Stoke City manager Mark Hughes accused Manuel Lanzini of diving for a penalty that set the ball rolling for Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to West Ham.
Mark Noble scored from 12 yards, before Marko Arnautovic netted on his return to Stoke and Diafra Sakho capped a miserable outing for the Potters, who are now 17th after David Moyes' side vaulted out of the bottom three.
Hughes' side have lost five of their last six games to heap pressure on the Welshman, whose job prospects appear increasingly fragile despite club owner Peter Coates playing down talk of a sacking ahead of this weekend's game.
And the Stoke boss railed against Lanzini going to ground under Erik Pieters' needless challenge, mere seconds after Ryan Shawcross had hit the post at the other end.
Hughes told BBC Sport: "It's the way our luck is going at the moment.
"You convince yourself that luck will change and we've got to keep that mindset. Things are conspiring against us and we need help from referees to get things right. That's the hope moving forward, that we get cut some slack.
"I've seen it again. The guy's dived. He's drawn the challenge. He's a clever player. It was clearly a dive and the ref's seen something that no-one else saw. All in all, it was a poor sequence of events for him and for us."
Hughes is insistent he remains the man for the job at Stoke, adding: "I know this group and I know what they can produce. We'll get a tune out of them and hopefully we'll get better."
Opposite number Moyes has gone three games without losing or conceding a goal in the Premier League for the first time since his Manchester United tenure over three and a half years ago.
Scenes! pic.twitter.com/Jc5bOGUg5E-- West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) December 16, 2017
The Scot had an unsurprisingly differing view on the penalty incident.
He told a news conference: "The defender gives the referee a decision to make. It was soft.
"Manu has run 70 yards, the defender going to ground means the ref makes the choice. I don't think there was intent for a dive, he's riding the tackle more than anything."
Arnautovic had questions over his £25million price-tag chanted for large parts of the contest and saw four chances to score pass by before his calm 75th-minute strike effectively ended the contest.
Moyes revealed his frustrations at the Austrian's early profligacy, but hailed his determination to find the net.
"I was annoyed with Marko at half-time, he should have scored two," Moyes said.
"But I also said if he kept it up he would score, then he did. He could have had a hat-trick. He is becoming a very important player. I'd love to get him up to higher levels."