Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester United highlighted a number of issues with the Video Assistant Referee system.
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea travelled to Carrow Road for today’s early kick-off, in search of their first win of the campaign after back to back defeats and a draw from their first 3 matches under new boss Lampard.
Tammy Abraham brace was part of the all-important winner. Mason Mount also got on the score-sheet, with Todd Cantwell and the in-form Teemu Pukki found the target for hosts Norwich.
Manchester United, thrashed Chelsea 4 goals to nil on opening day, the Red Devils were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by Wolves on Monday night and they turned even further versus Crystal Palace.
Jordan Ayew found the net against the run of play just past the half-hour mark. The Eagles held firm before Daniel James bent a superb effort into the top corner of Guaita’s net.
But in the end, Crystal Palace grabbed an all-important winner. Deep into injury-time Wilfried Zaha’s effort well blocked by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, only for Patrick van Aanholt drove the rebound at David De Gea’s near post.
Despite the contrasting fortunes of English football’s giants, there was one common grievance very much shared by the two sides.
The use of VAR.
Chelsea’s meeting with Norwich featured contentious decisions decided by the Video Assistant Referee system. The Blues were somehow denied a second-half penalty, when Cesar Azpilicueta was clearly taken out by Marco Stiepermann in the Norwich box.
After VAR review, but Stiepermann’s blatant kick on Azpilicueta’s knee was deemed as unworthy of a spot-kick.
A challenge involving Ben Godfrey and Mason Mount saw the former make no attempt to play the ball, before stamping down on the foot of the Chelsea youngster.
VAR again opted to turn down appeals.
Manchester United’s defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, also involved its own flash-points.
Paul Tierney did get a couple of high-profile decisions correct, including awarding a penalty which was subsequently missed by Marcus Rashford.
Daniel James was handed a yellow card for diving.
VAR is a work in progress, following its introduction to English football to obviously eradicate refereeing errors.
Today’s actions, showcased the fact that this simply isn’t happening.