Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness has called for the offside rule to be changed in the wake of more VAR controversy overshadowing Liverpool’s clash with Wolves on Super Sunday.
Already angered by VAR’s decision to overrule what was adjudged by on-field referee Anthony Taylor to have been handball in the build-up to Liverpool’s opening goal, the visitors were then denied an equalising goal on the stroke of half-time by a marginal offside decision ruling out Neto’s strike.
Sunday’s furore at Anfield was merely one of a series of highly contentious VAR calls this weekend.
Crystal Palace were denied a goal against Southampton when Wilfried Zaha’s shoulder was deemed to be offside, what would have been Dan Burn’s first Brighton goal was ruled out against Bournemouth for “my armpit or something like that” according to the player, while Norwich thought they had gone 2-0 ahead against Tottenham only for VAR to adjudicate that Teemu Pukki’s shoulder had strayed millimetres offside.
Sheffield United were also denied the lead at Manchester City with Lys Mousset adjudged to be marginally offside by VAR after slotting the ball under goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
What was said this weekend about VAR’s controversial calls
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: “I said many times I have a huge list for VAR and haven’t made one statement. I didn’t do it after the last game when there were decisions against us. We didn’t complain and I’m not going to complain. That is for the referees, the big masters, to discuss. Every weekend is a big mess. In other games it was a big mess. Hopefully next season it can do better.”
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: “Yet again we had another goal disallowed by VAR, that’s about eight or nine over the weekend, this is not a situation helping the game and the small margins. But I will leave that for everyone else to talk about because I have said too much about it.”
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: “We’re being told by people in football, the media, and presumably fans who are affected by these things that this is going to make football better. I went along with that because it would have been wrong to make a strong stand against the way the tide was turning in favour of technology. The big problem with technology is that it’s like speed cameras.
“When they say you’ve done 32 or 33 and not 30, can you be 100 per cent certain you have done 32 and not 29? That’s where we are with VAR, and as a result, we get the situation where people are becoming a bit disillusioned because they’re seeing good goals chalked off by very small margins.”
Sky Sports’ Alan Smith: “I know Bournemouth fans will disagree but it leaves you feeling deflated. It sucks the life out of you, for such a tight margin to disallow a goal. Especially when it’s not an exact science with the frame being picked.”