VAR denied Tottenham what was a "perfectly good goal", says referee Mark Halsey

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Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes mistakes were made when Tottenham‘s “perfectly good goal” against Rochdale was ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee during the FA Cup replay with Rochdale.

Erik Lamela’s strike was disallowed by referee Paul Tierney, after a delay of about two minutes, for a minor infringement by Fernando Llorente.

There were other controversies in the snowy FA Cup tie on Wednesday night, including Son Heung-min’s penalty being ruled out after pausing in his run-up.

When asked about Lamela’s goal, Halsey told BBC Five Live: “For me it wasn’t a clear and obvious error. I thought it was a perfectly good goal. I don’t know why it was referred (to the VAR) in the first place.”

Halsey said he could not understand why the referee did not go and look at the monitor on the touchline.

He also criticised Tierney for ruling out the Tottenham penalty, saying he should have used his experience and had the spot-kick retaken for encroachment.

“He could have handled it better,” Halsey added.

Paul Tierney

Tierney had overturned a decision to award a free-kick for Matt Done’s foul on Kieran Trippier.

VAR showed the offence continued into the box and after several minutes of deliberation, Tierney changed his decision and awarded a penalty.

Son stepped up to take the spot-kick and coolly sent Josh Lillis the wrong way.

However, after the South Korean stuttered in his run-up, a tactic which has been outlawed, Tierney – without the help of VAR – awarded Dale an indirect free-kick and booked Son.

Tottenham won the FA Cup fifth round replay easily in the end 6-1, but the tie at Wembley was overshadowed by the VAR controversy.

Spurs full-back Danny Rose said it was “shambolic” and an “absolute disgrace” after fans and pundits were left bemused.

Speaking to talkSPORT after the game, Rose said: “We got the job done under shambolic circumstances through the game.

“An absolute disgrace, waiting around for I don’t know how many minutes to get a decision.

“It’s just laughable. It just ruined it a little bit.”

Spurs booked a sixth round meeting with Swansea with a 6-1 victory over Rochdale thanks to a Llorente hat-trick, a double from Son and a further strike by Kyle Walker-Peters. Stephen Humphrys scored for Rochdale.

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Real Madrid's Gareth Bale leads our list of players to watch this Saturday

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Gareth Bale

There’s plenty of European football to feast our eyes on this Saturday.

Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig are all in action.

Here, we look at the players to keep an eye on.

GARETH BALE

Following a six-match goal drought, Gareth Bale seemed to have turned a corner when he struck against Alaves and was hugely impressive on the left side in a 4-4-2 system.

However, an insipid display up front against Espanyol followed. As Zinedine Zidane ponders his starting XI to face Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Bale may need an outstanding performance at the Bernabeu to make up his manager’s mind when Real Madrid host Getafe.

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale

PAULO DYBALA

Paulo Dybala has endured an injury plagued season and has struggled for form when fit. Such is his class though that he has still scored 14 Serie A goal for Juventus this campaign. The Argentine is back from his latest injury layoff and has made a couple of appearances from the bench since.

He will have to step it up a notch against Lazio though – especially with Tottenham to play on Wednesday – as Gonzalo Higuain is injured.

Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala

TIMO WERNER

It’s no secret that several European clubs have been in pursuit of Timo Werner with the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Liverpool among them. The promising 21-year-old has been RB Leipzig’s main man this season, scoring 16 goals and bagging four assists in all competitions this season.

However, he’s on a run of five league games without a goal and will want to change that at home to Borussia Dortmund as he angles for a big summer move.

Timo Werner

Timo Werner

ANGEL DI MARIA

Owing to the high-profile summer arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Angel di Maria has struggled for playing time this season. With the Brazilian set to miss Paris SaintGermain’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid and most of the remainder of the season, it’s the Argentine’s time to shine.

After a brace against Marseille in the French Cup quarter-final, Di Maria will play away to Troyes. He boasts 12 goals from 13 starts this season.

Angel di Maria

Angel di Maria

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Neymar arrives in Rio de Janeiro for operation as PSG star set to miss Real Madrid clash

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Brazilian superstar Neymar arrived in Rio de Janeiro early Thursday ahead of an operation on his fractured foot that rules him out of Paris Saint-Germain’s do-or-die clash with Real Madrid.

Neymar, 26, arrived on an Air France flight from Paris and immediately took a private jet to an undisclosed destination, Brazilian team spokesman Vinicius Rodrigues said. Surgery was to be performed in Belo Horizonte and “99 per cent” sure to take place Saturday, he said.

With Neymar were Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar and Edu Gaspar, the national team coordinator.

The injury to Neymar has shocked PSG and cast a shadow over the much fancied Brazil national side’s preparations for the World Cup in Russia this summer.

But his flight from Paris provided unexpected excitement for fellow passengers.

One man disembarking from flight AF442 showed AFP a selfie he took with Neymar in which the star smiles back.

Another passenger, Paula Medina, wrote on her blog that Neymar was wearing a black hoodie and in a wheelchair, surrounded by security guards.

Provided by AFP Sport

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