September 19, 2020, 17:26

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: We need VAR right now

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: We need VAR right now

A furious Rafael Benitez called for the immediate introduction of Video Assistant Referees following Newcastle’s controversial Premier League defeat by Wolves.

The Spaniard insisted referee Mike Dean and his assistants got two key decisions wrong as his side succumbed 2-1 to Matt Doherty’s stoppage-time header and left him bemoaning the fact that the VAR system is not being used until next season.

Benitez was convinced that full-back DeAndre Yedlin should not have been dismissed for a 56th-minute tug on Diogo Jota’s shirt, and that Willy Boly should have had a red card and conceded a penalty after catching Ayoze Perez with a flying elbow.

Asked about the Boly incident, Benitez, who was fined earlier this season for comments praising Andre Marriner after Crystal Palace striker Wilfried Zaha called for greater protection from referees, said: “I saw the replay and we need VAR right now.

“You can see the replay. I was praising the referees after a player was talking and they fined me. Imagine how I feel now.

“It was an elbow in the face, he was bleeding – it was so obvious. But I have seen the replay. You can see the replay and see the face of the player and after, what happened. Anyone can see that, so we need VAR.”

That incident, which saw Martin Dubravka keep out Doherty’s shot after Wolves counter-attacked with Perez lying prone in the penalty area, came nine minutes from time, but Benitez was unhappy too with Yedlin’s red card, with Perez having cancelled out Jota’s opener before the break.

Ayoze Perez attempts an overhead kick (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He said: “When you have a player on the corner of the box with the ball two or three metres away, he was pulling DeAndre, DeAndre was pulling him and (Jamaal) Lascelles was close enough…

“I cannot believe that every time he touched the ball he would put the ball in the top corner and it’s a clear chance of goal.

“When you care and you try to do the best for your team and you see your team fighting and doing well, you cannot believe that this kind of situation can happen in the Premier League.”

Opposite number Nuno Espirito Santo, however, had a different view on both incidents as he revelled in a second win in five days.

Commenting on Yedlin’s sending-off, he said: “Honestly, with all my respect – which is a lot – for Rafa, the law is clear. You can argue if Lascelles can arrive on time to avoid the one v one of Diogo with the goalkeeper.

“I don’t think so. Honestly, I have seen it and I don’t think so. I think Diogo is clear one v one with the goalkeeper, so the law is clear and it is a red card.”

Asked about the alleged elbow, he added: “I saw. It’s an elbow, it’s a clear elbow on Ayoze. But from my point of view, not being over-protective, he (Boly) jumps for the ball and he doesn’t see him, so it’s not intentional.”


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