By Adefunmiloye Alani

9th Jan, 2022 | 4:20pm

Andy Couzens reacts as West Ham opener stands after VAR check v Leeds

Leeds United found themselves trailing 1-0 against West Ham after half-time at the London Stadium in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Hammers secured a controversial opener through Manuel Lanzini in the 34th-minute on Sunday (9 January), but VAR approved the goal after a lengthy check, leaving Andy Couzens fuming on his personal Twitter account.

Jarrod Bowen was in an offside position and interfering with play during the build-up to the goal, and the decision to award it baffled everyone.

Couzens said: “100 per cent offside. How’s he not involved. VAR joke again.”

Joke

The VAR review ruled in West Ham’s favour, and Leeds would surely have felt undone by as the goal played a role in eventually dumping them out of the competition, with the hosts doubling their lead late on in the game.

Bowen was clearly offside amid the scramble, and while it can be argued that he did touch the ball, his presence surely prevented Illan Meslier from grabbing it.

If VAR was not in place to review the goal, the Elland Road outfit would not have had many complaints, but the fact that the technology could not detect what was glaring to everyone after replay is inexplicable.

VAR has had a lot of controversial calls since its introduction, and this one sits up there alongside the most confusing ones.

Leeds did not do much to create a lot of chances and were arguably the second-best team at London, but things could have been different had that goal not counted.

The authorities and officials should be doing better when it comes to calls like these.

Couzens summed it all up, and that decision was definitely a joke, with Leeds clearly robbed.

In other Leeds United news, Whites chiefs recently jetted out of the UK for talks.