West Ham's Tomas Soucek gives cheeky response after getting away with handball against Chelsea

Chelsea's players appeal to referee Craig Pawson during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at the London Stadium in London, United Kingdom on 11 February, 2023.
(Image credit: Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Tomas Soucek must have breathed a huge sigh of relief after getting away with what looked like a blatant handball in West Ham (opens in new tab)'s draw with Chelsea (opens in new tab) – and he soon saw the funny side of his stroke of luck.

With the scores level at 1-1 in the 89th minute at the London Stadium, Soucek clearly blocked Conor Gallagher's goal-bound shot using his hand inside the box, sparking vociferous appeals from the Blues players.

No penalty was given by referee Craig Pawson, and the decision stood following a VAR review.

Chelsea made it perfectly clear where they stood on the incident, though, tweeting (opens in new tab): "Soucek makes a great save from Conor Gallagher."

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And, speaking after the game, Soucek seemed to know that he'd got away with it big time. He told West Ham club media (opens in new tab): "My father was a goalkeeper, so I did a save..."

The Czech midfielder – who came on for the injured Lucas Paqueta after 14 minutes – then burst out laughing. 

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea boss Graham Potter was rather less amused about the decision not to award his side a penalty. He said (opens in new tab):

"It looked quite a handball to me; I didn’t know Tomas could get down and save like that. It was a good save. You need your goalkeeper sometimes to get you points."

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...