Chelsea were denied as many as two goals by VAR and fans seem to have enough of the officials.
Manchester United registered their first win in three Premier League games as Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire guided the Red Devils to an emphatic 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
A game, which had its fair share of glaring moments, was rather highlighted for VAR interruptions on as many as three different occasions. Manchester United, after enduring a difficult start, got the breakthrough right before the half-time when Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s delicious ball was perfectly met by Anthony Martial with a sumptuous header. Six minutes from the hour’s mark, and United got a two-goal cushion, this time through their captain, Harry Maguire.
To say United were in cruise control throughout would be totally fallacious given the fact that Maguire, in fact, would have easily seen a red card in the first-half itself. The United skipper had tumbled over the touch line after a neat battle with Michy Batshuayi, and while sliding, he stretched his leg to catch the striker in the groin. The referee did go up for a review, but the incident went unpunished.
When a FIFA referee furnished with multiple replays of a player kicking an opponent in the testicles does not intervene to advise disciplinary action what is the point of having VAR? 🤷🏻♂️#CHEMUNpic.twitter.com/9cpRA4qJWz
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) February 18, 2020
Speaking about the incident, the United captain said he thought the striker "was going to fall on him and his natural reaction was to straighten his leg to stop him."
With United leading 1-0 in the second-half, Chelsea came knocking and thought they had restored the parity when Kurt Zouma slotted home with a neat finish. Unfortunately, though, the goal was ruled out as replays showed Cesar Azpilicueta had pushed Brandon Williams at the near post.
Frank Lampard introduced Olivier Giroud with a hope of finding a breakthrough and the former Arsenal striker did exactly what was expected. But for the second time running, Chelsea were left disappointed as the striker's foot was in an offside position. Questioning the VAR was none other than Lampard, and his frustration deemed evident while speaking after the game.
“Maguire should get a red and he scores the second goal. That one is a major part of what VAR was brought here for. If you are not going to look at the monitor then you’re definitely not going to see it.
“When the VAR check happens you are waiting and trusting in the right decision. It was just the wrong decision, which I suppose is harder to take with presence of VAR than it would have been before.”
Reacting to all the incidents, fans on Twitter vent out their frustration and called VAR into question, and this is what happening on the digital space.
— Chelsea UK (@TheChelseaUK) February 18, 2020
Take VAR away immediately. Killing the game.
— AdamB (@AdamB156) February 17, 2020
I ain’t watching another prem game with this shit VAR around
— Savage Dan (@Savage_Dan_) February 17, 2020
Who is on VAR for Chelsea/United and how do we get them fired?
— Heat (@Statoke) February 17, 2020
VAR United 2 - Chelsea 0
— Champion Slye (@ChampionSlye) February 17, 2020
Let’s all go back to how football was before #VAR when there was no terrible decisions and everything was perfect..
— IfOnlyFC (@GaryHart127) February 18, 2020
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk