Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal thought he was being clever. In the waning moments of a 6-0 victory over APOEL on Nov. 21, Carvajal decided to hold the ball instead of throwing it back into play. The referee didn’t like this time wasting and showed him a yellow card. It was Carvajal’s fifth yellow of the Champions League campaign, meaning he would be suspended for the Borussia Dortmund match, but he would be available for the knockout rounds, for which Real Madrid had already qualified.
So maybe VAR doesn’t get every single little call right. Nor does it turn referees into infallible robots. But we think every soccer fan can get on board with the VAR decision during the Roma-Genoa match on Sunday. The VAR spotted this pathetic Daniele De Rossi slap on Gianluca Lapadula, which resulted in both players rolling around on the ground like they had just been shot.
After a review, the referee brandished red for De Rossi. Lapadula miraculously recovered from his injuries and scored the ensuing penalty to equalize and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Barcelona and Valencia drew 1-1 Sunday, moving Real Madrid two points closer (although still very far away) to their rivals at the top of the table in La Liga. That result, though, was tainted by what should have been the opener via Lionel Messi and poor goalkeeping from Valencia's Neto being declared not a goal by the referee.
Take a look for yourself:
Arsenal fans are a sensitive lot. They want to think their club is the best in the world, even though it hasn’t been the best in England in well over a decade. They want to think their club plays the prettiest football in the league, even though that torch has long-since been passed to Manchester City. They want to think their club reigns supreme in North London, but as of last season that is no longer the case.
In the end, the only moment that separated Switzerland and Northern Ireland in their World Cup qualifying playoff was a dubious penalty call awarded to the Swiss in Belfast. Sunday’s return leg at St Jakob-Park in Basel ended in a 0-0 draw with the Irish again looking extremely limited going forward, but Switzerland were entirely wasteful as well, particularly forward Haris Seferovic.
Northern Ireland's World Cup hopes were all but dashed Thursday as the hosts lost 1-0 to Switzerland in the first leg of their World Cup playoff. The goal came via a Ricardo Rodriguez penalty in the 56th minute. Ricardo Rodriguez should not have scored that goal because a penalty should not have been called. Take a look for yourself:
Taylor Twellman is adamant that this is a penalty and you know what, reader? Taylor Twellman is wrong.
Thankfully There’s No VAR In EPL So We Can Debate These Calls From The Manchester City-Arsenal Match
Manchester City is on an historic run of form, crushing all competition with relative ease. Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing footballers bounced around Arsenal like they have against every other team this year and deservedly won 3-1 on Sunday at the Etihad. But Man City was aided by a few refereeing decisions going its way to dispatch a Gunners side that was actually decent in defense for once despite allowing three goals.