Wolves 1-2 West Ham: Gary O’Neil calls disallowed equaliser ‘one of the worst decisions I’ve ever witnessed’

Max Kilman’s header in the ninth minute of added-time against West Ham was ruled out by VAR; Tawanda Chirewa was deemed to have been interfering with play with his position in front of Lukasz Fabianski

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Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Gary O’Neil was not pleased with the decision to disallow the stoppage time goal against Aston Villa

Gary O’Neil has blasted yet another VAR decision against his Wolves side, calling their disallowed equaliser “one of the worst decisions I’ve ever witnessed”.

Max Kilman’s 99th-minute header was chalked off after Tawanda Chirewa was deemed to be in an offside position and blocking Lukasz Fabianski from making the save, therefore interfering with play.

VAR sent referee Tony Harrington over to the pitchside monitor, who then decided to rule out the goal.

It led to chaotic scenes at full-time. A number of Wolves staff and players were booked for their protests – although manager O’Neil took himself down the tunnel in the immediate aftermath, having already been shown two yellow cards this season. Another would have seen him banned.

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But speaking to Sky Sports after the game, O’Neil was furious with the officials.

“My view, David Moyes’ view, Fabianski’s view is that it’s a scandalous decision. Horrendous. I don’t understand it,” he said.

“I can’t think of an explanation to be honest. One of the worst decisions I’ve ever witnessed.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between Wolves and West Ham

“It’s a terrible decision because the only way he can be impacting the goalkeeper is if he impacts how he can move, which he isn’t. And if he impacts his vision, which he isn’t, because if you look at the side-on view, Fabianski can clearly see the ball over Tawanda’s head.”

When asked if he had been given reasons by the referee, O’Neil replied: “No, I wasn’t calm enough when I went in there to receive one.

“He hasn’t really got one so I don’t know where they are with it at the moment and any explanation doesn’t help us.

“He’s a fully qualified, professional referee stood in front of a screen, he should be able to make his own decision. I’ve had so many messages in the 20 minutes we’ve been off, everybody thinks it’s a terrible decision.

Image: Gary O'Neil slammed the latest VAR decision to go against Wolves in a defeat to West Ham

“Yet a highly qualified Premier League referee is stood in front of a screen with slow motion replays and manages to get it wrong. But I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose.”

It is yet another moment involving VAR that has gone against Wolves this season, and O’Neil said his players feel disrespected by Premier League officials.

“They’re unbelievably frustrated with the officiating,” he explained. “We had discussions earlier in the season around them wanting to show that they don’t feel respected by the officials and that has resurfaced today.

“It’s hard for me to convince them otherwise when you look at the decisions that have gone against us.

Image: Wolves were controversially denied a late equaliser against West Ham

“But we’ll refocus and go again. It’s a big blow in terms of trying to catch the teams above us, but style of play wise and the team giving everything, that’s where we are at this moment.

“It’s as much as we could produce today and because of three crazy incidents, it wasn’t enough.”

Scorer Kilman also told Sky Sports: “To be honest, I’ve never seen anything like it. We’re all gutted and we deserved something from that game.”

The other VAR decisions that have gone against Wolves this season

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The Monday Night Football panel debate whether Wolves should have been given a late penalty in the game against Manchester United as goalkeeper Andre Onana appeared to commit a foul

August 14 – Setting the tone for what was to come, Wolves were wrongly denied a stoppage-time penalty on the opening weekend of the season in their defeat at Man Utd.

O’Neil said after the game: “I don’t think the officials are trying to favour one side. I just think it’s human nature. If there’s a decision you’re not sure about, everyone would be impacted by the Old Trafford crowd and the fact it’s Manchester United.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolves

The Wolves boss later revealed he received an apology from the PGMOL’s Jon Moss, adding: “Fair play to Jon for saying it was a clear and obvious error and he cannot believe that the on-field ref did not give it, cannot believe that VAR didn’t intervene.

“It probably made me feel worse actually because once you know you are right you feel worse about leaving with nothing.”

September 23 – Luton were awarded a controversial penalty as Wolves were denied victory in a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Luton’s draw against Wolves in the Premier League.

Referee Josh Smith – overseeing his first Premier League match – pointed to the spot when Joao Gomes appeared to block Issa Kabore’s strike with a raised arm.

On second viewing, the shot deflected off an outstretched leg before hitting the midfielder’s arm, but VAR official John Brooks elected to go with the on-field decision.

“I have no idea why that’s not been overturned by VAR,” former Premier League referee Mike Dean said on Soccer Saturday. Wolves boss Gary O’Neil was equally displeased, branding the decision “absolutely terrible”, and calling for referees to “up their level”.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Wolves and Newcastle

October 28 – Newcastle were wrongly awarded a penalty in the 2-2 draw at Molineux after Hee-Chan Hwang was deemed to have fouled Fabian Schar in the box.

Hwang checked his kick and got a touch on the ball with his other foot but it was not deemed to be a clear and obvious error by referee Anthony Taylor.

“It was a scandalous decision,” O’Neil said at the time. “Terrible, I thought. Terrible on-field decision and terrible that VAR did not intervene.I thought they got it badly wrong.

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Eddie Howe and Gary O’Neil give their views on Newcastle’s penalty being awarded despite it being reviewed by VAR

“He goes to clear the ball and makes such minimal contact with Schar. He is already on the way down. And the ball actually hits Channy’s other foot before he even makes contact with Schar so technically he gets the ball before he touches Schar. That is why it was a terrible decision.”

November 27 – In a 3-2 defeat a Fulham, there were a string of refereeing decisions that left Wolves perplexed.

At the start of the second half, Nelson Semedo was judged to have caught Tom Cairney. During the long VAR check it became apparent Semedo had got a foot on the ball but his subsequent contact with Cairney was upheld as a foul.

According to O’Neil, referee Michael Salisbury later said he would have amended his decision to award the penalty had he been sent to the screen by VAR.

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Highlights from Fulham’s Premier League match against Wolves.

Fulham were then awarded another penalty late on after Joao Gomes tripped Harry Wilson. It took a long VAR check to confirm the decision after referee Michael Salisbury had initially turned the appeals down – but there was clear contact on the Welshman.

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher said: “When you slow it down it looks worse. When you watch at full speed, like the ref did from five or six yards away, it’s harsh.

“I think it’s more of a penalty than the first one – but the problem for me is, after the ref doesn’t give it on field, the decision shouldn’t be overturned. That’s my feeling.

“I don’t think it is a penalty. The ref has a great view. VAR thinks that’s a clear and obvious error. I don’t see it.”

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The Monday Night Football panel discuss whether or not Fulham were right to be awarded both their penalties against Wolves

And the refereeing and officiating decisions against Wolves go further back than this season too.

In January 2023, Toti’s ‘winner’ at Liverpool in the FA Cup was ruled out despite none of the TV angles showing anyone to be offside. Nunes, who was out of frame, was ruled offside.

In the same month, Matheus Nunes was not awarded a penalty despite being caught by Nottingham Forest’s Emmanuel Dennis before going out of the Carabao Cup in a shoot-out defeat.

In February 2023, the Premier League criticised PGMOL after a weekend in which Mario Lemina was sent off for being the third player to approach the referee to complain about a decision against Southampton

The next month, PGMOL chief Howard Webb said sorry after VAR failed to award a penalty to Wolves for a foul on Raul Jimenez by Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Sourse: skysports.com

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