Speaking exclusively to Transfer Tavern, former Premier League referee Mark Halsey discussed Lewis Dunk’s controversial goal during his side’s draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday.
In the fixture itself, Brighton dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead against the Hammers thanks to Neal Maupay’s scrambled finish just before the break.
However, after David Moyes withdrew Mark Noble and Jarrod Bowen for Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko at the interval, West Ham appeared much more energised in the second half and went on to equalise via Ben Johnson’s 60th-minute strike.
Brighton then thought they had won the fixture with Dunk’s 70th-minute goal, but Tomas Soucek headed powerfully home 12 minutes later to share the spoils at the London Stadium, with the game finishing 2-2.
However, there was a significant amount of controversy surrounding Dunk’s finish, as it appeared as if the ball stuck the Brighton defender on the arm before he slotted past Lukasz Fabianski.
“As football fans, we’d have all agreed that it would have been very harsh to disallow that goal,” Halsey told Transfer Tavern. “However, the new law, ‘Law 12 – Handling the Ball’ says that if an attacking player benefits from an accidental handball and it falls for them and they put it into the back of the net, then the goal should be disallowed.”
Do you think Dunk's goal against West Ham should have been disallowed?
He continued: “Now, I think you can clearly say [the ball] hit Dunk in the midriff and then hit him underneath the arm. So, under the new law, it should have been disallowed for accidental handball because it did look like it brushed the underneath his arm.”
Following the game, Moyes called for clarity on the handball rule, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “It definitely hits his arm. Unless you tell me the rules have changed, I think anything hitting the arm and leading to a goal should be chopped off.”
It would appear that the 57-year-old was correct in stating that the goal, which was reviewed by the VAR official, should have been chalked off, as Halsey claims that, under the current rules, even an accidental handball which leads to a goal should not be allowed to stand, and instead, a free-kick should be given to the opposing team.
As such, it would appear that Moyes is right to feel aggrieved with the decision made by the VAR official on Sunday, and perhaps he should have seen his side leave the game with all three points.
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