Pep calls for VAR

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER CITY needed no help to swat aside Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 to move to the brink of the Cham­pi­ons League last 16, but got a boost with a far­ci­cal penalty award that led to even man­ager Pep Guardi­ola to call for the in­tro­duc­tion of VAR.

Hun­gar­ian ref­eree Vik­tor Kas­sai re­mark­ably pointed to the spot when Ra­heem Ster­ling tripped him­self up as he bore down on goal mid­way through the first half with City al­ready lead­ing 1-0 through David Silva’s opener.

And Guardi­ola ad­mit­ted City knew it wasn’t a penalty.

“We re­alised it was not a penalty,” Guardi­ola said.

“He wanted to make a chip and touched the grass. “We don’t like to score goals in that sit­u­a­tion but he didn’t re­alise,” added the Span­ish man­ager, who con­ceded Ster­ling could have told the ref­eree at the time. “You know VAR and what it is – ref­er­ees must be helped be­cause they don’t want to make mis­takes. “They want to make a good per­for­mance but the game is quick and play­ers are more skilled. “It takes three or four sec­onds to make a de­ci­sion – penalty or no penalty.” Ster­ling also apol­o­gised to Kas­sai after kick­ing the ground as he at­tempted to chip the ball goal­wards. “I went to chip the ball and don’t know what hap­pened,” said the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional. “I didn’t feel con­tact. I scuffed the ball, apolo­gies to the ref.” De­spite some con­tro­ver­sial calls, the use of video ref­er­ees was largely deemed suc­cess­ful at the World Cup and will be in­tro­duced in the Cham­pi­ons League next sea­son. How­ever, Guardi­ola, who was sent to the stands for protest­ing a goal City had wrongly ruled out in a quar­ter­fi­nal elim­i­na­tion to Liver­pool last sea­son, called for it to be used in the com­pe­ti­tion this term. De­spite the du­bi­ous penalty, City made cer­tain of vic­tory through Ster­ling, Riyad Mahrez and two more Je­sus strikes. Shakhtar had a right to feel ag­grieved by the penalty de­ci­sion but they were oth­er­wise out­played for a se­cond time in two weeks by City, and Paulo Fon­seca made no ex­cuses for his side. “It is dif­fi­cult to speak about a penalty after a re­sult like that – but it’s ridicu­lous, that’s all I can say,” he said. “Every­one saw it, but it is not be­cause of the penalty we lost the game.” – AFP / Agen­cies

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