Peter Walton issues verdict on key decision during West Ham vs Chelsea - and Rio Ferdinand agrees

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Peter Walton has weighed in on the decision Chelsea felt should have gone their way during their clash with West Ham United.

Former Premier League referee Peter Walton has issued his verdict on the controversial moment during Chelsea’s draw with West Ham United on Saturday.

The Blues had to settle for a draw at the London Stadium after former player Emerson Palmieri cancelled out Joao Felix’s early goal, but it might have been much better. Conor Gallagher took aim in the final moments of normal time only to see his shot blocked by Tomas Soucek.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chelsea fans were immediately convinced that the ball had struck Soucek’s hand, and the replay proved them right. The West Ham star was going to ground, but he seemed to go to ground in order to get low enough to block the ball, sparking outrage among Chelsea players and fans.

After the game, BT Sport’s in-house refereeing expert Walton gave his verdict, and he believes the Blues had a strong case. He said: “The law is quite clear about being unnaturally bigger. VAR thinks the arm is in a natural position, that he breaks his fall. When you slow it down, the ball is past his knee, then he decides the arm is there. For me, I think that’s a deliberate tact, and I’m disappointed VAR didn’t give the referee the opportunity to go and have a look at it.”

Pundit Rio Ferdinand also had his say, adding: “Wow. I was happy the referee didn’t see it, but he more or less saves it. Gallagher hits it from the edge of the box, and you can see the Chelsea players are going bananas. I would have been going crazy. He gets down well to his left, what a save! I can’t believe that hasn’t been given.”

Former Chelsea star Joe Cole said: “For me, the crucial thing is the distance Soucek is away from the ball, If you’re close, you can make the argument, but when you are that far away, you get a split second but he knows what he is doing. It’s a penalty.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.