Soccer News

Soccer-Potter and Smith baffled as VAR grabs spotlight again

BIRMINGHAM, England, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter and his Aston Villa counterpart Dean Smith agreed on being confused about what constitutes a penalty after VAR technology took centre stage in their teams’ Premier League clash on Saturday.

With Brighton 2-1 up in stoppage time, referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty to Villa for Solly March’s tackle on Trezeguet, only to rescind the decision after viewing the replay of the incident.

The VAR check showed March got a piece of the ball before making contact with the Egyptian forward and Brighton, who had Tariq Lamptey sent off moments earlier, hung on for their first league win in seven games.

“I don’t know what a penalty is now,” Smith told the BBC.

“We could all hear the contact inside the ground. If VAR thinks it’s not a penalty then just tell the referee it’s not a penalty. It wasn’t given so we have to take it on the chin.”

Potter expressed a similar view on the grey area about what qualifies as a spot-kick, but was relieved Brighton got the rub of the green and he heaped praise on striker Danny Welbeck, who scored his first goal for the club.

“We’ve had a few against us so I’m not sure what is and what isn’t a penalty these days. I know Solly touched the ball so we’re just happy it went our way this time,” Potter said.

“Welbeck was fantastic. It’s clear he influenced the game well and took his goal well. He linked up with the team and was incredible out of possession.

“He defended when he had to and he brought his personality as well so I’m really pleased for him. That’s his first full 90 minutes so there’s definitely more to come from him.” (Reporting by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond)