Alan Shearer has slammed Premier League referees for the countless controversial decisions that were made during Saturday’s games.
In the most high profile incident, West Ham were robbed of a late equaliser against Chelsea after VAR deemed that Edouard Mendy had been fouled in the build-up to Maxwel Cornet’s goal, though replays suggested that was far from the case.
‘”Minimum interference, maximum benefit”, was what we were told when VAR was brought in,’ Shearer said on Match of the Day.
‘It is as bad as decision as you will ever see – or at least for another half-hour [referring to the controversy around Newcastle’s draw with Crystal Palace].
‘They should be told to stay out of it the VAR officials. This was never ever, ever a foul. And I don’t think anyone who has played the game will agree with the VAR Jared Gillett and the referee Andy Madley.
‘The keeper [Mendy] goes down because he realises he’s made a wreck. [Jarrod] Bowen just steps over him, he doesn’t interfere with the play.
‘We saw Michael Oliver stick to his decision when he went over to the monitor [to review a penalty incident in Bournemouth’s win over Nottingham Forest]. Why doesn’t he [Madley] stick to his decision?
‘It’s a beyond terrible, disgraceful decision.’
Newcastle also had a goal disallowed in their 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace, after Joe Willock was adjudged to have fouled Vicente Guaita, with the VAR officials missing the fact that Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell had pushed Willock into the goalkeeper.
Newcastle legend Shearer was incensed adding: ‘It’s shocking, abysmal, disgraceful – whatever word you want to use.
‘The referee Michael Salisbury actually gets it right he gives the goal. It’s Lee Mason and the VAR who somehow bizarrely tell him, “you’ve made a howler”.
‘They tell him to go to the screen but they don’t show him all he angles, they miss the most clear one. He has had no help from the VAR whatsoever.
‘As I keep saying, VAR is not the problem the people running it are.’
In Saturday’s other scandals, referee Simon Hooper and his linesman judged an offside call too early and denied Aston Villa a potentially match-winning goal against Manchester City, after it emerged that offending player Philipe Coutinho was in-fact onside.
Meanwhile, Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk was perhaps lucky not to have been sent off for a bad foul on Amadou Onana during the goalless Merseyside derby, and Everton manager Frank Lampard could not believe the incident did not go to VAR.
‘Players and managers from various football clubs have been let down today by decisions like that,’ Shearer added.
‘It’s been a terrible day. You work hard all week to put into practice what you learn on the training ground and then you’re let down. It’s not right.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.