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VAR: Referees are in sheer panic at video decisions, says Chris Sutton

Everton and Tottenham
Everton and Tottenham players had to wait three minutes on Sunday for a VAR decision on whether to give the Toffees a penalty

Premier League referees are in “sheer panic” at how the video assistant referee system is being used, says former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton.

The Premier League clarified why several of the decisions were made over the weekend, including on the Firmino goal. It also said that the decision over Alli’s handball was not overturned by VAR because it was not a “clear and obvious error” by the referee – citing the pressure Alli was under from Everton’s Yerry Mina when the ball struck his hand.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard had a VAR decision go against his side on Saturday when Jorginho made minimal contact on Gerard Deulofeu but the penalty was given via VAR after on-field referee Anthony Taylor had said it was not a spot-kick.

“On the pitch on Saturday, there wasn’t enough for it to be a penalty,” said Lampard on Monday.

“I would work with it [VAR] at the moment and see how we improve. It is an open conversation. I think the clinical nature is a positive; it is the subjective ones we need to look at.

“The one thing we have to give the referees is that it is new. We all want better.”

Speaking on Saturday after Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp criticised the decision by the VAR official to disallow Firmino’s goal for offside.

“It’s not right that we sit here and talk about it and laugh about it. Managers get sacked over it,” Klopp said.

“My analysts showed me the footage after the game and I didn’t see it as offside. We just have to make sure the new system helps the game.”

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GOAL Watford 1-2 Chelsea (80 mins)

Gerard Deulofeu calmly strikes the ball down the middle to give Watford a lifeline

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The VAR identified a clear trip that impeded Deulofeu’s progress in the penalty area and because no penalty was awarded on the field, the referee overturned his decision

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