Monday 19 August 2019

Santo annoyed by latest VAR controversy as Dendoncker goal ruled out

Leicester City 0 Wolves 0

Leicester City's Hamza Choudhury in action. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates
Leicester City's Hamza Choudhury in action. Photo: Reuters/Andrew Yates

John Percy

Nuno Espirito Santo's anger and frustration were clear. Ninety-eight seconds after Wolves players and supporters had finished celebrating Leander Dendoncker's second-half "goal", it was ruled out on the instruction of video assistant referee Jonathan Moss, who was sitting in a west London studio.

Nuno raged on the touchline as he became the latest Premier League manager to find himself embroiled in a VAR controversy.

Leicester City's James Maddison (centre) has a shot on goal. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Leicester City's James Maddison (centre) has a shot on goal. Photo: Tim Goode/PA Wire

Even Leicester's players appeared bemused by the delay - caused by a handball from Wolves defender Willy Boly - but this is a brave new era for English football and, regardless of its teething problems and unpopularity, VAR is here to stay.

The decision deprived Wolves of their fourth straight win - after three victories in the Europa League qualifiers - but by the final whistle Nuno appeared to have calmed down, insisting the only issue was the delay.

"Everybody is going to speak about this, game after game, until things become normal," said the Portuguese.

"We celebrate and then we don't celebrate and then the Leicester fans celebrate a non-goal. It's too much time. It is not the mindset of the game. What concerns me is the tempo. The time that we stay in this silence, I don't like it."

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matt Doherty in action with Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matt Doherty in action with Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi. Photo: Reuters/John Sibley

Forthright

Conor Coady, the Wolves captain, was considerably more forthright. "It is a goal," he said. "People will say it has hit his hand, but he is not looking at the ball. We are going to have to play with our hands chopped off."

This was an early-season scrap between two clubs with ambitions of gatecrashing the top six.

Leicester dominated possession in the first half without ever presenting any nervy moments to Rui Patricio in the visitors' goal, with Jamie Vardy somehow missing a Youri Tielemans cross from two yards out.

Dendoncker's disallowed goal six minutes after the break had followed a sustained period of pressure from Wolves, with the Belgian midfielder pouncing after Leicester failed to clear Joao Moutinho's corner.

Boly clearly handled the ball with his arm, before Dendoncker directed it past Kasper Schmeichel.

Brendan Rodgers, the Leicester manager, admitted VAR had saved his team.

He said: "It was unfortunate for them and it benefited us because it shifted the momentum of the game.

"Today it worked for us and there will be another game when it goes against us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Indo Sport

The Throw-In: Tipp throw off the shackles while Kilkenny’s soul-searching begins

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport