January 20th, 2018

Where’s the VAR? Controversial goal costs Saints win in EPL

By Steve Douglas, The Associated Press on January 13, 2018.

Video assistant referees were deployed for the first time in domestic English soccer this week.

Unfortunately for Southampton, they aren’t being used in the Premier League.

Southampton conceded a 90th-minute equalizer in its 2-2 draw at Watford on Saturday after Abdoulaye Doucoure forced the ball into the net with his right hand.

Southampton’s players protested but neither the referee nor his assistants saw an offence.

Had the incident occurred with VARs in place, the goal would almost certainly have been disallowed.

Used for the first time in England for the national team’s friendly against Germany in November, VARs were rolled out in domestic soccer this week for the FA Cup game between Brighton and Crystal Palace on Monday. They were also used for the League Cup semifinal match between Chelsea and Arsenal on Wednesday.

Chelsea drew that game 0-0 and had the same score at home to Leicester, missing a chance to climb to second place at least until Manchester United takes on Stoke on Monday.

It was the fourth 0-0 for Chelsea in its last seven matches in all competitions.

West Bromwich Albion ended a 20-match winless streak by beating Brighton 2-0.

There were wins for Crystal Palace and West Ham, while last-place Swansea drew 1-1 at Newcastle.

Tottenham hosts Everton in the late game.

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Steve Douglas is at http://www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

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