Liverpool veterans Jordan Henderson and James Milner would prefer VAR just go away.
The Reds drew Brighton 1-1 on Sunday at the Amex Stadium after the Video Assistant Referee spotted Andy Robertson’s clip of Danny Welbeck’s foot and awarded a late penalty that Pascal Gross slotted past Alisson Becker.
To be fair to Brighton and the referees, it was a foul by letter of the law. To be fair Liverpool, it was a foul unlikely to be called at any other part of the field.
The Reds captain has been pretty consistent in his criticism of VAR well before Saturday, even when calls have gone against Liverpool’s opposition.
“I would rather play without it,” Henderson said. “I don’t want to speak for anybody else but in my opinion I would. I just want to play football as normal. It should be three points … I’ve seen the replay. Who would be happy? It’s not a pen. Danny Welbeck said to me it wasn’t a penalty. There were four or five of them who felt it wasn’t a penalty. To overturn it, it has to be clear and obvious.”
Welbeck did admit after the game that the penalty was “soft,” though he stopped short of calling it a non-foul (again, because it was a foul).
“We got a soft penalty but it’s one we will take,” Welbeck said. “We got the point and we’ll move on now to next week. In today’s game with the VAR, I got there in front and nicked it around him. He kicked me and then the ball. The referee went to see it on the screen and made his decision.”
As for Milner’s thoughts…
It’s “clear and obvious” we need a serious discussion about VAR. Sure I’m not alone in feeling like they are falling out of love with the game in its current state. pic.twitter.com/5FGgLtqbHs
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) November 28, 2020