'Got to trust it': Jarrod Bowen issues verdict on controversial West Ham FA Cup opener against Leeds United

Jarrod Bowen conceded West Ham were given a scare by VAR following a controversial opener against Leeds United.

By Joe Urquhart
Sunday, 9th January 2022, 5:57 pm

Marcelo Bielsa saw his side dumped out of the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon at the London Stadium.

The Whites departed the third round of England's oldest and most famous competition thanks to a 2-0 defeat in the capital at the hands of David Moyes' men.

Bowen played a key role in the build-up to Manuel Lanzini's opener in the first half before sealing victory in added time at the end of the encounter himself.

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Nikola Vlasic drove into the box and saw an initial shot blocked as Bowen ran across goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who attempted to gather the loose ball.

Lanzini reacted quickest, though, to fire home into the back of the net with replays showing Bowen in an offside position in the first flurry of action.

Following a lengthy VAR review, the goal was given amid protests and arguments from the Whites.

“I didn’t really know what he [the VAR] was looking at to be honest,” Bowen reflected post-match. “They said ‘offside’ but they didn’t really show it on the big screen.

West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen. Pic: Getty

“It’s just a waiting game. You always fear the worst – that they’re going to disallow it – but we got the goal.

“If it’s gone to VAR, and they’ve said it’s a goal, then we just trust it’s a goal.

“We dominated a lot of the game and we knew they were going to be difficult to play against – they always are – but we stuck in, took some of their storm, and at the end got the goal to put the game to bed.”

Declan Rice echoed Bowen's sentiments at the final whistle, as he looked back on the hard-fought win.

“I was thinking ‘please let it be a goal, because the place is going to erupt’!” Rice recalled. “The roar was incredible.

“It was a great game. Every time we play Leeds we know it’s going to be tough. That’s why the manager picked the strong team today. We knew we had to win.

“We put together a strong run in the Carabao Cup, and every competition we’re in we want to take seriously. The FA Cup’s one we really want to win.”