendy prior to Cornet’s shot on goal.

Following the match, Hammers manager David Moyes lambasted the controversial call by Madley.  “It is a scandalous decision, absolutely rotten from one of the supposedly elite referees,” explained Moyes during his post-match interview with Sky Sports.  “It doesn’t say much about whoever sent him over from VAR as well.  It is an unbelievable decision against us.”

“The goalkeeper comes to take it and fumbles it out of his hands,” Moyes continued.  “Then he acted as if it was a shoulder injury.  I’m amazed that VAR sent the referee to the screen.  It was a ridiculously bad decision.”

Moyes also hit out at changes within how Premier League matches are to be refereed. 

“They’ve got new people in charge who are trying to do something,” said the manager.  “I’ve lost faith in them today in the people who are putting up for VAR.  After watching it, I can’t see how the goal was not given.”

“The referees said they were going to cut back on soft challenges and that was unbelievably soft.”

Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel, claimed that the massive decision was ultimately a correct call.  “It was a clear foul on the goalkeeper,” said the German.  “There’s a reason it went in our favor.  I don’t know if everyone shares the opinion – it’s a foul.  The goal that we conceded in very similar in the build-up to the situation at Tottenham.”

Premier League referees do not give interviews at the conclusion of matches to explain their decisions.

Photo credit: Paul Terry / Sportimage