Bilic ‘gutted’ after ‘unacceptable’ penalty decision

Date published: Saturday 19th March 2016 7:50

Slaven Bilic West Ham

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic felt a sense of injustice after a controversial penalty scored by Cesc Fabregas denied the Hammers a first win at Chelsea in 14 years.

Fabregas converted an 89th-minute spot-kick to earn a 2-2 draw after referee Bobby Madley adjudged Ruben Loftus-Cheek had been tripped by Michail Antonio. Replays suggested if there was contact it was minimal and outside the area.

“To concede a goal that late is gutting, no matter how you concede it,” Bilic said.

“To concede it from a penalty that wasn’t a penalty. It’s unacceptable. It was not close to the line. It was way out and simply not a penalty. It shouldn’t be difficult for a referee to see it.”

It was the second successive week when Bilic felt officials had ruled against his side. He believed goalkeeper Darren Randolph was fouled in the build-up to the Manchester United equaliser which forced an FA Cup quarter-final replay.

Andy Carroll thought he had enhanced the Hammers’ bid for Champions League qualification when he scored one minute after coming off the substitutes’ bench at Stamford Bridge.

But Fabregas netted his second after a brilliant free-kick had earlier cancelled-out Manuel Lanzini’s superb opener.

West Ham remained fifth, one point behind Manchester City and without a double over Chelsea since the 2002/03 season.

Bilic added: “We could have two points more. We could go over Man City, put the pressure on them, we could make a gap with the teams that are below us queueing and we deserved it. We deserved it. So we are gutted.

“I don’t look too much at the table. But what gives me confidence is the way we’re playing.

“We can approach every game, no matter who we’re playing against, where we’re playing, no matter how difficult this league is – and it is very difficult, it’s like a minefield – (and) we are capable. We are having chances against any team.”

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