Michail Antonio praises West Ham for overcoming VAR controversy to beat Chelsea

Michail Antonio was delighted West Ham could shrug off yet more video assistant referee frustration and secure a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Chelsea.

Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek thought he had opened the scoring in the 34th minute, bundling the ball home from a corner, but VAR ruled out the effort.

Stockley Park took almost four minutes to chalk off the goal for another of those most marginal offside calls against Antonio, who was lying on the ground as Soucek lifted the ball over him.

The official explanation from the Professional Game Match Officials Board was that “Antonio was in an offside position and directly in the line of vision of Kepa Arrizabalaga”.

Soucek eventually netted, cancelling out Willian’s penalty, and after the Brazilian equalised following Antonio’s goal, there was late drama as Andriy Yarmolenko grabbed a precious winner for the Hammers in their fight for survival.

“I really dislike VAR, I really dislike it!” Antonio, laughing, told Sky Sports.

“This season so many things have not gone our way. But today it didn’t stop us, we just kept going, and we got the victory.

“It was hard, they play unbelievable football, and they kept pinning us in. It is a massive result.

“Man, there’s been so many games where we’ve been just so close, and today we had a goal taken away from us, we went 1-0 down, we drew level and then went down again – but managed to come back and win it.

West Ham secured a big win
West Ham secured a big win (Michael Regan/NMC Pool)

“It shows the belief we’ve got, the grit we’ve got and that we’re not going to give up, we’ll fight until the end.”

The win moved West Ham three points above the relegation zone and dented Chelsea’s Champions League hopes.

“Yarmolenko’s got that in abundance; when he cuts on to his left foot, it’s going into the far corner,” Antonio added.

“He always does it, and it’s difficult to stop. It shows we shouldn’t be in this position, but we are and we’ve got to get ourselves out of it.

“If we can do it against Chelsea, we can do it against anybody.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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