Football News – Bad Weekend For VAR According To Managers
The use of the virtual assistance referee (VAR) has been a contentious one all season in the Premier League, but this weekend, in particular, has been the apparent flaws in the system.
Jurgen Klopp, Sean Dyche, Nuno Espirito Santo and Dean Smith were critically over the officiating technology over the past weekend.
Klopp was incensed at the full-time whistle after he believed Divock Origi was fouled in the build-up to the Manchester United equaliser on Sunday afternoon.
“I think most people thought it was a foul,” said the Liverpool manager. “I am sure it was a foul. Mr Atkinson let the game go on because he knew we had VAR. As soon as they scored, they checked it, but then it was not obvious because with a challenge you cannot always be 100% sure. But without VAR I am 100% sure Atkinson would have blown for a foul.
“It’s great for offside and handball, but for these situations, we have not got it right yet. I was so confident that it was going to be overturned.
“It has to change that not many decisions are overturned.
“Look at Manchester City yesterday – it was so clear and obvious that Kevin de Bruyne was pushed [against Crystal Palace]. If I am saying Manchester City should have had a penalty, then it must have been a penalty.”
There was a clear indication that it was a foul, by VAR refused to overrule the decision after Origi went down holding the other leg from the one that was clipped.
He was annoyed further in the same fixture as Sadio Mane saw a goal disallowed after the ball touched his hand. The precedent for that one, however, was far more clear.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to admit it was a foul. The United boss said afterwards: “No chance. We are not playing basketball.
“It’s maybe a slight touch, but it’s not a clear and obvious error. It’s still a man’s game with tackles allowed.”
Another manager that saw VAR go against his side this weekend was Burnley’s Dyche. The Clarets manager thought his side had earned a point when Jonny Evans deflected the ball into his own goal, but VAR overturned the decision as they saw it as a foul by Chris Wood.
Dyche didn’t think it was a foul. He said: “I’m very disappointed. I’m a big fan of VAR, but it has to be used more wisely than that.
Chris Wood only has eyes for the ball and the defender isn’t getting it in a million years. The referee doesn’t even use the screen, he has got to come and look at that, and I’d be surprised if he gave it.
“There is contact, but we’re talking about people who have been around the game long enough to know what body language means. If you’re going to trip someone, there’s that little look, and then you clip someone. Hopefully, this is an incident that we can learn from.
“We do know there are going to be decisions that are so difficult to decide. We know that, but I don’t think that was difficult today. Jonny Evans was never going to get that. The key moment has gone against us.”
It would seem that the technology is still a work in progress, but Liverpool would be happy that they were able to salvage a point at Old Trafford.
That result ensures that they remain the odds on favourites to win the Premier League this season despite their lead being cut to six points.