In the 79th minute of this evening’s Premier League clash between West Ham and Chelsea, the shortcomings of VAR and the rulebook struck to deal a disastrous blow to the Hammers’ hopes.
After a heavy touch, Fabian Balbuena was met by pressure from a marauding Ben Chilwell, the West Ham centre-back cleared this by launching the ball away.
Unfortunately, Balbuena’s foot planted into the leg of Chilwell, this encouraged referee Chris Kavanagh to jog over to the pitch-side VAR monitor to review the decision.
Like always, the slo-motion replays and angles were never going to do any favours for Balbuena here and the defender was shown a straight red card.
That left the Hammers down to 10-men for the final ten minutes of the clash, casting away any hope of a late comeback and instead they’ve suffered a massive dent in their hopes for European football.
RED CARD! ?
Fabian Balbuena is sent off by referee Chris Kavanagh after he caught Ben Chilwell with his follow through. What do you make of the decision?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 24, 2021
Pictures from Sky Sports and RMC Sport.
This was Balbuena’s first Premier League start of the year, after a four-month wait for this chance, the Paraguayan now faces missing three key matches for the club.