By George Overhill

9th Jan, 2022 | 4:45pm

Phil Hay cannot explain decision in Leeds United clash with West Ham

West Ham’s goal in a “flat” first-half against Leeds United should not have stood as the video assistant missed a clear offside, according to Phil Hay.

The Athletic journalist, writing on his personal Twitter account, wrote: “Not sure how they’ll explain the decision to allow the goal.”

Manuel Lanzini smashed in the 34th-minute opener following a scramble, after Leo Hjelde had slid in to block a shot from Nikola Vlasic, before Illan Meslier was unable to claim.

Hay wrote of the following sequence: “Anyway you look at it, [Jarrod] Bowen was offside and interfering when Meslier went for it.”

This was after the West Ham attacker ran across the French goalkeeper as he attempted to gather the loose ball.

Hard done by

A lengthy VAR review followed the goal, raising expectations that it would not stand.

The view was shared at the time by ITV co-commentator Dean Ashton, as well as pundits Jermaine Beckford and Jermain Defoe at half-time.

But after the delay referee Stuart Attwell awarded the goal, despite Bowen appearing to both clearly be offside when Vlasic made contact and then impeding Meslier’s ability to clear up.

Attwell was in charge at the Emirates for Manchester City’s victory over Arsenal last week and faced criticism after the game for some of his decisions.

And Leeds fans in particular will not be amused to face more FA Cup misfortune in a game with the English referee at the helm.

The Warwickshire official was in charge of the infamous upset Leeds suffered at the hands of non-league Sutton United in 2017.

He awarded Sutton a penalty and sent off captain Liam Cooper in the 1-0 defeat, and may come to represent a bad omen for United in the cup.

In other Leeds United news, the club are set to miss out on European champion midfielder.