Ahead of a crucial FA Cup fifth-round clash of Tuesday night, West Ham United have been handed a major boost as they prepare to take on Manchester United.
The pair meet on Tuesday night at Old Trafford with the chance to earn a place in the quarter-finals.
It was initially believed that star midfielder Tomas Soucek would miss the tie after being sent off against Fulham at the weekend.
After a VAR review, Mike Dean adjudged Soucek to have caught Aleksandr Mitrovic with his elbow as the pair jostled for position at a set-piece.
Soucek was sent off and faced a three-match ban in all domestic matches, starting with Tuesday’s FA Cup contest against United.
However, West Ham swiftly announced that they would appeal the decision, and on Monday, it was announced that Soucek’s ban had been overturned.
In the action, Soucek was moving his arm as he looked to reposition himself for the pending cross. He caught Mitrovic as he did so, with the Fulham striker falling to the floor somewhat theatrically.
After a VAR review, Dean brandished the red card. That decision has now been overturned, with Soucek expressing his happiness at avoiding a suspension.
“I am glad my red card against Fulham has been overturned. I’ve checked it, I’ve gone over 200 games without a single red card,” he posted on Twitter. “My entire career. I am looking forward to helping the team in the important games this week! Thanks for your support!”
After the match, David Moyes bemoaned the “embarrassing” decision as he explained that he believed Soucek’s action was entirely accidental.
“An accidental coming together which to give somebody a red card is an embarrassing decision,” he said when asked for his views on the action, via football.london.
“I am more embarrassed that VAR would tell him to go and look at it because it was certainly just a simple accident and we should have just got on with the game and nothing more.
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Manchester United smashed nine goals past Southampton on Tuesday night as they bounced back from disappointing results against Sheffield United and Arsenal in emphatic fashion.
The game was effectively over as a contest inside the first two minutes as Southampton were reduced to 10 men, but United still had to find the goals and they did exactly that, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial (two), Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James all getting on the scoresheet.
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“Lee Mason was in Stockley Park and Mike Dean, I think they are both very experienced referees and I will be amazed if that is the way they want to referee the games because if it is and it is accidental, do we now look at every accidental incident and say that could be considered for a red card?”
On the referees, Moyes added: “I think both are good referees and have been throughout their careers. That worries me even more that they’ve made that decision tonight.
“I didn’t say a word to him [Mike Dean] because I’m actually quite embarrassed for Mike that he would have made that decision.”