Video Assistant Referee

Premier League tells referees to view replays for red cards
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Premier League tells referees to view replays for red cards

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LONDON — The Premier League has advised its referees to use sideline monitors to make a final ruling on red card decisions.

Through 22 rounds of the first Premier League season with video review, referees have not gone over to the screens at any point to watch replays after being told to use them sparingly. Instead, referees have been relying on feedback from the video assistant referee in a London control room.

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But officials were reminded at a meeting of Premier League referees this week that they should go over to what is known as the “referee review area” when VAR suggests upgrading a yellow card to a red or downgrading a red to a yellow.

It has been a more familiar sight at games in other European competitions, like the Champions League, to see referees watching replays in the stadium.

Pep has Wilder’s back on VAR: ‘Every weekend is a big mess’

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It’s not news that Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder doesn’t like the Video Assistant Referee system.

Wilder was fuming after the referee was in the middle of a Sheffield United giveaway that led to Man City’s opening goal in Sunday’s 2-0 City win over the Blades at the Etihad Stadium.

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And Man City boss Pep Guardiola has his fellow Premier League manager’s back.

From the BBC:

“I said many times I have a huge list to talk about with the guys from VAR. Every weekend is a big mess. In other games today it was a big mess. It’s happened every week, so hopefully next season it can do better.”

Wilder was furious when Jonjo Shelvey was able to score despite a raised offside flag earlier this month, and the decision on Sunday was even tougher to take.

That said, it’s very much in the rules. The referee didn’t touch the ball, which would’ve led to the play blown dead. He was just in the way (see video atop page).

PL AT HALF: VAR saves Spurs two-goal deficit; West Ham equalizes v. Leicester

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We’ve had four goals through two halves of 12:30 p.m. ET kickoffs in the Premier League, but only three have stayed on the scoreboard.

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Teemu Pukki saw a goal controversially taken off the board, but Norwich City still leads Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road.

West Ham United 1-1 Leicester City [ STREAM ]

Brendan Rodgers made nine changes to his Starting XI, but still took the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho‘s header.

The lead didn’t last long, as Felipe Anderson cut a pass back through the 18 to a late arriving Pablo Fornals for a 45th minute equalizer.

Leicester has also seen a Demarai Gray penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Norwich City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur [STREAM ]

Jose Mourinho can thank VAR that his visiting North Londoners aren’t behind two to 20th place Norwich City.

Josip Vrancic had the Canaries ahead when Teemu Pukki burst through the Spurs back line to make it 2-0, but the thinnest of lines pulled the goal off the board.

Lucas Moura’s emphatic strike gives Spurs early lead

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Lucas Moura did the work to give Tottenham Hotspur an early lead in its high-intensity visit to Wolves at the Molineux Stadium.

The 27-year-old Brazilian dribbled through and past defenders in the Wolves box, then produced a vicious strike that left Rui Patricio pawing at oxygen.

[ STREAM: Wolves-Spurs | Man Utd-Everton ]

The 1-0 lead would last to halftime despite some promise from hosts Wolves, and that’s the same score line in Manchester.

It’s a controversial one, as David De Gea failed in a bid to push away a corner while taking a hand to the face from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The ref saw nothing in it, and VAR saw no clear and obvious error after the ball skipped off Victor Lindelof and into the United goal.

[ MORE: Liverpool announce Club World Cup squad ]

What do you think? Fair play or VAR bungle?

Gerrard reacts to Rangers’ Old Firm heartbreak in final

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Steven Gerrard lined his Rangers side up for success, but fate was cruel to the Liverpool legend.

Rangers lost the League Cup Final to their Old Firm rivals on Sunday despite out-shooting the Bhoys by a 16-5 margin, winning a penalty, and playing almost a half-hour up a man.

[ RECAP: Rangers 0-1 Celtic ]

“To a man we were very good … by much the better side,” Gerrard said. “But unfortunately that’s not what gets you a trophy.”

But Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster stopped Alfredo Morelos’ penalty, three minutes after goal scorer Christopher Jullien was offside on the lone goal of the game.

Scotland doesn’t yet use VAR, and Gerrard doesn’t love VAR but he likes it more than he likes Scottish officials.

“There were three Celtic players standing in offside positions but unfortunately we play in a country where there is no VAR,” he said, via the BBC. “I’d be a liar if I said I was 100% in favour of it, but the one thing I do know is that officials up here need support.”

Now he has the task of getting his men to rebound ahead of its biggest non-derby in ages, as Rangers need at least a draw against Young Boys at home on Thursday to advance to the Europa League knockout rounds

“It’s a bit raw right now… It’s up to me to pick the players up. One thing I will say is I’ll stay with these players on the evidence of today because they gave me absolutely everything. We might have to suffer a bit short-term. I need to pick them up a bit physically and mentally for Thursday which is huge but our day will come on the evidence of today.”

Gerrard has done a very good job with Rangers, who are two points back of Celtic in a two-horse race for the Scottish top flight title. Celtic has won eight-straight titles to improve their total to 50, four less than the Rangers.