Premier League: Thoughts from the weekend games - Scrap VAR!
|Frank Lampard is the first manager to achieve a double over a Jose Mourinho side in the Premier League. (Soucre: premierleague.com)|
Enough of VAR insults
Just minutes after the incident at Stamford Bridge involving Giovanni Lo Celso and Ceaser Azpilicueta, several ex-players, ex referees and football pundits took to social media to question the decision of Michael Oliver to allow the Spurs midfielder to continue after what Frank Lampard described as a leg breaker.
Stockley Park houses the VAR team and one must wonder what happens in there every match day.
David Coote, the man behind the VAR on Saturday for the early kickoff refused to give the call for Oliver to send off Lo Celso, stating that there was nowhere else for the former Real Betis midfielder to place his leg but the only available piece of land for him to land on was the shin of the Chelsea skipper, every day in football and everywhere else, that was a red card.
Long before the end of the game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body in charge of referees and VAR already admitted that the decision by the referee and the Video Assistant Referee was a wrong one.
So what happens next? That horrendous embarrassment of a decision was not the first in just one week, the Harry Maguire incident at this same ground was spoken about everywhere last week, Heung Min Son was sent off for a similar offence against Chelsea earlier in the season, we can go on and on and we will end the wondering on whether there’s more to the refusal of referees to use touchline monitors… Enough is enough.
Has Manchester United turned the corner?
|Anthony Martial has scored in three successive appearances in all competitions for the first time since September 2017 (Source: premierleague.com)|
Emphatic! That’s how to describe United’s win over Watford on Sunday.
Not because it’s special for a side as historically great as United to win at home against a team second from bottom, but because the Red Devils have struggled against teams in the lower end of the table even though they have been amazing against top sides.
The manner of the goals scored by Manchester United calls discussions, even the one that went in from the spot, the calm exhibited by Bruno Fernandes, the best player on the pitch was sensational.
Anthony Martial once again reminded everyone of his sheer brilliance as he lobbed past Ben Foster in the Hornets’ goal.
The third that came off the foot of kid sensation, Mason Greenwood capped off a fine afternoon.
From the movement which the English forward started, to the off-the-ball movement of the three players around him to his emphatic finish.
A result that comes just six days after beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to place United firmly in contention for a top-four finish.
The big question remains around consistency, hoping United will build on this and march on or grow limp again as seen in the recent past.
Who pays the price for City?
|Kasper Schmeichel's save from Sergio Aguero's penalty was his fourth in the Premier League, one more than his father, Peter, made in the competition (Source: premierleague.com)|
Once again and for the umpteenth time this season, Manchester City failed to convert from the spot but they can be grateful to Gabriel Jesus who came off the bench to slot past Kasper Schmichael late on Saturday.
Several players have tried and failed this season from the spot for Manchester City, from Raheem Sterling to Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan, is it so hard to score from six yards out?
The debate about the legitimacy of the penalty call can be discussed some other day, even though Brendan Rodgers admitted it was the right call.
Something has to be done in training or wherever they can, the Citizens can’t continue to miss from six yards out.
They didn’t pay for it at the King Power Stadium, but they just can’t be comfortable with it, they can’t and will look at the margin between them and Liverpool and wonder if it would be that wide if they had taken good care of the basics.
Pep Guardiola once joked that the best penalty taker in the team is Ederson, then why isn’t he taking them?
Jose Luis Chilavert of Paraguay rose to fame for his set-piece magic and Vincent Enyeama was Enyimba’s penalty taker before continuing in Europe with Bnei in Israel and Lille in France, what stops Ederson from taking it for City if he’s the best at it?