“It’s not football any more,” chant the disgruntled Wolves fans around Molineux. “F*ck VAR”.
After the first-half, the story of Wolves’ clash with Man City this evening has been all about our video assistant overlords.
After a slow start to the game, things went into fifth gear on the 11th minute when City’s goalkeeper Ederson was sent off.
The Brazilian, in a manoeuvre that would’ve made his replacement Claudio Bravo rather proud, comes rushing out of his box after a long ball forward from Conor Coady and, after Diogo Jota knocks the ball over him, collides with the Portuguese forward.
It’s a definite red, no need for VAR there but it was just the beginning of the drama.
Then, just 10 minutes later, Riyad Mahrez wins a penalty at the other end of the field after he goes down in the box.
At first, referee Martin Atkinson waves away City’s protests, as it looks as though the Algerian threw himself to the ground after Leander Dendoncker leant on his shoulder, but from another angle in the replay it certainly appears as though Mahrez’s heel was clipped.
Of course, the decision goes to VAR and the good people at Stockley Park say it’s a pen.
Harsh but fair, Clive.
This is where things get really interesting, as Rui Patricio dives low to his right to save Raheem Sterling’s spot kick.
Or so he thinks.
Another VAR check beckons for ‘encroachment’ (which always sounds like some kind of gastric discomfort, to me), as the replay showed a couple of Wolves’ players running into the box as the penalty is taken.
Incredibly, Sterling is told to take it again.
Patricio goes the same way and makes the save again, but this time the ball lands back at Sterling’s feet and the City forward taps home.
As you can imagine, the Wolves fans go absolutely ballistic in the stands and a supporter appears to throw something on to the pitch.
Ugly scenes, indeed.
As Jim Beglin talks wholesomely away over the commentary, it’s difficult not to hear the swear-laden chants from the angry fans.
Utter madness, and it’s all thanks to VAR.
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