Given the contentious penalty call against PSG on Wednesday, can VAR really eliminate referee error?

By March 07, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Giampaolo demands attacking improvement after losing AC Milan start Giampaolo demands attacking improvement after losing AC Milan start

    Marco Giampaolo demanded an attacking improvement from AC Milan after a 1-0 defeat at Udinese in his first Serie A game in charge of the team.

    Rodrigo Becao scored on his Serie A debut, with Giampaolo not selecting any of the Rossoneri's new signings in his XI on Sunday.

    Giampaolo sent on new faces Ismael Bennacer and Rafael Leao from the bench, but Milan could not break down Igor Tudor's side at the Dacia Arena.

    The former Sampdoria coach saw his side fail to record a single shot on target and he was in no doubt why Milan fell to defeat, despite seeking positives from the performance.

    "The match speaks for itself and it's not good when AC Milan lose," Giampaolo told Milan TV. "I picked up on many things today, beyond that of just the result.

    "The team tried to do what I asked of them, looking to impose themselves and take the game to the opposition. We must work on our offensive play because we struggled in that department.

    "It's not just the lads’ responsibility but more a matter of specific characteristics. I must go beyond the result in understanding how we can be at our best. Maybe I asked them certain things but they have different characteristics.

    "Up until now, the lads have shown me great willingness. I must now find the best solution according to the characteristics of certain matches."

    Milan were denied a penalty when Alessio Romagnoli's header hit Samir on the arm, as no spot-kick was awarded following a VAR check.

    "We're annoyed by the result, but my evaluations wouldn't be different if we'd have equalised from the penalty spot," Giampaolo added.

    "I must make some serious analysis, looking to understand where the team must improve and what works well. I must be objective. It may be that they award the penalty for an equaliser but this wouldn't lead me to any different evaluations.

    "When you lose, it's only right for there to be controversial issues, but we must focus on ourselves - looking to play better football than we did today and without losing sight of being protagonists. We'll only achieve this through hard work."

  • Joao Felix backed to become 'one of the best' Joao Felix backed to become 'one of the best'

    Joao Felix can become "one of the best", according to Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

    Atletico beat Leganes 1-0 courtesy of a second-half goal from Vitolo, who was played in by €120million signing Joao Felix for the decisive strike.

    Oblak heaped praise on the 19-year-old's performance while hailing the team's game management across a contest in which they survived 10 attempts on goal from Leganes.

    "I knew he had great talent, great potential," Oblak said of his Portugal international team-mate.

    "The club has made a lot of effort to bring him here and we all agree that they have brought a high-quality player and that he can become one of the best, for sure.

    "At the moment he is playing very well and hopefully he continues like this, giving us joy.

    "It was a complicated game. Any team will have problems here against Leganes.

    "Vitolo came on and scored the winning goal but in general the whole team played in the best possible way. We have defended well, we have suffered.

    "It is important to know how to suffer because you cannot dominate the whole game."

    Diego Simeone echoed Oblak's comments about Leganes, against whom he fielded a back three rather than his usual four.

    The approach paid off as Atleti ground out a second win in as many games.

    Simeone told reporters: "We needed to win and tried to do so in different ways. We changed things around and we won.

    "Leganes never allow you to relax - they're very strong at home."

  • Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Toulouse: Mbappe and Cavani injured in easy home win Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Toulouse: Mbappe and Cavani injured in easy home win

    Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani were injured as Paris Saint-Germain comfortably defeated Toulouse 4-0 at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 on Sunday

    Neymar was absent from the PSG squad amid continued uncertainty over his future at the club and Thomas Tuchel lost striker Cavani 14 minutes into a goalless first half.

    Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came on for the Uruguayan and opened the scoring in the 50th minute with a superb solo strike, before defender Mathieu Goncalves turned in an own goal.

    The result was completely overshadowed, though, as Mbappe appeared to pull his hamstring when chasing down a pass, with the France forward heading straight off the pitch before Choupo-Moting and Marquinhos added further goals.

    PSG, beaten 2-1 at Rennes last week, quickly cranked into gear and Toulouse goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet made a pair of smart saves from Mbappe in the opening four minutes.

    But their strong start faded fast and PSG were dealt a blow when Tuchel saw Cavani hobble off after an attempted volley, with Choupo-Moting introduced as his replacement.

    Choupo-Moting was acrobatically denied by Reynet in the first minute after the restart but the keeper could do nothing about the Cameroon international's next effort.

    After collecting the ball in a packed penalty box, Choupo-Moting superbly span into space and thumped a low drive in off the left post.

    PSG's second goal came five minutes later, Pablo Sarabia's attempt deflecting in off Goncalves, who then gave away a 71st-minute penalty for handball after Mbappe pulled up on his 100th Ligue 1 appearance.

    Reynet dived to his right to deny Angel Di Maria from the spot, but PSG added a third goal four minutes later as a sweeping move ended with Juan Bernat teeing up Choupo-Moting for a first-time finish.

    Choupo-Moting was denied a hat-trick by Reynet before Marquinhos' header completed the scoring on his 250th appearance for the club, but PSG will be hoping for good news on Cavani and Mbappe.

     

    What does it mean? Injury issues mount for PSG

    The European transfer window closes on September 2 and it remains unclear whether Neymar will stay at PSG, but the issues for Cavani and Mbappe could force the club to keep him.

    Losing one striker to injury would be unfortunate but two was a horrible stroke of bad luck that will likely leave PSG increasingly reliant on Choupo-Moting in the coming weeks.


    Choupo-Moting makes his case

    Eyebrows were raised when PSG signed Choupo-Moting on a free transfer last year, the forward having been released by Stoke City. He scored only three times in 22 Ligue 1 games last term.

    But perhaps the 2019-20 season will be the making of the 30-year-old. Choupo-Moting took his goals very well indeed and if Mbappe and Cavani are out for an extended time he will get more chances to shine.


    Nightmare debut for Goncalves

    Toulouse coach Alain Casanova threw Goncalves to the wolves somewhat by asking the 18-year-old to make his debut against the Ligue 1 champions and the teenager crumbled under the pressure, scoring an own goal and giving away a penalty before being replaced by Wesley Said.


    What's next?

    PSG return to action on Friday, taking on Metz in their last game before the international break. Toulouse are at home to Amiens a day later.

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