The VAR team in charge of Aston Villa’s clash at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday may have made the wrong call on a crucial incident in the first half.
On what was a frantic final day of the Premier League season, Villa almost pulled off one of the shocks of the season when they raced into a 2-0 lead away to Manchester City, with Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho getting on the scoresheet.
Should VAR have intervened for this incident?
However, with three quickfire goals late in the second half, Steven Gerrard could only watch on as his side collapsed in front of his own eyes – but it could have been very different had Fernandinho been penalised and potentially sent off for his pull on Watkins which appeared needless when only trailing 1-0.
The Brazilian was ushering the ball back to his goalkeeper with City only just having fallen behind to Cash’s header, and he felt the need to pull back Watkins as he closed Ederson down, but neither the referee nor VAR officials thought it was a foul.
TIF Thoughts on this incident…
With Villa ahead at the time and with momentum on their side, a sending-off and free-kick right on the stroke of half-time could have swung the game completely in their favour, and there doesn’t appear to be much evidence to suggest this wasn’t a foul.
Clearly, Watkins’ running in behind was causing Fernandinho a problem at this point and with the midfielder playing centre-back yesterday at 37 years old, it’s no surprise he doesn’t have the pace in his legs anymore.
In other news: Injured Aston Villa star sends message to fans on Instagram