September 25, 2018 / 3:42 PM / 20 days ago

Soccer: Real's Lopetegui backs VAR

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has given his backing to Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) in La Liga after a weekend in which a number of controversial decisions were given in Spain’s top flight.

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group Stage - Group G - Real Madrid v AS Roma - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - September 19, 2018 Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui during the match REUTERS/Juan Medina

Barcelona were furious after defender Clement Lenglet was shown a straight red card for an elbow in their 2-2 draw with Girona and a number of players and coach Ernesto Valverde were highly critical of the system. Valencia’s Dani Parejo was also dismissed for an innocuous looking challenge.

But Lopetegui, who benefited from VAR showing Marco Asensio was onside after initially seeing the goal disallowed for his side’s winner against Espanyol, believes it will more often than not help referees.

“I’m not going to talk about what others have said on it,” he told a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s obvious that VAR helps a referee see a doubtful decision much clearer.

“Ok, of course it won’t be the panacea for everything because perfection does not exist, but for me it’s a system that helps improve on what he previously had.”

Real visit Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Wednesday, a ground that has caused the European champions problems down the years. They have lost on their previous three La Liga visits and have not emerged victorious from the Andalusian city since 2015.

They will be without Dani Carvajal and the in-form Isco, who underwent surgery for appendicitis on Tuesday and is likely to be out of action for a month.

“He came in today with some pain and it turned out it was appendicitis,” Lopetegui said.

“Of course, all absentees are bad news, but after lamenting our luck we’ll need to think who will play instead of him. I’ve got full confidence in the squad.”

Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli, editing by Ed Osmond

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