Everton’s stopper was not punished for a clattering challenge to Virgil van Dijk, giving the Liverpool defender the potential to miss the rest of the season.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho intervened in the VAR debate and commented on the incident with Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby.
The use of VAR in the Premier League was a hotly debated topic after a series of controversies
This has caused immense criticism, and similar incidents have been observed elsewhere: Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City prevented a red card in the Champions League for an attack on Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin.
While VAR investigated the incident, the focus was on an offside game before the challenge and not on the tackle itself – no further action was taken in the following days either.
“And you have known me for several years – it was difficult for me to accept the human error, but I have learned, and at this moment I always accept the referee’s mistakes.
Now Mourinho, who will speak on Monday night before the Premier League game in Tottenham against Burnley, has raised the technical issues.
“I think the attention [the incidents have]is based on the fact that there is a VAR. Without VAR, situations happen on the pitch and the person, the referee, makes mistakes,” he said.
“But the problem was that there was a VAR. The Porto goalkeeper could now be with a broken leg. And no one understands how a broken leg can be turned into a penalty kick against a Porto goalkeeper.
“What we do not accept are the VAR mistakes. So I think if the referee of this game [of the Merseyside Derby], 100 mph, the situation happened, the linesman gives an offside, everyone would say: “Ok, it was a bad tackle, but it happened and it’s done”.
“If the referee makes this mistake, everybody understands because the game is 100 mph, but with the VAR, how can this VAR make this mistake? And the situation of Pickford is the same for me. It’s the VAR, not the referee”…