The Video Assistant Referee system is once again the talk of English football tonight, on the back of Manchester United’s victory over Chelsea.
United secure all 3 points
Frank Lampard’s men welcomed the Red Devils to Stamford Bridge a short time ago, for a Premier League clash.
The matchup marked an absolutely crucial one in the race for a Champions League berth, with Chelsea having occupied 4th in the English top-flight ahead of kick-off
The Blues, though, amid a poor run of form, sat just a point clear of in-form Spurs ahead of kick-off.
Manchester United, meanwhile, were 5 points further adrift of Chelsea.
When all was said and done in London tonight, however, the top-4 picture took quite a turn.
Visitors United eventually emerged with all 3 points, courtesy of finishes from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire.
French hitman Martial opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, glancing a deft header beyond the despairing Willy Caballero.
And Maguire made sure of the visitors’ crucial victory with 66 minutes on the clock, driving home another header, following Bruno Fernandes’ pinpoint corner kick.
Highlights: Chelsea 0-2 Manchester United
VAR proves itself a shambles once more
As outlined above, however, Manchester United’s 3-point haul this evening was far from controversy-free.
As it has on so many occasions already this season, VAR stole the headlines at Stamford Bridge, on the back of more than one extremely questionable decision.
The most obvious error on the part of the Video Assistant Replay system (and referee Anthony Taylor) came with just over 20 minutes on the clock.
After Michy Batshuayi had fouled Harry Maguire as the pair headed for the sideline, the United stopper blatantly kicked out at Batshuayi, aiming his studs directly into the groin of Batshuayi.
Upon replays being shown, it quickly became clear that the foul was worthy of a red card, with Maguire having been expected to be sent for an early bath.
Incredibly, however, VAR deemed that the English international’s actions were not ‘violent conduct’ worthy, with Maguire having, as a result, remained on the pitch, before going on to net the Red Devils’ 2nd of the evening.
This, though, was far from the only major decision to have gone against Chelsea.
With the score at 1-0, a whipped corner from the right early in the second-half saw Kurt Zouma volley home, to level things up.
The goal, however, was subsequently overturned, after Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have pushed Brandon Williams in the back in the box.
Replays, though, clearly showcased the fact that Azpilicueta had actually been forced into Williams, via a nudge in the back from Fred, and was left with no choice but to put his hands up.
A less crucial, but nevertheless telling incident in the first-half, meanwhile, saw Willian booked for diving right on the edge of the Man United box, despite what looked a foul on the part of Bruno Fernandes.
All told, the VAR system once again proved itself to be an absolute circus this evening, with Chelsea fully entitled to feel aggrieved at a series of mistakes which could, come the end of the campaign, cost the Blues qualification for next season’s Champion League.