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Gary O’Neil slams VAR shambles after Keane Lewis-Potter grabs Nelson Semedo’s throat

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil slams the VAR shambles after Keane Lewis-Potter grabs Nelson Semedo’s throat in a stoppage time scuffle.

O’Neil once again was left frustrated by VAR calls, believing Brentford could have had two players sent off in Wolves’ 1-1 FA Cup Third Round draw on Friday night.

Tommy Doyle’s strike from outside the box cancelled out Neal Maupay’s opener following an early red card for Joao Gomes after injuring Christian Norgaard.

But Wolves could easily point to a similar challenge from Mikkel Damsgaard on Doyle which went unpunished. Afterwards Wolves boss Gary O’Neil was also critical of VAR for not punishing Keane Lewis-Potter for grabbing Nelson Semedo around the neck.

“It would look bad slowed down, it’s a nasty place to be kicked with the studs and I hope Norgaard is OK,” O’Neil said on Gomes’ sending off. “But I know Joao has not meant for it to land like that. He’s a bit late. I’ve got no real complaints, it could have been a yellow, it could have been a red.

“But the tackle [from Mikkel Damsgaard] on Tommy Doyle was equally as bad, a straight leg on Tommy. And Lewis-Potter grabbing Semedo’s throat should have been a red card.

“I can’t believe VAR thought it wasn’t. Now we’ll miss one of our best midfielders for three games and one of our rivals get to keep two of theirs.”

Brentford boss Thomas Frank: “We can only blame ourselves today, there was a lack of quality all over the pitch.

“Sometimes you can’t always hit a top performance. Sometimes it’s not easy to play 11 against 10. It’s not a miracle by Wolves, although credit to them. But especially after being 1-0 we really should win the game.

“This is the worst outcome, in every aspect. I don’t understand why we have a replay.

“I simply don’t understand why no one in the football world has changed this. They need to take some more clever decisions.”

Gary O’Neil adds: “I’m really pleased with performance of the players. We played 90-odd minutes with 10 men, with the stoppage time at the end of each half.

“Away from home, going 1-0 down, it would have been easy for the players to let this one go. There was none of that. Everyone gave absolutely everything.”

Gary O’Neil said as per the club website: ““I’m really pleased [on getting a replay with 10 men]. It was probably longer than 80 minutes with all the stoppage time at the end of each half, so closer to 90, so it was an incredible effort from the players. I didn’t think there was much between the teams, even with 10 v 11.

“Obviously, they had more of the ball and more of the territory, but we defended the goal really well, coped with leaving their extra man, and I thought tactically, the players dealt with it really well. We still looked a threat on the counter and there was a real togetherness in the group.

“Going 1-0 down with 10 men, especially with the nature of the goal, there was nothing in the goal, pinballing around in the penalty area, and a real blow to go 1-0 down at that part. So, to put in the second half performance that they did and keep us in the hat was really impressive and a real team performance.”

On Gomes’ sending off: “I could see it and I know Joao so it’s difficult for me to disconnect myself from knowing what Joao is and how honest he is and he wouldn’t do anything like that on purpose. But when you look at the incident in slow motion, I understand that it probably doesn’t look great, so I can accept it.

“I find it staggering that they haven’t had one or two sent off. I thought the tackle on Tommy Doyle on the far touchline was straight leg, over the ball, straight down on Tommy’s leg with studs – I thought that was equally as bad as Joaos, and then grabbing Nelson round the throat at the end, my bench were making the normal noises when they saw it.

“I said, ‘It’s alright, VAR will definitely send him off. It’s definitely a sending off.’ But oh no, it’s just a yellow for Lewis-Potter and Nelson can also have a yellow. I was really surprised, but I just deal with my group and what we have.”

On controversial decisions going Brentford’s way: “I didn’t get any explanation. I’m on two yellow cards as well, harsh cards as well, so I had to tread very carefully today. I don’t think I deserved the last two, so I’m not really sure where the line is, so me asking questions and having conversations can result in me being booked.

“I decided to try and not to today, but I will go and see them and ask for an explanation when everything’s calmed down, but the explanation won’t help us really.

“They’re one of our rivals in the league, Brentford, they’re in and around us and we have a player missing for three games, but they don’t. They get to keep all of theirs. It can have a big impact on things decisions like that.”

On focusing on the positives: “Obviously, Joao has to miss three games now which is really disappointing for us. I guess one is the replay which is one of the positives from it as he only misses two league games and the form Tommy Doyle is in as well. I thought Tommy was excellent again today, as were a lot of them.

“Matheus Cunha trying to get the team up the pitch on his own, doing two players’ jobs at time to make it look like 11 v 11, Pedro [Neto] getting back involved as well, the backline was excellent, JJ [Bellegarde] as well. I’m really pleased with where the group are in this moment.

“It would have been very easy with the red card and going 1-0 down and say it’s not our year this year in the FA Cup. We’re doing ok in the league, lets get out of here and crack on, but the lads refused to get beat, which is a really good trait.”

On adding a replay to the schedule: “It is what it is. We’ve got a small squad as you could see today. That was everybody who was fit and available here today. We had six or seven lads from the under-21s who were making up the bench, but I quite enjoy it.

“I quite enjoy the challenge. I said to the lads at half time what a fantastic challenge for us, coming here without a lot of key players, down to 10 men, a goal down, and I had full faith we could go and win the second half with what we have, and that’s how I feel about the season.

“The situation that the club’s been in financially, we’re not going to be spending 10s of millions on players, we’re going to be doing it with what we’ve got, and I love working with what I’ve got, so bring on the replay and we’ll give it what we’ve got.”

SEE MORE: Joey Barton THREATENS Gary Neville as pundit applauds ITV for calling out disgusting tweet

Here’s how fans reacted as Gary O’Neil slams VAR shambles after Keane Lewis-Potter grabs Nelson Semedo’s throat in stoppage time…

@wolvesbradders: Of course Semedo is booked for being grabbed by the throat 🤣

@ISimpson73: Without any shadow of doubt Wolves have had the most wrong decisions this season, If that was Arsenal, Liverpool or Man Utd there’d be investigations, refs given suspensions etc…

@SpeesrA: I’d like to say I’m surprised too. But after the shocking decisions from referees and var we’ve had it just another one the other team got away with.

@matt8284: Yet more inconsistency. Is it too much to aak that we have the same decision made on all of these tackles? Isn’t that what VAR is for?

@salopwolf: No surprise, it’s been the case all season, as soon as you see Jarred Gillet is on VAR it’s not going to work out correctly

@danquinton: Looks like Semedo was going to go in head first after the throat grab but pulled away. Fair play to him for that, but how the little chap from Brentford only got a yellow was another rubbish decision.

@_Wolves_News_: Honestly think we’ve got to be less honest. If he goes down it’s a red. If Kilman goes down vs Fulham it’s a red. If that’s what it takes for decisions to finally go our way then so be it

@lau_w87:
Can someone please explain
– Semedo getting a yellow for someone grabbing his throat?
– If Gomes tackle was a red card, how Damsgards tackle was fine?
– what the actual fucking point of VAR is?
I GIVE UP. #wwfc

@cassie2195: Now semedo is being booked for having his neck grabbed. You could not make this up 😂

@IJHobbs: Referee was on a wind up all game. Absolutely hilarious. How can you have one and not the other

@_KKWWFC: Semedo catching a booking for…Having the audacity to be choked. I wish I was making this up. Fuck sake

@allen_lowe: Doyle didn’t do enough rolls… So, no, not a red card. 😂

@Slothmonkey1985: Var not the problem it’s the people in charge of it. Howard Webb comes out and talks a big game but nothing is improving at all

@Kezevans: No difference between the two incidents in the slightest. As for the choke hold by Lewis Potter on Samedo near the end, that should have been a red also. Obviously VAR considered it to be a soft choke!!

@Wellsy2304: Var against wolves this season

@Gracey1970: I think @FA_PGMOL are an embarrassment to the game. They are systematically ruining football.

@CoppellRob: Again, Wolves harshly treated.

@XXXTANNERTACION: Clear as day hand around the throat how is that not a fucking red card. @FA Fucking disgrace the lot of you refs

@ArnieIsAWolf: Respect Semedo for not going down, but some players would have done 3 rolls there and got the player sent off….

@jackpw3: Football: a sport where you can get away with violent conduct.

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