West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini accused Bournemouth’s coaching staff of attempting to influence referee Stuart Attwell after being involved in a heated post-match altercation with Eddie Howe.
Pellegrini was angered by the behaviour of Cherries assistant manager Jason Tindall during the 2-2 Premier League draw at the Vitality Stadium and expressed his displeasure to Howe as the two managers met to shake hands.
Cherries boss Howe claimed the exchange related to the game’s numerous VAR decisions, but Chilean coach Pellegrini disputed that version of events.
“No, I never talked about the VAR decisions. I talk about the assistant coach of him (Tindall), the complete game with the referee trying to pressurise in every decision,” said Pellegrini.
“That’s all what I complain, not about the VAR.
“It’s his assistant. I think they don’t need it because they are a good team that play offensive football.
“I think Eddie has done very good work here – his assistant doesn’t need to do those kind of things because I don’t think it’s fair for the referee.”
Pellegrini’s Hammers climbed to third in the table after Aaron Cresswell rescued a point on the south coast with a 74th-minute equaliser.
Andriy Yarmolenko put the visitors ahead but Joshua King’s strike – which was initially disallowed for offside before VAR intervened – and Callum Wilson’s fifth goal in four games turned the game in Bournemouth’s favour.
When asked about the disagreement with Pellegrini, Howe had earlier said: “No, (it was) not heated, we were just discussing a few VAR calls.
“Everyone’s got their own different opinions to decisions, so there was no problem.”
In addition to Bournemouth’s opening goal, VAR was also consulted when Nathan Ake’s second-half goal was chalked off for an offside call against Dominic Solanke and again when King was denied a late penalty after going to ground following a tussle with left-back Cresswell.
The draw moves West Ham a point behind second-placed champions Manchester City and extends their unbeaten league run to six games following the midweek Carabao Cup embarrassment at League One Oxford.
However, the battling point came at a cost as Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski limped off with a hip injury in the 34th minute, resulting in a Premier League debut for back-up Roberto.
Asked about the Poland international’s condition, Pellegrini said: “Lukasz felt a problem in his hip, a muscle problem in his hip.
“We’ll see tomorrow with the medical examination what it is.”
Speaking about his high-flying team’s league position, the 66-year-old added: “It’s a good position, we must defend that position playing the way we did today, playing the way we did all the last games of the league.
“Every one of us knows that you can beat every team here, so it’s important to trust in what we are doing and try to improve in every game.”
England striker Wilson, who scored for the seventh time in as many games against West Ham, wasted a golden chance to make it 3-1 when he fired straight at Roberto when clean through.
Bournemouth were then denied a third successive league win and dropped a place to seventh after their shaky back-line was punished by Cresswell’s second goal in two games.
Asked about Wilson’s missed opportunity, Howe said: “It was a good chance. It was a really good team move. My only thought was he could have squared it to maybe Joshua or Harry Wilson who were running and would have been the easier thing to do.
“But he’s taken it on, he’s in confident mood. The goalkeeper has made a good save.
“It doesn’t mean we have to concede at the other end, it’s not an excuse for conceding another goal.
“We need to tighten up in that respect because we can’t have to score three to win.”
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