Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool were at the wrong end of VAR’s input, the former two settling for draws while the Reds remained unaffected.
Mikel Arteta was reasonable upset after Arsenal’s 1-1 with Sheffield United. Arsenal deserved a penalty for Jack O’Connell’s outstretched leg on Nicholas Pepe inside the box. Nothing came off it.
Against Watford, Jose Mourinho was ruing technology. The Special One has a way with words to get his message across. And he did that after Tottenham’s 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.
It was goal line technology that kept Spurs from taking the three points. It was the difference of 2mm that restrained Tottenham from getting on the scoreboard. A fine margin to say the least.
While at Anfield, a sensational Roberto Firmino was chalked off after a VAR review. The review was not needed but the referee under pressure from Manchester United players called for it. And a ghost foul was given.
It did not impact the result at Merseyside as Liverpool ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. The reigning European champions increasing their lead to 16 with a game in hand at the top of Premier League table. While Tottenham and Arsenal fans must be visibly upset.
Mikel Arteta did not shy away from voicing his frustration while talking to beIN Sports. Arsenal have been robbed by technology twice in a fortnight and it is hurting them.
“I think it’s very clear,” the Arsenal manager shared.
“It was the same as with Chelsea, very clear. I don’t know how many tools do we need?”
“A lot of things happen and the challenge is getting bigger and bigger because we are getting a lot of bad surprises every day with some injuries and suspensions.
Meanwhile, in his thinly veiled attack on VAR, Mourinho packed heavy punches. Remarking it was making ‘too many mistakes’.
“That’s how it is,” the Spurs boss said of a chance that narrowly missed going over the line. “I know it was only a couple of millimetres but goal-line technology doesn’t make mistakes like the VAR make, so we have to accept that by two millimetres it was not a goal,” the Portuguese commented.
“Tottenham’s performance, separate from referee and VAR decisions, because I prefer not to comment, Tottenham’s performance was good. We started very well and immediately we had a [dangerous] situation after a couple of minutes.”
VAR in its first full year of use is facing teething issues. Referees are still trying to understand the ropes and so is everyone related to the sport.
But it does not look pretty. Especially in the Premier League. It is hurting the game more than serving it.