West Ham man slammed for ‘shocking defending’ as ‘cardinal sin’ costs Moyes v Fulham

Jason Soutar
West Ham defender Konstantinos Mavropanos is criticised by Perry Groves
Konstantinos Mavropanos is criticised by Perry Groves

West Ham defender Konstantinos Mavropanos has been criticised for committing a “cardinal sin” against Fulham in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat.

There were three Premier League matches on Sunday, with no home team scoring or picking up a single point.

West Ham: Mavropanos commits ‘cardinal sin’ in Fulham loss

Most notably, title challengers Liverpool and Arsenal were beaten by Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, respectively, but there was another game on, believe it or not.

West Ham were downed by London rivals Fulham courtesy of a brace from ex-Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira.

Pereira opened the scoring after a mistake from Mavropanos, who tried and failed to control an Alex Iwobi chipped pass around 14 yards from his own goal.

His touch unfortunately let himself down and the ball bounced off his left foot and found its way to Pereira, who smashed the ball into the top corner.

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The Greek defender has been slammed by Arsenal icon Perry Groves, who says Mavropanos should have cleared the danger, which was the first “cardinal sin”, before committing another by ‘putting the ball across his own goal’.

“I’m old school, should your centre-half be trying to bring the ball down in his own 18-yard box?” Groves said on talkSPORT.

“The ball is coming from Iwobi from the right-hand side, comes to Mavropanos, put your laces through it, get a firm side foot, get it out the 18-yard box.

“He’s not even aware that Pereira is behind him so as he’s taken his touch it’s gone back across goal. Another cardinal sin, you don’t put the ball back across your own goal.

“It’s shocking defending from Mavropanos.”

David Moyes: George Earthy doing ‘fine’

It was an awful day for West Ham but the defeat was overshadowed by a horror head injury sustained by 19-year-old debutant George Earthy.

The teenager had just come on as a substitute when he collided with team-mate Edson Alvarez in the middle of the field.

Earthy fell to the ground awkwardly and appeared to have been knocked out cold, sparking worrying scenes as medics and team-mates rushed to help the stricken youngster.

After receiving treatment for eight minutes, Earthy was carried off on a stretcher. He was conscious when he was taken out of the London Stadium in an ambulance around 20 minutes after full-time.

West Ham manager Moyes – who received a taste of his own medicine against Fulham – said Earthy is “fine” after the alarming collision.

“I am really disappointed for George,” he said. “He has been doing really well in training, done really well for the Under-21s.

“He started well with the ball, had some really nice touches. He is fine. It is a head knock. He is awake and has gone to hospital, we think he is OK at the moment. We all thought he had been knocked out but I don’t know any more.”

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