Fresh VAR controversy as painstakingly long review results in Aston Villa being denied last-gasp equaliser against West Ham
Aston Villa were denied a last-gasp equaliser through Ollie Watkins as VAR took centre stage once more in West Ham’s hard-fought 2-1 victory on Monday night.
Watkins, who had earlier missed a second-half penalty, thought he had secured his side a valuable point after side footing the ball home deep into stoppage time.
A two-and-a-half minute consultation eventually concluded that Watkins deemed to be in an offside position when the ball was played into him.
Jarrod Bowen’s second-half header – the first time he’s scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the Hammers – saw the east London side move up to fifth in the Premier League.
The former Hull playmaker nodded home Said Benrahma’s cross to net his fourth goal of the campaign and seal a valuable three points for David Moyes’ men.
The Hammers got off to a dream start as Angelo Ogbonna nodded home after just two minutes – their fastest goal in the Premier League since November 2016.
Villa equalised on 25 minutes through talismanic skipper Jack Grealish, who produced a strong burst forward before burying his shot from 20 yards.
Dean Smith’s men went on to dictate the vast majority of the first half, but were unable to build on their early dominance.
Moyes sent on Benrahma and Sebastian Haller in place of Michail Antonio and Arthur Masuaku at the interval, and that immediately paid dividends.
Within 30 seconds former Brentford star Benrahma produced a brilliant cross for Bowen to head home the match winner.
Watkins then spurned a glorious opportunity from the penalty spot to get his side back on level terms before the late drama ensued.
The victory is West Ham’s third in a row, while the defeat for Villa saw them concede their first goals on the road in the 2020/21 campaign so far.