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  • By Yann Tear

Moyes laments 'embarrassing' decision to red-card Soucek for 'accidental' clash in derby draw

Hammers boss David Moyes decried the sending off of Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek in the dying embers of the Saturday night stalemate with Fulham at Craven Cottage.

The game was already well into injury-time when Aleksandar Mitrovic recoiled after a clash with Soucek on the edge of the Fulham penalty area as the players lined up for a free-kick.

Ref Mike Dean checked a VAR screen after being invited to check a replay by fourth official Lee Mason and after a lengthy stoppage, decided to give the Irons midfielder his marching orders.

It appeared an innocuous moment, with Mitrovic seemingly trying to get Dean to recognise it as just a collision. The plea fell on deaf ears and neither manager was impressed.

"It was an accidental coming together and to give somebody a red card was an embarrassing decision," Moyes said.

"I'm more embarrassed with VAR asking him to go and have a look at it because it was a simple accident that should have resulted in just getting on with the game and nothing more.

"I think both Lee Mason at Stockley Park and Mike Dean are very experienced referees and I'd be amazed if that's the way they wanted to referee the games or we'll be looking at every single accidental incident to look for red cards. I don't think any of us are enjoying parts of the game.

"It's very harsh on a player who's very fair - very honest in his work. He didn't go to injure a player or do anything. Maybe the players have got a bit of responsibility to react correctly, but it would have been easy for the ref or Stockley Park to say: 'Just get on with it.'"

Fulham boss Scott Parker agreed the red card for Soucek: 'looked harsh'

"It's probably not one that would have been given five years ago," the Fulham boss said. "It's the way the game's going. In today's game it looked like a sending off."

Parker was again left feeling his players had shown the sort of form that can eventually take them out of the drop zone, although once again the cutting edge was missing.

"I thought we were superb from start to finish," he said. "The build-up, the way we played. I thought the players executed well in terms of the way we wanted to cause them problems and we've probably just come up a little bit in that final area when we need to out the ball in the back of the net.

"I think we had 20 shots overall and I don't think yon can dominate as much as we've dominated today and not win it. I'm very proud of my team and the way they played. It didn't look like we were fighting for our lives or a downbeat team. We showed a lot of confidence.

"Of course it's a concern [that we didn't score] and it's been a concern for a little while now. But I'd be much more concerned if we weren't creating the chances. It's just the technique in the finishing we have to work on - making the right decision at the right time."

Parker praised Ruben Loftus-Cheek in particular for his contribution: "I thought he was nothing short of incredible," Parker said. "I thought he was fantastic today, taking us up the pitch, control, his whole game. I see a boy here with huge quality who is developing in the right way."


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