West Ham earn a point at Fulham despite a controversial red card.

Referee Mike Dean giving West Ham's Tomas Soucek a very debatable red card. (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Referee Mike Dean giving West Ham's Tomas Soucek a very debatable red card. (Photo by CLIVE ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

West Ham were held to a goalless draw by a sharp Fulham side as the Hammers fail to climb back into a Champions League spot.

West Ham and Fulham went into the game at completely different ends of the table with the Hammers looking to move into a Champions League spot, while Scott Parker’s side were hoping to close the gap between themselves and 17th place Burnley.

Fulham had failed to win in their last 19 London derbies, losing 17 and drawing two. Conveniently, their last win came against West Ham in 2014 where Scott Parker helped his side as a player, beat his former club 2-1.

Fulham started brighter of the two and created a couple of half-chances, the best of which was an effort from Ademola Lookman which was blocked by Angelo Ogbonna.

West Ham’s delayed start to this match saw all the pressure coming from Fulham early.

The hosts kept up the pressure but despite their efforts, West Ham began to grow more into the game and in doing so they created the first major chance in the game.

Aaron Cresswell’s delightful cross in the 13th minute needed just a slight touch from the awaiting Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen, but both players failed to connect with the ball.

Following this, the Hammers grew in confidence and created another good chance just minutes later. Cresswell was involved again and played a sublime through ball to Said Benrahma who cut back and laid the ball off to Declan Rice but the England internationals low driven shot was easily saved by Areola.

Despite a spell of dominance from the away side, Fulham began to bounce back and started to create more chances through Lookman who was looking dangerous every time he touched the ball.

The former Everton youngster had a shot drift just wide of Lukasz Fabianski’s post in the 34th minute and set up Fulham’s first effort on target just minutes later when Ivan Cavaleiro met his ball in but sent it straight at the West Ham keeper.

This turned out to be the last action of an uneventful first half for both sides.

Yet again the hosts started the second half positively and created a good chance early on. Joachim Andersen played a great ball over the top to Decordova Reid but the striker’s half volley went narrowly over the bar.

Fulham didn’t stop there and kept pushing West Ham and nearly opened the scoring in the 52nd minute when Lookman sent Ruben Loftus-Cheek clean through on goal, only for the Chelsea loanee to fire his shot into the side netting.

Despite Fulham’s dominance, West Ham came inches away from opening the scoring in the 64th minute when Vladimir Coufal met Antonio’s cross and sent his headed effort thundering off the crossbar.

Things started to look grim for West Ham in the 71st minute when Antonio was spotted signalling to the substitute bench and was hooked off for Ryan Fredericks minutes later. West Ham will be hoping that it is just a precaution due to their poor striker depth.

Fulham seemed to take heart from this and began to get back on the front foot and they came close in the 75th minute Lookman’s freekick that went narrowly wide of the top right corner.

They then missed another golden chance to make it 1-0 after a Cavaleiro sent his shot sailing over the crossbar following a smart cut-back from Lookman.

However, just when it looked like the game would end without any controversy, Mike Dean stepped in.

The referee stepped in with the help of VAR and sent Tomas Soucek off for “violent conduct” after Soucek’s elbow connected with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s face.

It was blindingly obvious to see that the Czech midfielder was attempting to lift his arm over the Serbians head in an attempt to get away from the player.

However, despite the protests of West Ham AND Mitrovic, Mike Dean stood firm and sent the player packing in the 97th minute.

As a result, West Ham will be going into their FA cup game against Manchester United without their top scorer unless the red card gets rescinded before the Hammers travel up to Old Trafford.

Soucek’s sending off came too late for Fulham to take a mathematical advantage and the game ended 0-0.

A point seemed a fair result but it will also be seen as a wasted opportunity from both managers, with Moyes and Parker surely thinking that their sides could have won it.

Saïd Benrahma is taking West Ham to a new level. dark. Next

West Ham and Fulham stay 5th and 18th respectively and will be looking to get back to winning ways in their next fixtures. The Hammers will also be looking to get Soucek’s ridiculous red card rescinded in time for their FA cup 5th round game against Manchester United.