Friday 20 September 2019

VAR from perfect as checking system creates major talking points once again

Henri Lansbury was denied a last-gasp equaliser at Palace as referee Kevin Friend adjudged Jack Grealish to have dived in the build-up.

The VAR system continues to attract controversy (Yui Mok/PA)
The VAR system continues to attract controversy (Yui Mok/PA)

By Andy Hampson, PA

The use – or in some cases non-use – of the VAR system created some major talking points in the Premier League over the weekend. Here, PA looks at some of the controversies.

Grealish booked for diving

One of the biggest controversies did not actually involve the VAR, with much frustration around the fact it could not be used to resolve a rumpus at Selhurst Park. Aston Villa’s Henri Lansbury was denied a last-gasp equaliser against Crystal Palace because referee Kevin Friend adjudged Jack Grealish to have dived in the build-up. Villa were furious and the decision has been widely criticised by pundits. To compound matters, Friend’s use of the whistle to stop play after the alleged dive meant that, under current regulations, VAR could not be used to review the goal.

Newcastle get lucky

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Schar’s strike against Watford was allowed to stand despite a handball in the build-up (Owen Humphreys/PA)

A fortnight ago Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus was denied a late winner against Tottenham after VAR ruled the ball had struck Aymeric Laporte’s arm before falling to the Brazilian. Even if accidental, under new rules this season, the goal had to be disallowed. Laporte’s handball was missed by the referee at the time and only spotted by an eagle-eyed VAR. Fortunately for Newcastle, their VAR at the weekend was not so vigilant. Replays showed an accidental handball by Isaac Hayden just before Fabian Schar scored the Magpies’ equaliser against Watford at St James’ Park.

Tielemans escapes red card

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Tielemans escaped punishment after a challenge on Callum Wilson (Tim Goode/PA)

Youri Tielemans was on target in Leicester’s victory over Bournemouth but was arguably lucky to stay on the pitch at the King Power Stadium after a bad challenge on Callum Wilson. The Belgian went in late on the Cherries striker, catching him on the ankle. The tackle was reviewed by VAR but Tielemans was not punished.

No penalty for West Ham

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Haller was denied a penalty against Norwich (John Walton/PA)

Sebastian Haller scored in West Ham’s 2-0 win over Norwich and probably should have had a penalty after being brought down by Tom Trybull. Referee Paul Tierney waved play on and, despite replays showing contact, VAR did not deem it a clear and obvious error.

Farke raises issues

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Norwich boss Farke had complaints after the game at West Ham (Joe Giddens/PA)

Norwich boss Daniel Farke also had complaints about VAR at the London Stadium, saying the system did not work well in this game. Farke was angered that Haller was not punished for a heavy tackle on Christoph Zimmerman, who was hurt and consequently unable to prevent a West Ham goal. He also felt Andriy Yarmolenko should have been punished in another incident involving Trybull.

PA Media

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