Chris Wilder on Sheffield United's VAR good fortune: I feel for David Moyes - the same thing has happened to us
It looked like the Blades had been denied the victory when Robert Snodgrass – even more of a scourge of Wilder's Sheffield United than the video assistant referee has been this season – found the net in stoppage time.
It was a rare payback for a side which went into the game having had seven VAR decisions go against them this season, as opposed to only one in their favour – the worst record in the Premier League.
"I feel for David and the players,” said Wilder. “The same thing has happened to us a few times. But we would've been devastated if we'd have drawn that game.
"As soon as they scored, no one was looking at it (a possible handball) but I felt for the opposition - it's the same moans and groans as we've had in the past.”
The day had started positively for the Blades, with the news that Wilder has signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract that will take him up to the end of the 2023-24 season, and United have the option of an extra year on top of it. Wilder's assistant Alan Knill has also been rewarded with a new deal.
After a disappointing first half where West Ham had the better of what few chances there were, Sheffield United took the lead through Oli McBurnie, preferred to Lys Mousset, after 53 minutes.
It looked like a couple of Dean Henderson saves, one outstanding from a Manuel Lanzini free-kick, had earned his side three points, but it needed Kavanagh's intervention to guarantee that.
Wilder described the result as far better than the performance, but it moved his side into fifth with the rest of the division to play at the weekend.
"We had to improve the performance because tonight wasn't at our best,” he said. “We've had to grind one out. We gave the ball away cheaply.
“We had two or three really good chances but didn't take them.
"We made a poor decision late in the game but that's what happens when you go backwards and they came on to us."
Rice described himself as “livid” at full-time.
“We scored a good goal, simple as that,” said his manager Moyes, whose side had won both his previous games since returning to the club without conceding.
“I thought we deserved that and maybe a bit more, actually, I thought we played really well.
“I'm only just back in the game but I've watched a lot of football this season and I don't think anybody's enjoying it (VAR) at all.
“I don't think anybody in the ground if you hadn't said there had been a handball would have even thought about it. It was a brilliant bit of midfield play by Declan Rice, who powered through, and I don't know where he puts his hands when the ball heads it against him, maybe that's a tactic you can use now.
“For me it's a poor decision.”
Moyes agreed with Rice's angry post-match assessment that “pretty much everyone doesn’t want VAR in the game.”
The Scot said: “I think if you ask the supporters in the ground, the majority would be against VAR but I don't want to say it's all bad because we are trying to improve our game. But there are some things where we might have to realise we've maybe gone a step too far.”