Juan Mata disappointed to see goal against Huddersfield Town chalked off by VAR

by Leo Nieboer

Juan Mata noted that he felt “silly” after his goal against Huddersfield Town was controversially chalked off by video assistant referee technology on Saturday.

The Spaniard rounded keeper Jonas Lössl and tucked home before understandably wheeling away to celebrate, only for referee Kevin Friend to declare him offside after over a minute of listening to his earpiece, the crowd, audience and players totally unaware of what was being seen.

When the images came through, the lines used to judge offside decisions were comically wonky and by no means a basis to overturn a crucial decision.

Speaking after the game, Mata seemed to be as confused as the rest of us in response to the decision.


http://twitter.com/MUFCScoop/status/964949481480441856

The correct lines – or, in other words, actual criteria to make a decision – were eventually available to see for us and did reveal that a small part of Mata’s knee cap was just offside.

Crucially, however, these images were not available for Neil Swarbrick or Friend, the on-pitch referee with the authority, and simply couldn’t have provided grounds for a ‘clear’ or ‘obvious’ reverse decision to be made.

Thankfully the incident meant very little in the context of the game, but it serves as a reminder that VAR still has some way to go.

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