Sheffield United and West Ham played out an entertaining draw at Bramall Lane this weekend – but it wasn’t without its controversies.
The game finished 2-2 and ended with two late penalties and two stoppage time red cards in an eventful four-goal thriller.
Maxwel Cornet had opened the scoring for the Hammers before on-loan forward Ben Brereton-Diaz levelled just before the break.
David Moyes’ side then thought they had won it thanks to James Ward-Prowse’s late spot kick before Oli McBurnie was controversially awarded one of his own with virtually the last kick of the game. Rhian Brewster and Vladimir Coufal were given their marching orders as tensions threatened to boil over in Sheffield.
Mail Sport columnist Mark Clattenburg has given his verdicts on each controversial incident at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United’s 2-2 draw with West Ham was filled with drama and controversy
Mail Sport columnist Mark Clattenburg has run the rule over every major incident in the game
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79 MINS – WEST HAM PENALTY
Straightforward one to start. Danny Ings nips in front of his chaser and Gustavo Hamer catches the back of his leg.
That contact forces Ings to drop down in the box. Clear penalty to West Ham. Referee Michael Salisbury gets this right.
VERDICT – RIGHT DECISION
90+3 MINS – RHIAN BREWSTER RED CARD
Rhian Brewster launches into Emerson. He’s off the floor, out of control, going at speed, and the West Ham defender is lucky that he sees him coming in time to make sure his leg is not planted.
It is this exact calibre of challenge that can end players’ seasons. Salisbury only shows a yellow card initially. VAR Robert Jones is right to send him to his monitor so it can be upgraded to red.
VERDICT – RIGHT DECISION… EVENTUALLY
VAR Robert Jones eventually arrived at the right decision to send off Rhian Brewster
90+7 MINS – VLADIMIR COUFAL SECOND YELLOW – RIGHT DECISION
Vladimir Coufal was already on a yellow after reacting angrily to the Brewster tackle and he took an almighty risk by stamping on James McAtee’s foot here.
It wasn’t the most promising attack for Sheffield United, and Salisbury initially signals to play advantage, but then he blows so he can show Coufal a second yellow. Good spot.
VERDICT – RIGHT DECISION
90+13 MINS – SHEFFIELD UNITED PENALTY
This is not a foul by Alphonse Areola on Oli McBurnie. It is a foul by McBurnie on Areola! If you know football, and you know Sheffield United, and you know McBurnie, then you know he is going to try to disrupt the goalkeeper.
He does that by launching his arm into Areola, who’s left with a bloodied lip for his troubles. It should be a free-kick to West Ham. Yet Salisbury awards the penalty to Sheffield United.
This was a foul on Alphonse Areola – not Oli McBurnie! This was a clear and obvious error that needed rectifying
This is where VAR frustrates me most. This was a clear and obvious error that needed rectifying. The clock read 97:39 when the penalty was awarded and, because Areola was injured, it was 102:07 when McBurnie finally took it.
That was a long time for VAR to study the incident, and yet they stood by the original call. It is no wonder West Ham were livid.
VERDICT – VERY WRONG DECISION!
90+14 MINS – WEST HAM PENALTY NOT GIVEN
Hold on, McBurnie was fouled, but Bowen wasn’t?
The lack of consistency is astounding. Bowen tries to get to Ben Johnson’s cross but is wrestled to the ground by Anel Ahmedhodzic, who isn’t looking at the ball whatsoever. Yet a free-kick is awarded to Sheffield United.
It’s astounding that McBurnie was awarded a penalty but not Jarrod Bowen after being wrestled to the ground by Anel Ahmedhodzic
If Salisbury thinks the collision involving McBurnie was a penalty, and that this rugby tackle on Bowen isn’t a penalty, then something is fundamentally wrong.
I understand that there is a white-hot atmosphere at Bramall Lane, especially after so much late drama, but referees need to be strong enough to show consistency and accuracy until the very end. That was lacking here when there were major decisions to be made.
VERDICT – VERY, VERY WRONG DECISION!