By Andrew Cawthorne
WOLVERHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – Thousands of Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters howled a well-known four-letter word at VAR on Monday while their team’s manager pleaded for a solution to prevent the video review system sucking the passion out of Premier League football.
Making its debut in the English top flight this season, the Video Assistant Referee system deprived Wolves of a goal against Leicester City in their opening 0-0 away draw.
The Molineux faithful made their disparaging views on VAR abundantly clear during a heart-stopping couple of minutes in Monday’s 1-1 draw at home to Manchester United when play was stopped to check on Ruben Neves’ second-half equaliser.
Though the goal was allowed, and a possible offside by Joao Moutinho discounted, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo still fretted afterwards that VAR was killing the game’s passion.
“What I’m afraid is we will be afraid to celebrate the goal,” he said. “This energy at Molineux, the sound, this atmosphere, you cannot lose it. They have to find a solution for it, please do it.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said a VAR review had been justified for Neves’ goal, but the process should be faster.
“We want it decided quickly but, of course, they are massive decisions,” he said. “I’d rather have it the correct one than the wrong one, and make it in 15 seconds. The quicker it goes, the better it goes.”
United had gone ahead through a first-half goal from Anthony Martial before Neves’ stunning strike went in off the bar and Paul Pogba then missed a penalty for the visitors.
(Reporting by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Ken Ferris)