January 24, 2018

Arsene Wenger welcomes VAR despite penalty issue

13 January 2018, 05:03 | Henrietta Morgan

Arsene Wenger who watched on from the press box raised concerns over the technology

Arsene Wenger who watched on from the press box raised concerns over the technology

It earned the stamp of approval from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, whose latest battle with officials has landed him a three match touchline ban. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

It meant that Chelsea's match with Arsenal finished 0-0, leaving the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg - held at the Emirates Stadium on January 24 - finely poised.

― Picture vua FifaLONDON, Jan 11 ― English football's referees chief Mike Riley professed himself to be satisfied with the way the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology has performed in the two games it has been used in so far.

Antonio Conte was also disappointed with the lack of added time at the end of the match
Antonio Conte was also disappointed with the lack of added time at the end of the match

It was in effect on Monday for the first time in an English club match, when Brighton beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round, but it wasn't called on then.

'If there is no penalty, you give it to the defending team, because it looks a bit unusual to go on for two minutes for example sometimes and then to come back.

"If the referee is not sure we could stop the game straight away".

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The Italian became animated when Danny Welbeck appeared to take down Cesc Fabregas inside the box near the end of Chelsea's 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday night.

Welbeck said: "I didn't know the VAR was actually looking at that incident".

'I knew I got the ball, so I wasn't anxious at all.

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"Currently, if you look at the referee, you will see him put his finger in his ear but I accept that in the stadium that can be quite hard to see so the question now is how can we improve that experience for spectators".

Atkinson consulted VAR official Neil Swarbrick, based at Premier League headquarters in Stockley Park, after a tussle between Calum Chambers and Cesar Azpilicueta at a first-half corner and no penalty was awarded. "You can see them talking in their ear but it's one of those things, we'll get used to it".

"I'm very positive [about VAR] because I think when there is a big doubt it's right the referee and the other referee watch the video to make the best decision".

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It took Atkinson and his VAR almost two minutes to decide on a Chelsea corner, which was the right call.

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