Fulham and Wolves engaged in a thrilling Premier League encounter on Monday, which the former won 3-2 at their home venue Craven Cottage. However, the contest was marred with VAR controversy, leaving Wolves manager Gary O’Neil furious. The manager said bad refereeing decisions were hurting his reputation and “people’s livelihoods” after the match.
William emerged as the match-winner for Fulham, as he netted two penalties, which included a stoppage time winner. Alex Iwobi had struck the first goal for Fulham. If we look at the Wolves’ camp, Matheus Cunha and Hwang Hee-chan scored a goal each.
VAR becomes the talking point
Iwobi took only seven minutes to break the deadlock, handing Fulham an early lead. The lead was cancelled out at the midway stage of first half, the equaliser coming from Cunha. The VAR drama triggered ten minutes into the second half after referee Michael Salisbury pointed to the penalty spot. Nelson Semedo as he went for a tackle inside the D against Tom Cairney, following which the referee pointed at the penalty spot. TV replays, however, suggested otherwise. It appeared that the defender had got a touch on the ball.
After a lengthy VAR check, the penalty was given to Fulham and was successfully converted by Willian.
Wolves were also awarded a penalty as the match progressed, which was successfully converted by Hwang.
This was not the end as Salisbury once again found him in a VAR situation at the dying stages of the match. Following a tussle between Joao Gomes and Harry Wilson at the dying stages, which he initially felt was not a penalty. However, upon direction from the VAR officials to look at the pitch side monitor Salisbury then reversed his decision and Willian sealed the win for Fulham.
How did the coaches react
Wolves manager, Gary O’Neil: “I’m managing a big football club here and the difference that you’re making to my reputation, to the club’s progression up the league, to people’s livelihoods, it’s huge.
“It can’t be like this with all the technology and all the time in the biggest league in the world that we’re getting so many wrong. It can’t be ok.”
O’Neil is the latest Premier League manager to hit out at VAR, with Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp, Tottenham Hotspur’s Ange Postecoglou, Chelsea’s Mauricio Pochettino and Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta among those criticizing the system.
Fulham manager Marco Silva also questioned two of the penalty awards. “The second (Fulham) one is a clear penalty,” he said. “The first for us and the one for them were a bit more soft. I hope (VAR) can always make the right decisions because it’s their job.”
Where do the two teams stand
Fulham secured three points for the first time since early October, which has lifted them 10 points clear of the relegation zone. They are placed 14 on the table.
Wolves, on the other hand, sit two points above Fulham despite the loss.