LONDON (Reuters) - West Ham United rose to the heady heights of fifth in the Premier League with a fortunate 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Monday but manager David Moyes conceded it was hard to watch.
Goals by Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen at the start of each half earned West Ham the points, but Villa will feel hard done by after Ollie Watkins rattled the crossbar with a penalty then had a stoppage time equaliser ruled out by VAR.
"I had my head in my hands for a long time in the game. I don't think we played well," Moyes said. "It was not the level I was expecting from us.
"Can I put my finger on it? Aston Villa played well. I do take a bit from it in terms of we were resilient and stuck at it. We made sure we were not going to buckle and got a bit fortunate with some of the decisions in the end possibly."
Watkins looked to have earned Villa a deserved draw when he broke away from the clutches of Ogbonna to slot home but, after a lengthy VAR check, the young striker was adjudged to have had part of his arm in an offside position.
"I don't mind the lines (when looking at an offside). I think the late flag we are seeing when the official knows it's an offside decision, I think that is ruining the game completely. For me that is as bad a rule as any of the others," Moyes said. "We got fortunate that in some way it was offside."
Villa had equalised through Jack Grealish and looked capable of going on to win the game and go fourth.
But it ended up being a missed opportunity.
"We've had enough chances to score more than two goals and win the game. We were great. That's why it hurts so much," Villa boss Dean Smith said. "I won't go home thinking about VAR. It frustrates everyone.
"There's no point getting worked up about it."
(Reporting by Martyn Herman)