When Aston Villa welcomed Fulham to Villa Park on Sunday, few fans on either side would’ve predicted what followed.
Fulham were far more organised but didn’t really pose a threat, and we were as bad as we’ve been all season long. 1-0 down and arguably deservedly so on the balance of the game, head coach Dean Smith rolls the dice and finally shakes things up, and before we knew it we’d scored three times in ten odd minutes to complete the most unlikely turnaround I’ve seen in a long time.
With all the emotions flowing and a huge sense of relief at the full time whistle, there was one incident – when the scores were tied at 0-0 – that most of us had forgotten about in the moment. Our penalty shout being declined by the Very Annoying Referee system.
Fans were understandably confused in the moment, John McGinn had been charged down but almost immediately Ollie Watkins nipped in and what looked like a rash challenge on him, saw him hit the deck.
Penalty overturned by VAR. Madley sees the slight touch from Lemina, and reverses the decision!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 4, 2021
However, match day referee Andy Madley only focused on the Watkins incident. He got that decision right on the replays I saw as their player just narrowly got the ball, so no complaints there. But he never bothered reviewing the McGinn incident.
Forum member gmvillan rightly picked back up on this as we went back over the game in our Vital Villa Match Day Forum Thread (minus the emotions!).
“One thing that has barely received a mention…the penalty that was overruled by VAR at the end of the first half. Two things for me:
(1) Why, when the ref went to the monitor was he only shown the one camera angle, which just happened to be the only angle that didn’t clearly show Watkins got a touch before their defender.
And (2) Why was the foul on McGinn seconds earlier not included, when clearly it was a foul and the ref missed it (ie clear and obvious error).
It shows the pure idiocy of VAR. If a penalty had stood, the only argument would have been, which foul was it given for…and it shows the bias of the VAR system in that they selected the best/only clip that would cause the ref to overturn his original decision.”
As said, I’m not so fussed about the Ollie shout, but VAR (again) seriously let itself down by not reviewing both incidents and whilst I normally wouldn’t rely on the words of former referee Keith Hackett, I can’t dispute his take on things as he spoke to Football Insider following the game.
“It was an interesting one. It’s the first one (McGinn) where I think the penalty kick should’ve been awarded, not the delayed one. I was rather taken aback that when VAR came in, I thought VAR was coming in on that first challenge. So when he went to review it I was almost shouting at my TV set ‘You’re looking at the wrong clip.’ I think that first one was a penalty and the second one that they reviewed they got it right. I was surprised. VAR was right to come in, but came in on the wrong one.”
At least this was one VAR incident that didn’t cost us points as we’ve more than had our fair share of those these last two seasons.
Was It A Foul On McGinn?
Nailed On, Hackett Is Right
McGinn Went Down Too Easily