Goal or no goal?
Who fouls who?
Either way, will we ever agree on VAR?
Chelsea had two goals disallowed and were denied a red card by the controversial technology in their heated Premier League clash with Manchester United.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was in the thick of the action once again as the Red Devils walked away from Stamford Bridge with a vital 2-0 victory — but the fiery game wasn’t without its drama.
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The Harry Maguire kick-out (20th minute)
The Manchester United skipper was lucky not to be sent off for his kick-out on Michy Batshuayi in the first half.
Making a tackle down the sideline, Maguire went to ground and appeared to lash-out at the Chelsea front man, making contact with his groin with his studs.
Red Devils legend Roy Keane said: “He’s very lucky. A very lucky boy. Maguire, maybe because it’s his personality, he seems like a calm lad, he definitely kicks out. I think they look at it and ask if he’s a nasty player.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher agreed: “The fact the Chelsea bench get up, Frank Lampard and Jody Morris, maybe they know him a little bit as they’re all English, don’t demonstrate as much as they’d normally do.
“The referee can’t see it but it goes to VAR, when you’re talking about referees, VAR, it’s the inconsistency which will frustrate people.”
In the studio at halftime, Chelsea icon John Terry took aim at VAR for not stepping in: “It needs to go, it’s embarrassing.”
Because the incident wasn’t a goalscoring opportunity, VAR wasn’t allowed to go back and assess the referee’s on-field decision — perhaps adding more to the argument of how the technology can be improved going forward.
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Kurt Zouma’s goal gets chalked off (60th minute)
The second major incident of the game came when the Blues thought they’d equalised from Zouma’s effort.
Towering centre back Zouma was mobbed by his Blues teammates as he wheeled away in celebration after finding the back of the net from a corner.
But as Chelsea set-up for the restart with the game locked at 1-1, VAR took centre stage.
At closer inspection, the controversial technology noticed a possible push on Brandon Williams by Cesar Azpilicueta — resulting in Zouma getting to the ball earlier.
But what VAR failed to pick up on was that Azpilicueta has actually be shoved in the back himself by United midfielder Fred, meaning he practically fell into Williams at the front post.
The goal was ultimately chalked off as Frank Lampard’s desperate appeals fell on deaf ears.
Speaking after the game, Owen Hargreaves said Azpilicueta was ‘bracing himself’ after he was contacted first.
“Fred pushes him first we can all agree on that” said the former Manchester United star.
“That’s where the inconsistencies lie with VAR and some of us don’t understand it.
“I don’t think Azpilicueta does anything wrong, he gets pushed and then he braces himself. Of course it should be a goal.”
Manchester United took full advantage of the incident as Maguire extended his side’s lead just six minutes later with a glancing header at the back post.
Offside by a foot (77th minute)
Chelsea’s luck didn’t improve there.
Substitute striker Olivier Giroud thought he’d reduced the deficit all for VAR to intervene — correctly this time round.
The Frenchman’s foot was about half a yard offside when he poked the ball in at the near post from a deadly whipped cross.
But for the second time Lampard was left looking grumpy from the dugout as another goal was disallowed.
While VAR correctly intervened, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Chelsea will feel hard done by — even if the officiating calls do go down to a matter of inches.
The visitors went on to clinch a vital 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, meaning they leapfrogged Wolves on the Premier League table.
As for the Blues, dropped points means the gap between them and fifth-place Spurs has been narrowed to just one single point.