February 18 – Another Premier League fixture, another headline-making VAR controversy, this time in favour of Manchester United after not one, but two Chelsea ‘goals’ were ruled out in Monday’s high-profile clash in the race for the top four.
Chelsea squandered a string of opportunities before losing 2-0 but were undone by the video assistant referee system.
Kurt Zouma thought he had scored from a corner in the 54th minute but VAR ruled that there was a push in the area. Then substitute Olivier Giroud’s header in the 77th was cancelled out when VAR showed the toe of his boot was offside.
Chelsea became only the second team to have two goals awarded on the field but then ruled out by VAR in the same Premier League game and once again the referee for some reason refused to consult the pitch-side monitor
“I don’t get why they aren’t looking at the monitor. It should be used,” said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard. “It’s a bit soul destroying [for the fans] but it’s the culmination of a few incidents. VAR is there for that and a toe offside is a toe offside, even if we don’t like it.”
To add both to Chelsea’s frustration and the debate over the inconsistency of VAR, England defender Harry Maguire, who scored one of United’s goals, appeared to kick out at Michy Batshuayi in exactly the same way that Tottenham’s Son Heung-min did to Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger earlier in the season. Son received a three-match ban after a red card but McGuire got away with it.
“Harry Maguire should have been sent off, that’s clear, and that obviously changes the game,” said Lampard.
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