Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has lambasted the inconsistencies with the use of the VAR on the back of a weekend that saw several controversial incidents.
Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Manchester City, in particular, had a lot of contentious calls which have been the subject of plenty of debate after the game.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was not happy that VAR intervened to rule Serge Aurier’s tackle on Sergio Aguero a penalty while it chose not to take further action after Raheem Sterling was awarded a yellow card for what looked to be a nasty challenge on Dele Alli in the first half (The Times).
Clattenburg expressed his surprise that Kevin Friend, the VAR official did not ask referee Mike Dean to watch a replay of Sterling’s tackle on the pitchside monitor and questioned the lack of consistency given that similar challenges have resulted in red cards this season.
He wrote in the Daily Mail: “Sunday’s VAR was Kevin Friend, who was the referee for Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday. I was surprised Friend did not tell Mike Dean to go to his pitchside monitor to look at Sterling’s foul on Alli, given it was worthy of a red card.
“We’ve seen referees urged to use their monitors recently and Paul Tierney became the first official in the Premier League to do so when he dismissed Ben Godfrey of Norwich against Bournemouth. Dean was not advised to check his monitor.
“When you take into account Aubameyang was shown red for a similar challenge to Sterling’s, the City man should have been sent off, too.
“Sterling caught Alli with his studs above the ankle and he clearly endangered the safety of his opponent.”
The 44-year-old, however, felt that Pep Guardiola’s side should have been awarded another spot-kick after claiming that Hugo Lloris had fouled Raheem Sterling after saving Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty.
Clattenburg added: “For the penalty, VAR was right to say Aguero was fouled by Aurier, but City should have been awarded another spot-kick.
“Hugo Lloris made contact with Sterling’s leg and the City attacker got to the ball first, but VAR let play go on. This inconsistency is damaging the competition.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The angles that we saw of the incident following the penalty save are not conclusive enough to say that Lloris brought Sterling down. The Frenchman seemed to pull his hands away and it is not clear how much contact there is. I also think it is unclear if the Man City forward dived and so the referee was right not to book him.
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