• Javier Hernandez's goal sparks controversy in West Ham win over Fulham
    20:22 | 23/02/2019

    Fulham fell deeper into relegation trouble with a 3-1 Premier League defeat by West Ham United at London Stadium on Friday.

    Claudio Ranieri’s 19th-placed side made the ideal start, grabbing the lead in the third minute with former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel scoring from close range after he had earlier missed a golden chance.

    There was controversy about West Ham’s equaliser when Mexican striker Javier Hernandez stooped to head in from close range but replays suggested the ball went in off his arm.

    Issa Diop‘s first Premier League goal, with a header five minutes before the break, put West Ham in charge and while Fulham produced some decent football after the break, they rarely threatened.

    Marko Arnautovic and Manuel Lanzini made their returns for West Ham as substitutes.

    But it was not until stoppage time that the Hammers made sure of the win as Michail Antonio powerfully headed home a cross from Arnautovic.

    Replays suggested that Javier Hernandez’s goal went off his arm instead of his head. Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images

    Hernandez, who hadn’t scored since Dec. 8, is the first Mexican player to score 50 goals in the Premier League, reaching that mark in 150 games.

    Not surprisingly, Ranieri was upset about West Ham’s equaliser.

    “We created very good chances and it was a pity that the referee didn’t see the handball. VAR is very important for next season,” said the Italian.

    “But we never give up. We concentrate now for the next match. It’s important to recover very soon the energy and psychologically as well.

    “I change so many times, five at the back, four, to try to find a solution. But when the other teams have more quality and more experience it’s very tough. We continue to try to find the solution,” he said.

    West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted that Hernandez’s goal should have been ruled out.

    “From my position I couldn’t see the handball, I have seen it since and it is handball. Nobody saw it very clearly at the time, there was not too many complaints. I don’t think that the goal decided the game,” he said.

    “It was a big pity with the goal, the referee was covered,” Pellegrini added . “I hope with the VAR next season it will be better. I didn’t see but I watched it on the screen. Maybe also the other players didn’t see it, and maybe of the West Ham players only Chicharito knew the truth.

    “Now football is so fast and you have so many players in the box, for the referee it’s very difficult to watch everything, so VAR could be better. It’s important in England to have VAR to help the referee.”

    Former West Ham defender Matthew Upson told BBC Radio that Hernandez used his arm on purpose.

    “It’s an intentional handball, Hernandez knew what he was doing,” Upson said.

    It was Hernandez’s fifth league goal of the season. He scored 37 Premier League goals for Manchester United from 2010-2014 before a loan to Real Madrid for a season. After two seasons in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen, Hernandez returned to England with West Ham in 2017.

    Information from Reuters was used in this report.

    Source – ESPN

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