Declan Rice: It's a tough one to take
Rarely could the highs and lows of football been brought together so clearly than in second half stoppage time at Sheffield United on Friday night.
West Ham United thought they had earned a hard-fought point on the road at Sheffield United thanks to Robert Snodgrass' near-post finish, which looked as though it had cancelled out Oli McBurnie's opener.
Declan Rice's brilliant work to run onto Snodgrass' initial flick and beat the challenges on the edge of the area set up the chance, only for a VAR check to spot the ball cannoning into the No41's hand as he made his way through.
The change in the handball law last summer, which states that any goal scored or created with the use of the hand or arm will be disallowed this season even if it is accidental, ensured the VAR Chris Kavanagh had no choice but to disallow the goal.
"The goal at the end was a tough one to take because a point on the road would have been good for us," Rice explained.
"I was buzzing. I ran 20 metres up the pitch, slipped the ball in for Snods and we scored a great goal for the team.
"I've watched it back. He has knocked the ball into my hand. If you are running with your arms like that with the rules as they are now it is handball but it is not intentional. It is a kick in the teeth."
What made the outcome especially frustrating for Rice was that he and his teammates felt they had earned reward for their endeavour on the pitch.
"This is a tough place to come, and credit to them they ground it out. We created some chances and missed some chances," Rice continued.
"They only started to create chances when the game started to get stretched. We should definitely have had a point and it's a kick in the teeth."