Nicolò Zaniolo grabs point for Aston Villa as VAR denies West Ham at the last

After Tottenham’s pain, only a slight gain for Aston Villa. Perhaps a draw was enough when a first defeat in London under Unai Emery beckoned, adding further fuel to growing fears his team have run out of juice at the wrong time. And it took more than six minutes of VAR deliberation in consultation with Jarred Gillett, the referee, to rule out an injury-time winner from Tomas Soucek, the ball hitting his arm amid a goalmouth scramble, to deny West Ham the points.

After Spurs’ Saturday capitulation at Fulham, there was relief when Nicolò Zaniolo crashed home an equaliser, from Moussa Diaby’s cross. Emery’s in-game management had rescued a point just when it seemed David Moyes had pulled off a tactical coup. Even more relief, and the boos of the home fans, were to follow.

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