Tottenham had to settle for a point after a controversial VAR decision.
If you need one example why VAR is ruining football, allow me to show you the final moments of Tottenham Hotspur‘s draw with Newcastle United on Sunday.
After a dominant Spurs display that looked set to give them three points, a penalty was awarded to Newcastle in the final seconds after the ball hit Eric Dier’s arm in the box. The result? A 1-1 draw with Newcastle equalizing in the final moments.
The initial demand for technology in football was to take away the clear and obvious errors by referees. A clear offside that leads to a goal, or a deliberate handball that takes away a goal-scoring opportunity. But VAR hasn’t helped solve controversy, it’s made it far worse.
Instead of Tottenham celebrating a hard-earned victory on Sunday, they have to settle for a point on a technicality. By the letter of the law, the ball hitting Dier’s arm means it’s a penalty. But Dier had his back turned. He was in mid-air making a fair attempt to win the ball. Andy Carroll headed the ball onto the back of Dier’s arm.
Did it prevent a goal? No. Did it prevent a chance? No. Was it an intentional or unnatural play by Dier? Once again, the answer is a clear no.
But in today’s Premier League, it’s a penalty.
Tottenham had their chances to put the game beyond Newcastle but failed to do so.
Spurs were absolutely dominant in the first half. They had 68 percent of the possession with 12 shots (five on target) compared to two shots (none on target) for Newcastle. Yet despite regularly coming close to scoring, only Lucas Moura’s goal separated the teams at the break. Gareth Bale enjoyed the goal as he watched on from the stands.
Tottenham controlled the game in the second half but were unable to create as many clear-cut opportunities. When they did, the finish wasn’t there. Perhaps the closest attempt came through a close-range Erik Lamela free-kick which was tipped over the bar.
Despite a dominant performance, Tottenham take the point and now have four from their opening three games. But that won’t be the key talking point from this game.
There were no winners in this game. Spurs have to settle for a point, as do Newcastle.
But the real loser? Football.