Premier League

Azpilicueta Questions Application Of VAR After Maguire Penalty Decision

Azpilicueta Questions Application Of VAR After Maguire Penalty Decision

It's fair to say this evening's clash between Manchester United and Chelsea won't live too long in the memory. The two sides played out an uneventful 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, with neither team really attempting to take the game by the scruff of the neck and attempt to find a winner.

In the end, both seemed happy with the draw. Manchester United probably had the better chances of the two, but Chelsea can probably count themselves unlucky not to have had a penalty.

During a corner in the first half, it looked like Harry Maguire stopped Cesar Azpilicueta from heading the ball by grabbing him around the neck. It looked like a clear penalty, but the VAR official felt there was nothing in it.

We're not so sure about that one.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Azpilicueta was perplexed as to why the referee didn't go over to the pitch-side monitor to review the incident.

That's a good question, on the pitch I felt yes (that they should have had a penalty). I felt both his arms around my neck and my shoulders.

For me, the referee can make the decision. The VAR is there and it's very difficult sometimes for the VAR to say 'yes' or 'no'.

For me, I encourage more for the referee here to go to the monitor. In any situation, they are the main referee. Tonight, Martin Atkinson was the main referee so he has to make the decision and the monitor is there on the side for him to help.

Sometimes it's 50/50, like I felt it was. Why not go take 20 seconds to review it? For me it's a little improvement that could improve a lot going forward...

I don't say that every time there is contact it should be penalty, far from that...

I think football, and especially the Premier League with the big league and great players that we have, we have to seek improvement. It's not critical, far from that. We can all help together to make a better league.

The Premier League did not want officials to use the pitch-side monitors to review incidents on the pitch last season, but they have relaxed that view for the current campaign.

We have already seen a number of examples of it this season, and you'd have to winder why it wasn't used on this occasion.

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Gary Connaughton

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