FA Cup : Brighton beat Crystal Palace on VAR debut

Ruben Ruiz
January 14, 2018

Brighton beat Crystal Palace last night to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup in a match that will go down in history.

A historic game which saw the VAR introduced for the first time was largely uninspiring until Bakary Sako cancelled out Dale Stephens' first-half opener for Chris Hughton's side.

Sako was powerful in his runs and showed skill on the ball to bring it down in the air and driving home from range to draw Palace level.

The head coach spoke on the subject ahead of the video assistant referee (VAR) system making its debut in English football this evening.

Palace players felt a review process should have been triggered after Murray's victor, with some suggesting he had handballed.

There had been confusion over whether VAR had been used after Marriner did not examine the pitch-side monitors or signal its influence.

Admittedly, there are some incidents where VAR will be able to open and close a case in a matter of seconds - just ask Arsene Wenger - but even then we are in danger of losing the passion that we all love so much from the game.

The VAR can inform the referee there has been a factual error that does not require the referee to see the video, like a goal being scored from an offside position.

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Murray has played the role of super-sub for Brighton in the past and needed only six minutes to have a decisive impact, converting at the back post against his former club to see Brighton through to the next stage.

This is not like in cricket, where a batsmen is either in or out, or in Tennis, where the ball either landed inside the service area or not, or in Rugby, where the ball either crossed the tryline or was held up before (and besides, Football has goal line technology for that).

"The rider then is what is a gross injustice?" he said. "The answer to both would be no". There has been a lot of things said about VAR in the build-up, most of it inaccurate, so it's important that everyone should know how it works, and give it a fair chance, before dismissing it as a failure.

The system, which focuses only on checking whether a goal should stand, penalty awards, direct red cards and mistaken identity, has already been used in several leagues including the German Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A.

Hodgson has recently faced the loss of numerous first-team players to injury, and it will have discouraged him further when he was forced to substitute Jeffrey Schlupp in the 13th minute after he was hurt in a challenge with Izzy Brown. I can't remember a situation where I've had quite that many injuries to key players.

"I have to be careful with a view to the league matches that will follow but I am still hoping that we have a strong and very competitive team available because I am certainly not looking to write off a competition that we are taking part in". It's going to be a late shout.

"The FA generally thinks that in a few years' time we will wonder how we ever lived without it".

Other reports by GizPress

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