Biggest VAR buzzkill moments: England denied in two semi-finals, epic Champions League matches decided by Tiny – Daily Mail

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Biggest VAR buzzkill moments: England denied in two semi-finals, epic Champions League matches decided by Tiny – Daily Mail


  • Coventry were devastated by disallowed winner against Manchester United
  • But they are not the first to see a moment of euphoria cut short by technology.
  • If Erik ten Hag wins the FA Cup with Man United, does he deserve to keep his job? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast



For Manchester United fans, this was the biggest disappointment. For everyone, it was further proof that VAR sucks the joy out of football.

Coventry City denied one of the greatest moments in FA Cup history – and one of the most miraculous comebacks of all time – by just inches.

Before technology, Victor Torp’s winner in the final seconds of extra time would have been presented as extra magic from the biggest World Cup competition.

It could very well have also sealed Erik ten Hag’s fate as United boss.

But VAR’s ruthless precision and offside lines stopped Coventry’s wild celebrations and ultimately allowed United to progress to the final.

Victor Torp thought he had scored the winner for Coventry against United in the 121st minute.
Torp and Coventry celebrated wildly, believing they had booked their place in the FA Cup final
VAR replays showed Haji Wright strayed just a few millimeters offside before setting up Torp

With Coventry clearly underdogs, and certainly trailing 3-0, this was another moment where VAR proved a killjoy for the general football watching public.

Regardless of who you support, there have been times when VAR has truly ruined the game we all love.

A 100% English classic of the Champions League decided by VAR

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur staged one of the Champions League’s great matches in the 2019 quarter-finals – but VAR ultimately decided the result.

First, there was what turned out to be the winning goal scored by Fernando Llorente from a corner. After an extremely lengthy VAR check, it held because the Spurs man scored with his hip and not his arm.

Then, in the third minute of injury time, City’s Raheem Sterling scored what would have been the winner, sparking euphoric celebrations from the Etihad with Pep Guardiola sprinting down the touchline.

But that ecstasy turned to agony when officials spotted Sergio Agüero was just offside when Bernardo Silva diverted the ball on his way to tee up Sterling.

It left City numb and Spurs grateful for the officials and their replays.

Fernando Llorente was judged to have scored that crucial goal with his hip – not his arm – following a lengthy VAR review during the Man City vs Spurs 2019 Champions League quarter-final.
Raheem Sterling then thought he had scored a decisive goal late in the match for Manchester City.
But City’s celebrations were short-lived when VAR ruled Sergio Agüero was offside in the build-up to Sterling’s winner in stoppage time.

White’s nail offside in World Cup semi-final

The Lionesses came close to reaching their first Women’s World Cup final in 2019 when they pushed the United States to the brink.

Ellen White had already scored an equalizing goal and thought she had made it 2-2 in the second half.

But a VAR inspection revealed White was slightly offside as she ran onto Jill Scott’s through ball.

Even a year later, White admitted she’s still haunted by the decision. “I sit at home in the evening and say, ‘Ahhh, I just can’t stand VAR,’” she said.

He also denied White the tournament’s Golden Boot, which went to American Megan Rapinoe.

In fairness, this VAR misfortune was undone when he awarded England a penalty for a foul on White late on, only for Steph Houghton to fluff his lines.

A distressing case of what could have been for England.

England’s Ellen White was denied an equalizer in the 2019 Women’s World Cup semi-final.
The Lionesses striker celebrated the goal as usual before it was scored.

Lingard’s late winner counts for nothing

The England men also suffered the agony of VAR in the semi-finals in 2019. Sure enough, the UEFA Nations League is not a World Cup, but it nonetheless denied them passage to a tournament final .

Their match against the Netherlands in Guimaraes, Portugal, was on the razor’s edge at 1-1 when Jesse Lingard gave England a rather undeserved lead late on.

It sparked wild celebrations among thousands of England fans inside the stadium – only for VAR to intervene and rule it out after a two-minute check.

Gareth Southgate’s side never recovered from the blow with a defensive horror show in extra time condemning them to a 3-1 defeat.

Since then, Lingard’s career seems to have taken a downturn.

Jesse Lingard thought he had sent England to the Nations League final in 2019
Lingard celebrated wildly – as did the England fans – but the joy was very short-lived
VAR replays showed Lingard was offside and the Netherlands won 3-1 in extra time

Wolves furious after being denied Anfield winner

A Saturday night TV audience witnessed an entertaining FA Cup third round as Liverpool and Wolves shared four goals at Anfield – but VAR had the last laugh.

The visitors thought they had won the match when Toti headed home, but the assistant referee raised his flag at Matheus Nunes, who took the initial corner and then saw the ball come back to him before crossing.

This ended the celebrations of thousands of Wolves fans behind the goal and further controversy followed as VAR did not have a camera angle available to provide enough evidence to overturn the decision.

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui was furious, saying: “We saw it, offside doesn’t exist, I’m sorry, it’s impossible.”

Even Jurgen Klopp had sympathy: “We have a photo where it may look offside, but I can understand why they are angry about it. We don’t want VAR to have only one angle.

To make matters worse for Wolves, Liverpool won the Molineux replay 1-0.

Toti Gomes celebrates what he thought would be a dramatic FA Cup winner for Wolves
Matheus Nunes (bottom left) was flagged offside when the ball returned to him after a corner.
Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui was furious at the decision, calling the offside “impossible”.

VAR error blocks Arsenal’s title promotion

February last year and Arsenal look like a very good bet to finally win the Premier League again.

They have lost just twice and move ahead of Manchester City and other prized teams when they host Brentford at the Emirates.

Leandro Trossard gives them the lead and the Gunners should go eight points clear at the top.

But then Ivan Toney equalized with a header from close range, a costly goal for Arsenal who held on despite two VAR errors.

They ruled that Ethan Pinnock had failed to block Gabriel in an offside position when Mathias Jensen’s free kick was delivered.

The VAR officials then fail to notice that Christian Norgaard is offside during the cross for Toney to score, with the lines not even drawn to check.

Ivan Toney scored an equalizer for Brentford at Arsenal last season despite VAR controversy
The goal, costly for Arsenal’s title chances, was allowed after an error by the officials.
Christian Norgaard was offside later in the move before Toney scored against the Gunners

“I just looked back and it’s offside,” a frustrated Mikel Arteta said after the match. “We’ll probably have an explanation later in the week.” »

Indeed, they were, with the PGMOL arbitration body subsequently recognizing that an error had been made.

This wasn’t the only reason why Arsenal ultimately didn’t win the championship, but it hardly helped.

Diaz victim of worst VAR blunder to date

FULL TRANSCRIPT: After much debate and anticipation…VAR’s gross foul on Luis Diaz’s offside goal

The goal Liverpool’s Luis Diaz had wrongly disallowed at Tottenham earlier this season sparked the fiercest criticism of VAR in the English game.

The Colombian winger was played through on goal and scored, only to be flagged offside, with the decision falling to VAR to check.

VAR manager Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook did not realize the goal had been ruled out and failed to overturn the decision as play continued.

Liverpool may have been leading 1-0, but they lost 2-1, with Klopp calling for a replay.

The gaffe got even worse when the audio recording was released, laying bare the shocking communication between officials.

Football fans around the world, whether they like Liverpool or not, have started to seriously question whether VAR is really necessary in the game they love.

Luis Diaz thought he had scored for Liverpool against Tottenham, but he was flagged offside.
VAR replays clearly showed Diaz in play, but there was confusion over the decision on the field
This led to the goal being wrongly disallowed for offside and a major VAR fallout.

PS AND THIS ONE?

Panama were devastated when that spectacular goal – and brilliant celebration – was rendered academic by a VAR call during their CONCACAF Nations League match against Mexico last year.

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