Ex-Premier League referee on whether VAR was right to award Spurs penalty vs Villa

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur managed to scrape a very late win against Aston Villa last night in the Premier League, but it took until the 93rd-minute for Sonny to make it 3-2.

Perhaps one of the biggest turning points in the game came just before half-time, when Spurs’ newest recruit Steven Bergwijn went down in the box.

In real-time, you could forgive many people for assuming that Villa defender Bjorn Engles played the ball when sliding in on Bergwijn.

However, upon closer inspection, the defender seemed to take part of the man, before Bergwijn played the ball against Engles and out of play.

While Martin Atkinson did not award the spot-kick on the day, it was reviewed by VAR and given as a penalty.

Heung Min Son stepped up and saw his kick saved by Pepe Reina, before the South Korean bundled home the rebound.

Ex-Premier League referee, Dermot Gallagher, has now had his say on whether VAR was right to award the penalty.

He said (Sky Sports): “I would not blame the referee one jot here. When you watch the play develop and [Borjn] Engles goes in and tackles, where the ball goes, I thought straight away he had got the ball.

“But you can see here, that he actually gets the man and that is what plays the ball off. That is why it goes in that direction.

“What you would say is, how can any VAR watch that and say it is not a penalty? He quite clearly does not get the ball. I can understand the referee not giving it but I could never understand VAR not overturning it.

“I think it is a definite penalty; he hasn’t played the ball.

“If I was the VAR, I would be saying to you ‘I think this is a penalty, he hasn’t played the ball. I would say you need to restart with a penalty.

“It is very difficult to say that is not a foul.”

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