Thursday night in the Europa League saw West Ham draw 1-1 against French side Lyon.
The Hammers, who were in quarter-final action, would have been desperate for a good result but after watching left-back Aaron Cresswell get sent off in the game’s first half manager David Moyes would have been fearing the worst.
Although winger Jarrod Bowen scored a crucial goal in the second half which Tanguy Ndombele then cancelled out, Moyes, as well as the club’s fanbase, will still be reeling from Cresswell’s dismissal.
The experienced full-back’s sending off came after he was spotted running back and attempted to get goal-side of Moussa Dembele.
Although Cresswell did reach across the Lyon striker, minimal contact was made and former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes the defender’s red card was a ‘harsh’ one.
“Aaron Cresswell’s red card against Lyon was a harsh call,” Halsey told CaughtOffside.
“Was it a denial of a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity? It’s a subjective decision but there were doubts for me.
“Under Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct, German referee Felix Zwayer had to consider: the distance between the offence and the goal, general direction of play, likelihood of keeping or gaining control of the ball and the location and number of defenders.
“Dembele’s touch took him away from goal and I felt a yellow card would have been sufficient punishment. Had the striker have taken the ball towards the goal then it’s a definite red card for Cresswell.
“I have sympathy for David Moyes but Cresswell was also naive in his actions and he ran the risk. VAR was in operation but did not get involved because it wasn’t a clear and obvious error from Zwayer.”
Nevertheless, regardless of the on-field decision, which cannot be changed now, Moyes will secretly be delighted that his side was able to come away relatively unscathed and have now set up a huge second leg in France next week.