Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was at the center of controversy on Saturday in Leicester City’s 3-1 home win over Bournemouth, who were left fuming after Youri Tielemans escaped a booking for a potential leg-breaking challenge on Callum Wilson.
Tielemans missed the ball completely and stamped Wilson on the shin and ankle, causing the Bournemouth striker to fall to the turf in pain but referee Peter Bankes, on his Premier League debut, did not deem the challenge worthy of a booking.
This clearly shows that VAR does not work. Look at this Tielemans challenge in the Leicester vs Bournemouth game.
A terrible tackle. He did not even get a yellow card for this! ????? pic.twitter.com/VmEoodAsbt
— PrezDigital?? (@PrezDigital) August 31, 2019
Veteran referee Martin Atkinson was in charge of VAR for the match but, after a review to check for a potential red card that delayed the game’s restart by nearly two minutes, there was no decision forthcoming.
“I haven’t seen it again, but I was close enough to see it live,” Howe told reporters after his side fell to 15th in the standings following their second consecutive league defeat of the season. “It was over the top and dangerous for Callum. I don’t know why VAR didn’t make the decision.”
Wilson, who was himself booked for simulation in the second half, was adamant that the foul warranted a booking and questioned the implementation of VAR. “He missed the ball and went over the top and went on to my ankle,” Wilson said. “If it’s not clear and obvious then I don’t know what is. I’d like to watch back and see why it wasn’t (a red card). He went straight over the top and on my shin. He almost broke my ankle. It warranted a card.”
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, however, chose to defend his player, claiming they also deserved a decision going their way when Jefferson Lerma brought down Jonny Evans near the touchline before the referee allowed the visitors to play on and counter-attack.
“There were two challenges in the game. The young midfielder (Lerma) for Bournemouth caught Jonny Evans over the top, not intentional,” Rodgers said. “Same with Youri Tielemans. When you slow them down they look worse than they are.”
Smith anger at referee and VAR as Villa ‘equaliser’ disallowed
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith lashed out at the failure of VAR to overturn the referee’s decision to deny his side a late equaliser in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday. With seconds remaining, Villa’s Henri Lansbury fired into the corner of the Palace net but, instead of awarding the goal, the official booked Jack Grealish for a dive in the build-up.
TV replays showed contact between Grealish and Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, who cut across the midfielder and appeared to make him stumble into the path of Gary Cahill as the ball broke loose to Lansbury. The sequence of events would have been considered by VAR, but officials did not move to change the referee’s original decision, a sequence of events that left Smith furious.
Just look at @JackGrealish1 hes absolutely livid and bewildered as to why the goals been disallowed! God forbid the atmosphere next time we get Kevin Friend to officiate one of our games #avfc pic.twitter.com/4w1AoqZnJ7
— HomeOfTheVilla (@TheVillaHome) August 31, 2019
13/03/19 Aston Villa (H) – Yohan Benalouane’s perfectly legal goal disallowed. Game would have been level at 2-2. pic.twitter.com/7RU32TTvbi
— Forest Fanzone (@forestfanzone) March 16, 2019
“It was a good goal,” he said. “Nobody can understand why it wasn’t given. I can’t see anything, he got a nudge by Zaha in the back, as he offloads it, Cahill gives him one as well. Simulation? no chance! It’s a perfectly good goal rubbed off today. I haven’t seen the referee yet. I’d probably get the usual waffle but we know it’s a poor decision. I believe any goal goes to VAR. If you’re Jack Grealish I’d be raging, he’s having his integrity questioned. Not only by officials here but in Stockwell Park (where VAR officials watch the game) as well.”
VAR has had a controversial introduction to the Premier League this season, with several decisions attracting debate. Villa midfielder John McGinn said they had been robbed of a point.
“We’re disappointed, to say the least. There’s not much we’re allowed to say other than we’ve seen the replay and it speaks for itself. We’ve been robbed of a point that we deserved but we have to pick ourselves up.”
Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: “Lucky for us the referee had made his decision before the ball had gone in the net and that was to give the free kick. I don’t think we need to apologise at all for the fact that we won the game.”