David Moyes says the decision to send off West Ham defender Fabian Balbuena against Chelsea was made by someone “who’s never played the game”.
Balbuena received a straight red card for a foul on Ben Chilwell in West Ham’s 1-0 loss to their London rivals, reports the BBC.
The result dented the Hammers’ hopes of securing a top four finish and a place in the next season’s Champions League.
“It was a really poor decision,” added Moyes after Chelsea moved three points clear of fifth-placed West Ham.
West Ham trailed to Timo Werner’s goal when referee Chris Kavanagh reduced West Ham to 10 men in the 81st minute.
Paraguay defender caught Chilwell’s leg with his follow through while making a clearance.
The official was asked by the video assistant referee to watch a replay of the incident on the pitchside monitor before Balbuena was sent off for serious foul play.
“I can only say it’s someone who’s never played the game who’s made the decision,” added Moyes, whose side remain fifth in the table.
“For me the big thing is it’s a really rank, rotten decision and it shouldn’t be given.
“Where’s he meant to put his foot? There was a similar incident with Vladimir Coufal on Antonio Rudiger.
“That would have at least merited a yellow if the first one was a red. I think we’ve had a day where the refereeing has been really poor.”
‘How can they get it so wrong?’
A number of former players hit out on social media at the decision to send Balbuena off.
Former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon said: “If that’s a red then the game has gone. Where is Balbuena suppose to put his leg? In his pocket? Levitate? Somebody please tell me.”
Dixon’s former Arsenal team-mate Ian Wright added: “Sent off for kicking the ball” followed by 14 laughing emojis.
And former England striker Gary Lineker said on Match of the Day the incident “probably wasn’t even a foul”. He added: “How can VAR and the referee get it so wrong? It’s just baffling. Utterly baffling.”
West Ham 0 – 1 Chelsea