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The Citi Sports VAR Corner: Gameweek 29


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It has been another electric weekend of Premier League action and, as the days get longer and the conclusion of the season grows closer, the stakes keep rising. It has been a cracking weekend of Premier League football but as always, controversy has not been faraway.

The incident: Lucas Moura catches Michael Keane with a late challenge and is sent off.

It was a very poor challenge from Lucas. The former PSG winger had been frozen out by Antonio Conte but it seemed a new manager represented a new hope as he came on late in the second half. Maybe it was an over eagerness to prove himself or maybe it was lack of match sharpness but his tackle was comically late. In addition, he clearly catches Keane above the ankle with his foot facing down. The referee immediately produced the red card which was without a doubt the correct decision. Unfortunately for Lucas it might the one of the last acts of his Spurs career which is coming to a sorry end.

The incident: Abdoulaye Doucouré claws Harry Kane’s face and is sent off.

Another controversial incident from Monday night. Doucouré reacts poorly to what he perceives to be Kane’s misbehaviour towards his teammates. He grabs Kane’s face and the England captain goes down.

Per Law 12

  • A player who, when not challenging for the ball, deliberately strikes an opponent or any other person on the head or face with the hand or arm, is guilty of violent conduct unless the force used was negligible.

So, there was no way the referee could have kept his cards in his pocket and Everton were rightly reduced to 10 men. Many have argued that Kane went down easily and that he overreacted. That may be the case but at the end of the day Doucoure committed a red card offence and deserved to be sent off.

The incident: Nayef Aguerd scores a header to give West Ham the lead. The goal is initially disallowed but given after a review.

This decision took a very long time, but it was understandable. Given the mistakes made in offside decisions concerning Arsenal and Brighton earlier this season the VAR needed to correctly identify which players were important in making the decision. There were a number of West Ham players who were offside and the ragged Southampton defensive line made identifying the last man even more difficult. The decision took an age to reach but in light of recent events, the delay was necessary to make sure the right result was achieved. This delay also shows that a semi-automated system like what was used at the World Cup would be very useful in the Premier League.

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