Football

Watch: Double VAR Controversy Mars Henry Vs Vieira Derby Game

Watch: Double VAR Controversy Mars Henry Vs Vieira Derby Game

Heading into this evening's Derby de la Côte d'Azur between Monaco and Nice, the first managerial meeting of Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira dominated the headlines.

Two of Arsene Wenger's most loyal disciples, the pair are both currently in their maiden seasons as Ligue 1 managers. Neither have enjoyed a great deal of success thus far, although their failures have come in varying degrees.

Vieira's Nice were a club with Champions League aspirations at the start of the season, something they have fallen short of as of yet. They currently sit in seventh pace in the table, although they are within touching distance of the top three.

Monaco would have no doubt shared Nice's European ambitions, but their season has ben an unmitigated disaster. They currently sit second from bottom in Ligue 1, having won only three games out of 20. Thierry Henry was drafted in as manager in mid October, but has enjoyed an incredibly tough start to life in his first head coaching job.

Monaco versus Nice is always a derby game, with the two clubs situated in the French Riviera, although the addition of Henry and Vieira certainly added more outside interest to the fixture.

Nice would take the lead on the half hour mark, with some sloppy play from the home side allowing Allan Saint-Maximin in to finish neatly.

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Having been relatively comfortable in the game up until that point, the visitors would be reduced to ten men just before the interval. The referee would consult VAR before deciding to controversially send off Ihsan Sacko.

While the tackle was a bit high, it certainly seems a harsh decision. It is one of those challenges which looks much worse in slow motion, and Vieira and his side could certainly make a case that the referee's punishment was harsh.

With a spring in their step after the red card, Monaco equalised just after the break. The referee at first did not give the goal after Benoit Badiashile's header from this corner, only for the goal line technology to alert him that the ball had indeed crossed the line.

The VAR controversy in this match was not finished yet, with Nice awarded a controversial penalty 15 minutes before the final whistle.

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The referee originally awarded the penalty for a foul on Youcef Atal, before going to the VAR to check his decision. The replay seemed to indicate a clear dive from the Algerian, who was certainly going down before any contact from the Monaco defender. Despite this, the referee stuck to his original decision and awarded the penalty.

Justice would prevail in the end, with Diego Benaglio saving the spot kick.

Monaco would have a couple of chances to secure all three points late on, including a shot that rattled that rattled the bar from Falcao, but the scores would ultimately finish level.

It is a disappointing result for Monaco, considering their position in the table and the fact that they played against ten men for 45 minutes. The pressure is certainly starting to mount on Thierry Henry, and his first foray into management is quickly heading towards disaster.

SEE ALSO: Spurs Linked With Liverpool Striker, United To Loan Out Midfielder

Gary Connaughton

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