Moyes and Benitez’s differing opinions about match officiating

Yesterday’s EPL match between West Ham United and Everton saw The Hammers overtake their opponents for the seventh position in the standings after a 1-0 win on the road. 

Losing three points that could have sat them (perhaps temporarily) in a Champions League spot, Rafa Benitez and his side were angered as they were of the opinion that West Ham’s goal was a result of poor officiating.

The home side expected a free kick in their favour after believing that Jordan Pickford had been fouled by Michail Antonio. To their dismay, referee Stuart Atwell awarded Moyes’ side a corner instead, and the East Londoners maximized the opportunity through Angelo Ogbonna’s header.

The two sides’ managers’ opinions on the referee’s decision clashed as Benitez disagreed with Atwell’s move, while David Moyes lauded it. “Overall, the referees are doing a much better job than they have been doing over the last couple of seasons,” said Moyes about how more contact is allowed in football lately, and overall officiating decisions.

Whether these opinions were based on the results their teams posted in the match is arguable, but that single decision still pushed Everton out of a European spot while pulling West Ham closer.

The game was just as tight as Moyes’ admitted he expected it to be. With Everton’s powerful defending, they could have gotten at least a draw, and perhaps that’s why both the Toffees’ manager and players were dissatisfied with Atwell.

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