Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace: Dan Cook slams controversial VAR decision

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Podcaster Dan Cook has questioned the use of VAR by referee Andy Madley for the second goal conceded by Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

Palace were well and truly dominated in their most recent game as they went down to nine men and failed to register a single shot on target, even prior to having Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins sent off.

The Eagles never seemed to get going yesterday, although many will point towards the officiating as a reason for their fate being sealed no matter what their players did on the pitch – even without the red cards.

Cook has claimed on the HLTCO podcast that Fulham’s second goal should have been ruled out for a handball, which was seemingly ignored by Madley and the VAR team.

He said: “The third and final grumble I have from an officiating perspective is the second goal, because for my money, Aleksandar Mitrovic, whether it was intentional or not, has controlled the ball with his hand, or at least a part of his arm.

“It’s fallen to Tim Ream as a consequence of that control, and obviously, he’s lashed the ball past Vicente Guaita into the back of the net to double Fulham’s lead.

Should Mitrovic's goal have been ruled out?





“I mean, the VAR check went on, the referee was sent to the monitor, and I think we all know now as football fans – when that happens, the assumption is the referee has made a pretty obvious error and he just wants to get the VAR official to look at it to ratify it and make sure that it’s not a suggestion of foul play on anyone’s behalf.

“Obviously, the referee has decided that, actually, there wasn’t enough in it and it was going to be a goal whatever, and it did really feed into a sense of injustice from me.”

TIF Thoughts on the referee’s decision…

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Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace

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It’s fair enough that Cook feels hard done by given that there have not been many times since VAR has been introduced that a referee has gone to the pitchside monitor and not changed their decision – it just so happens this was one of the rare occasions.

In our view, it was a close call either way, and while Mitrovic could hardly have avoided the ball striking him where it did, it nevertheless benefited him and his team – especially given the ball would simply not have landed to Ream the way it did without the added deflection.

However, Palace certainly can’t be pinning their defeat on a refereeing performance as they simply had no threat going forward, despite having players such as Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise all on the pitch.

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