Tuesday 23 April 2019

Swansea won't complain over absent VAR in Cup defeat

Swansea players feel the pain after Sergio Aguero equalises from the penalty spot. Photo: Reuters
Swansea players feel the pain after Sergio Aguero equalises from the penalty spot. Photo: Reuters

Tom Morgan

Swansea City have ruled out a complaint against the Football Association, despite saying the club are "in the dark" over the controversial decision to deprive them of a video assistant referee (VAR) which could have swung the FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City in their favour.

The Liberty Stadium is equipped to use the technology, but the FA told the club prior to this pulsating tie that it would be sticking with its policy to use it only at Premier League grounds for Cup weekends.

With VAR in use for the two other Saturday quarter-finals, its absence in South Wales had perplexed City manager Pep Guardiola even though his side benefited from two dubious second-half goals that left Swansea on the wrong end of a 2-3 scoreline.

A soft penalty and an offside header from Sergio Aguero dragged the carpet from under the Welsh side, who had been leading 2-0 with just over 20 minutes remaining.

As the dust settled yesterday, however, the club concluded they would be wasting their time complaining to the FA.

"We're proud of the performance from our team," a senior club source said. "It was a disappointing decision, but there's no point in showing sour grapes."

It was the cruellest of FA Cup exits for a Swansea side who had the ground rocking after opening up a 2-0 lead before half-time.

The hosts had the opportunity to go ahead when Fabian Delph clumsily brought down Connor Roberts in the area and Matt Grimes stepped up to send a venomous penalty beyond Ederson's right side.

City were temporarily stunned into submission, and life got even sweeter for the hosts 10 minutes later when former Manchester City playmaker Bersant Celina, exorcised all the demons of his rejection by the club as he sent the sweetest of curling strikes past Ederson.

However, there was a collective groan 15 minutes after the restart as Guardiola brought out the big guns, with first Raheem Sterling and then Aguero coming off the bench.

The Argentine then laid on Bernardo Silva to curl home expertly and spark the most nervous of remaining half hours.

Then Cameron Carter-Vickers lunged in on Sterling and Aguero converted the penalty, albeit via a post and goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt's back and, just two minutes from time, Aguero struck again. (© The Daily Telegraph)

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