VAR controversy continues as United beat Chelsea again

Manchester United moved up to seventh in the Premier League table with a crucial 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The visitors scored with their first two shots on target. Anthony Martial glanced in a cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka just before half-time to put United in front, before Harry Maguire sealed all three points by heading in a Bruno Fernandes corner after 66 minutes.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will rue a string of missed chances in the first half, and also the numerous interventions by the Video Assistant Referee. Chelsea had two goals chalked off in the second half and Harry Maguire was fortunate not to receive a red card after review in the first, when he appeared to kick out at Michy Batshuayi.

Manchester United are now three points behind Chelsea, who are in fourth place in the league. They are two of a group of seven clubs who might have a realistic shot at a Champions League qualifying places – especially if the recent UEFA sanctions against Manchester City bring fifth place into that equation.

Meanwhile, UEFA says it has shaved 15 seconds off the average time it takes for the VAR system to correct a decision in the Champions League this season, with the average down to one minute 30 seconds.

The head of UEFA’s referees’ committee Roberto Rosetti said he was very happy with the way the technology had been used in the competition but stressed that it was only for “clear and obvious” mistakes.

The European soccer body said that in 108 playoff round and group stage matches so far, 27 decisions had been corrected by the VAR system, an average of one every four games.

“This shows the quality of the referees’ performances,” said Rosetti.

“In addition, we feel that the time taken to overturn a decision is important. So far this season, the average time for the correction of a decision has been one minute 30 seconds – 15 seconds less than last season.”

The use of VAR in some domestic leagues, particularly England’s Premier League, has been widely criticised with suggestions that the video officials in some countries now have more power than those on the pitch.

Many critics feel that it has gone beyond its original remit with goals being disallowed for the tiniest of infringements such as a player being offside by an armpit.- Eurosport

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