Huddersfield Town

Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

VAR provider apologizes for wrong image of offside Man Utd goal

1 Comment

Whether or not you’re in favor of the use of video-assistant refereeing the world over — and, more specifically, English soccer — one thing on which we can all agree has become abundantly clear: VAR’s maiden voyage has been a chaotic, poorly conducted mess.

[ MORE: Jose Mourinho demands VAR calls be “perfect” ]

Any change to the game’s century-old rules and practices — especially of VAR’s monumental proportions — must be implemented and executed without a hitch. Any issues that had arisen prior to this weekend were minor in significance and import, but that all changed on Saturday, when Manchester United’s Juan Mata had a goal wiped away by VAR (WATCH HERE).

Mata appeared to have timed his run perfectly and been onside before slotting home to put Man United 2-0 ahead of Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup fifth round. After consulting the off-site video assistant, the goal was taken off the board. While the slightest bit of Mata’s knee appeared to have been in an offside position, the issue lies in the fact that the images provided to television broadcasters, by VAR provider Hawkeye, displayed a clearly crooked line of demarcation.

[ MORE: Man Utd draw Brighton in FA Cup QF; Chelsea get Leicester ]

Hawkeye issued a statement on Sunday, acknowledging and apologizing for the faulty image provided to broadcasters, but insisted that a correct version of the image was seen by the refereed:

“A technical error led to an incorrect graphic being provided by Hawkeye to BT Sport on Saturday. To confirm, the VAR saw the correct image with the correct lines to make the decision. This was a case of the wrong image being provided to the broadcaster and we apologize.”

In the end, by the most stringent interpretation of the law, VAR got the call correct. But that won’t matter one iota in the court of public opinion, as one mistake as simple as a crooked line gives the impression that the entire operation is haphazard and not fit for practice.

Mourinho: VAR calls must be “perfect; Wagner wants quicker decisions

Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

HUDDERSFIELD, England (AP) Jose Mourinho called on the football authorities to start making video calls “perfect” after his Manchester United was denied a goal while beating Huddersfield 2-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Juan Mata‘s effort late in the first half was disallowed by the video assistant referee for his knee being offside.

But it took the VAR, who is always based in an offsite studio for English soccer matches, several minutes to rule the goal out.

“It’s an experimental period,” Mourinho said. “They have to get rid of the bad and make it perfect.

“It should be the referee’s decision. Why? Because the referee wants to perform well. I don’t think they’re happy to make mistakes and if they have the VAR to help them make the right decision, I think the referees are probably happy with that.

“But if the VAR changes their good decisions for bad decisions, I think they’re not happy with that. It was a bit frustrating because the moment I saw (referee) Kevin Friend touch his earpiece, I knew something was going to happen.

“That doubt is not the best feeling. If the decision is right, I am super happy with that because I want the truth. Sometimes it goes against me and sometimes in my team’s favor. But I heard comments that maybe the linesman was right and not the studio.”

Huddersfield manager David Wagner said he was against the VAR.

“The decision went in our favor but this VAR for me kills the emotion of the game,” Wagner said. “This is why I don’t like it but I am not the person who makes the decision.”

Huddersfield Town 4-1 Bournemouth: Mounie a marvel

Leave a comment
  • HTAFC record signing Pritchard scores
  • Mounie assists, then bags brace
  • Town’s first win in nine
  • Stanislas with lone Cherries goal
  • Mooy injured

Steve Mounie scored twice and added an assist as Huddersfield Town pulled out of the drop zone with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth at a rainy John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday.

Alex Pritchard scored Town’s first goal and drew a penalty in stoppage time, converted by Rajiv Van la Parra, as the club moves into 16th with 27 points. That’s two points clear of the drop zone.

Junior Stanislas netted for Bournemouth, briefly leveling the score. The Cherries finish the day in 10th with 31 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Diminutive record signing Pritchard scored his first goal for Huddersfield Town in the eighth minute, taking one-touch of a pass from patient Mounie to curl a left-footed shot around the splayed body of Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth scored on its first chance of the night, as in-form Ryan Fraser cut a ball around the Huddersfield defense and onto the boot of Stanislas to make it 1-1 in the 14th minute.

An Aaron Mooy free kick was turned past Begovic by the head of Mounie to make it 2-1 in the 28th minute.

It was nearly 2-2 within five minutes, but a training ground free kick from Charlie Daniels to the center of the box saw Steve Cook side-foot the ball beyond the back post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pritchard dribbled into the box within 30 seconds of the second half, but hit his shot wide of the near post.

An awful giveaway from Steve Cook set up Mounie for the third goal, as Van La Parra picked off an errant clearance and found Mooy. The Australian spotted Mounie, who scored near post.

Mooy was stretchered off in the 77th minute. The influential midfielder was hurt in a coming together with Lewis Cook, though it was reported to be a deep cut on the knee that required stitches.

Pritchard was then dropped in the box, with Van La Parra beating Begovic from the spot.

PL Sunday preview: Van Dijk, Liverpool visit St. Mary’s, Man United in action

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool and Southampton sit in considerably different positions, but a former player’s return to St. Mary’s will garner much of the attention on Sunday when the two clubs collide.

Meanwhile, three sides firmly in the relegation race aim to pull away from the bottom three with strong performances.

[ MORE: Saturday PL roundup — Citizens crack 70 points, Spurs win NLD ]

Here’s a look at Sunday’s three PL matches.

Huddersfield Town vs. Bournemouth — 7 a.m. ET on CNBC

When these sides last met in November, the Cherries came away with a convincing 4-0 defeat. That leaves Huddersfield boss David Wagner with some tough decisions at home.

Jonathan Hogg is expected to be reintroduced to the Huddersfield lineup on Sunday, while Christopher Schindler and Laurent Depoitre could feature after the pair came off of foot injuries recently.

The Terriers have had a terrible time scoring as of late, scoring just once in their last 620 league minutes, while Bournemouth has gone unbeaten in its last seven fixtures.

Bournemouth has seen a solid improvement since the Christmas period, with the club boasting 15 points in that span — which is second to only Liverpool’s 16 points.

Newcastle vs. Manchester United — 9:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN

In 28 career PL meetings, Newcastle has won just twice against the English giants — which doesn’t bode well for Rafa Benitez and Co. The club’s last victory against the Red Devils came back in 2012.

With loan signing Islam Slimani still yet to play a match for the Magpies, Benitez will be desperately hoping for the Algerian to be fit in time for Sunday’s clash. The side will benefit from Ciaran Clark‘s return though, who is coming back from a knee injury.

Meanwhile, United has clamped down recently on the defensive side, boasting five shutouts in its last six matches.

Southampton vs. Liverpool — 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

The biggest story on the day will be Van Dijk’s return to his former club, however, four other current Liverpool players have previously played a role for Southampton.

The Saints have had success recently against Liverpool, with the hosts unbeaten in their last three home fixtures against Jurgen Klopp‘s group.

Klopp and Co. have been through a tumultuous period since their confidence-boosting win over table-toppers Manchester City, with the Reds winning just one of their last four fixtures.

FA Cup replays: Swans hang 8, Huddersfield needs ET

Simon Galloway/PA via AP
Leave a comment

The pair of Premier League combatants contesting FA Cup replays on Tuesday combined for 12 goals, but one posted their big number in much more convincing fashion.

[ PL PLAYBACK: What’s wrong with Chelsea? ]

The other match saw a League One side advance to the fifth round.

Swansea City 8-1 Notts County

Carlos Carvalhal’s Welsh good vibes continue to pile up as Swans battered Kevin Nolan‘s League Two promotion hopefuls at the Liberty Stadium, setting up a visit to Sheffield Wednesday.

Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham sandwiched first half goals around a pair from Nathan Dyer, and Kyle Naughton and Wayne Routledge both netted in the second half before Tom Carroll made it seven.

Twenty-year old Daniel James scored his first goal for Swans. Abraham also had an assist, while Luciano Narsingh had assists on the three others first half goals.

Noor Husin scored County’s goal.

Birmingham City 1-1 (1-4 aet) Huddersfield Town

Aaron Mooy found Steve Mounie at the start of extra time to push Huddersfield Town into the fifth round and a visit from Manchester United. Town split the PL season series with United, but won 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium on Oct. 21 before losing to the Red Devils at the weekend.

Rajiv Van la Parra and Tom Ince also scored in extra time for David Wagner‘s Premier League visitors, who controlled the ball and chances but went to extra time without having put a ball in the goal.

England U-20 veteran Che Adams put the Blues ahead in the 52nd minute, but Marc Roberts posted an own goal to level the score in the 60th.

Rochdale 1-0 Millwall

The League One hosts roll onto the fifth round after Ian Henderson scored in the 53rd minute. Rochdale will meet either Spurs or Newport County.