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Managers and players fume at yet more VAR controversy and handball decisions

Managers and players fume at yet more VAR controversy and handball decisions in the Premier League across the weekend just gone.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp thought “things went against” his side at Emirates Stadium with the Reds seething about penalty incidents in both boxes, particularly a handball against Gabriel Magalhaes that went unpunished.

Fulham were also livid about West Ham’s second goal in the Hammers’ 3-1 win on Sunday, believing Gianluca Scamacca had handled in the build-up.

And while it didn’t affect the outcome, Manchester United were also dismayed at Marcus Rashford’s late goal being disallowed at Everton for handball.

What is the handball rule?

When deciding a handball decision referees have three key considerations:

Whether it is a “deliberate action” by the player – i.e. have they moved their arm towards the ball;

If the the hand or arm is in “a natural position”, – i.e. away from the body;

The proximity of the player from the ball and the speed it hits them on the arm/hand.

For accidental handball in the build-up to a goal:

If one player accidentally handles the ball and a team-mate scores, the goal is given;

However, if a player accidentally handles the ball themselves and goes on to score, the goal will not stand.

Liverpool felt they should’ve been awarded a penalty after Diogo Jota’s cross hit Gabriel Magalhaes’ outstretched arm. Michael Oliver’s decision not to award a spotkick was upheld by VAR, and Jurgen Klopp’s side fell to a 3-2 loss.

Speaking after the game, the German said: “What can I say now about that situation? He thought immediately it’s a penalty which is interesting but his decision.

“Mr England had a look at it and thought as well it’s a penalty. We know in life if two refs think the same that is the truth we have to live with.

“If I see the situation back, if there was contact – and I’m not sure there was – there might have been soft contact, then the player goes again on both feet and then down, that’s an indication that something might have been made up. But not for the refs.

“But they thought it was a clear not handball in the first half when Diogo put the ball on Gabriel’s arm, and we cannot change that.

“Our situation is difficult enough with injuries on top of that, but in a game like this, when decisions go against you it’s kind of typical but it doesn’t help. Now we have lost the game.”

In Man Utd’s 2-1 win over Everton at Goodison Park, Marcus Rashford looked to have added to the scoreline with a third, only for the goal to be ruled out for a slight brush of the ball on his arm.

On his Twitter page, Rashford posted: “+3 points on the road @ManUtd. VAR was questionable but thankfully it didn’t impact the result.”

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has suggested that he’ll have to take another look at Marcus Rashford’s disallowed goal against Everton.

Erik ten Hag has said he couldn’t see any reason why Rashford‘s goal was disallowed but he’s happy his side held on to Ronaldo’s first half match winning goal.

“When I see it, I can’t see [why] they cancelled the goal,” Ten Hag told beIN Sports about Rashford’s disallowed goal. “It doesn’t have an effect on the result, if it had then I would stand here different!”

In West Ham’s 3-1 victory over Fulham earlier in the afternoon, Michail Antonio’s goal — despite looking similar to Rashford’s — was allowed to stand.

Marco Silva also claimed referee Chris Kavanagh was “embarrassed” by the VAR decision to allow West Ham’s second goal in their 3-1 Premier League win over Fulham.

Gianluca Scamacca scored with a chip over Bernd Leno but didn’t celebrate it as even he appeared to think it would be disallowed.

Yet VAR looked at the replays, first for offside and then handball, for around three minutes before deciding the goal should stand, prompting a touchline meltdown from Silva, who was booked for his angry protests.

Kavanagh didn’t go to the pitchside monitor to look at the replays, with VAR Michael Salisbury making the resulting decision.

Silva said: “I don’t want to talk about the referee because I know that I will not be on the bench in the next game and I want to be on the bench to be with my players.

“It’s a difficult moment for the referee, definitely. In open play I didn’t see it and of course for him, it’s tough to see as well.

“But he was so embarrassed, like myself, when he saw it on the screen. It’s difficult for him to say something more.

“The decision came from someone on the VAR and he has to respect that decision, but I saw on his face when I spoke to him after the match that he was embarrassed because he saw it on the screen like I saw it and everyone saw it as well.”

“I thought he hadn’t celebrated because it was offside,” said Moyes. “From my point of view, I don’t see a hand involved in it.

“With Fulham, you’re going to say ‘you definitely see a hand’. I can’t see anything which changes the direction of the ball. It took such a long time, I thought it was going to go against us in the end, but it went for us.”

Newcastle’s Dan Burn conceded a penalty when he blocked Aaron Hickey’s header with his arm from close range.

MOTD2 presenter Mark Chapman: The PGMOL say for handball it is all about “proximity and speed”.

Danny Murphy: “That’s what is making fans angry. How can one be given and Liverpool’s not be given? And that’s a fair argument. We are all after consistency. How can they be two different decisions?”

Now you’ve seen managers and players fume at yet more VAR controversy and handball decisions, this is what fans had to say…

@UtdCam__: Joke

@LundstramLoyall: What are the handball rules nowadays 😭😭

@Greenbay444: The problem is we don’t know who & how the decisions are being made. Take rugby & cricket for eg you can hear a running commentary of how they come to that decision & they’re always consistent of how they make they’re decisions. Until football does that its always up for scrutiny

@Oggie____: It’s almost as if officials are human and prone to mistakes. Mistakes will happen forever with or without VAR, all VAR does is remove suck emotion and celebrations out of football. The ball hitting the net no longer means goal, that’s actually dire.

@9yrspodcast: I really do not understand why people are so wedded to VAR when, as far as I can tell, it hasn’t improved or added to the experience of football one iota. ^ND

@DrTomWebb: The problem is VAR adds another interpretation of the laws from another official. The issue is that many of the laws are there to be interpreted and therefore there will be disagreements around VAR use and interpretation. That said, there are inconsistencies in application.

@PaulBurton_15: The problem is we have absolutely shocking officials and we have for 3-4 seasons now. Antonio’s goal today was allowed yet Rashfords wasn’t for exactly the same thing. It’s criminal and referees are not held accountable in any way, shape or form. Needs to change

@NagMoleMUFC: We may as well go back to referees dropping clangers VAR is so unreliable. I think it actually hinges on which team the VAR official likes best

@MoyesyRob: I would prefer refs making wrong decisions. They get one look in real time. At least they have an excuse. Whats the excuse of the VAR? They have all the time they need to get they correct decisions, and still get so many wrong.

@millatevin: No wonder those English refs don’t get major international call ups.

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