Norwich defender Timm Klose has admitted he fouled Willian in a decision which ignited Video Assistant Referee controversy as Chelsea were denied a penalty.
Chelsea survived a scare on Wednesday night to advance in the FA Cup, prevailing 5-3 on penalties after a chaotic replay at Stamford Bridge.
Former England captain Alan Shearer, working as a pundit for the BBC, criticised the decision of match referee Graham Scott not to consult VAR Mike Jones over Klose’s challenge on Willian early in the first period of extra time. Shearer described VAR as a “shambles”.
Klose afterwards conceded it should have been a penalty, before admonishing Chelsea’s players for diving. Pedro and Alvaro Morata were both sent off for two bookable offences, with both players’ first yellow cards coming for diving.
Credit to the ref for making two big calls on Pedro / Morata dives. Both were dives.
— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) January 17, 2018
Klose told talkSPORT: “I think the first one on Willian is a pen. I’m brutally honest there. I think I caught him.
“On the pitch I was not sure because it happened so fast. When I saw it again afterwards I was like ‘ooh, that’s quite close’. I guess you can give it.
“The second one was a dive, from then on they pushed it too hard, went down a little bit too easily.
“Of course VAR would help the referee sometimes in some situations, but I’m not a big fan of it. Football is all about these situations.
“We all remember (Diego) Maradona heading the ball with his hand (against England in 1986) or Frank Lampard against Germany (at the 2010 World Cup).
“Those are things in football you need, it puts emotions on, you can write about it, the TV stations have something to talk about. I don’t know if I like it.”
Willian had no doubts it should have been a spot-kick – otherwise he says he would have scored.
The Brazil playmaker told Chelsea TV: “For me it was a penalty, 100 per cent. It was a little touch, but it was enough for me to go down. If not I’m going to score the goal.”
Pedro and Morata will now be suspended for Chelsea’s Premier League trip to Brighton on Saturday, so Michy Batshuayi may continue up front.
Everyone panicking about #VAR last night in #CHEvNOR game!
I thought they got it spot in with every decision!!👏🏻👏🏻
Willian “already” on way down before contact!
Morata “throwing” himself to floor!
Pedro……well didn’t need VAR for that 🤣🤦🏼♂️
— Dean Ashton (@Dean36ashton10) January 18, 2018
Batshuayi struggled to convince despite his second-half strike ending Chelsea’s wait of over five hours for a goal.
Goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved from Nelson Oliveira to put Chelsea in control of the shootout and the Blues netted all five of their spot-kicks.
Despite believing Chelsea were denied a penalty in the Willian incident, Caballero backed VAR and believes the system will only improve with time.
He told the London Evening Standard: “There was a little touch. If it was a penalty or even if it wasn’t, it wasn’t a yellow card.
“But we have only used VAR for a few games so everybody will improve – referees, players, supporters and the media.
“It will need time. With a run of games it will improve because it is a very good instrument.
“It is good for the game and for us.”
Caballero also defended the actions of Pedro and Morata.
“In this situation, in a fraction of seconds, sometimes they are very close to scoring. I’m not sure if they dived,” he added.
“I don’t know if using VAR would have led to a correction.”
Former England captain Alan Shearer labelled VAR as a “shambles” in his role as pundit for the BBC after referee Graham Scott chose not to consult colleague Mike Jones over a penalty claim during extra-time of Chelsea‘s FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich.
Defender Timm Klose has since admitted he had fouled Willian as the Brazilian weaved into the box, before going over and then being cautioned for diving by Scott.
Chelsea eventually prevailed 5-3 on penalties to set up a fourth-round tie with Newcastle, after Jamal Lewis’ late header had cancelled out Michy Batshuayi’s opener in the 55th minute.
The home side finished with nine men following red cards for Pedro and Alvaro Morata, who was shown a second yellow by Scott for protesting at the referee’s decision not to award a penalty when he took a tumble under a challenge from Christoph Zimmermann.
The fall-out from the VAR controversy at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night followed on after the system had been used 24 hours earlier to award a goal for the first time in Leicester’s replay against Fleetwood.
Kelechi Iheanacho’s second effort on 77 minutes had initially been disallowed for offside, a decision which was overturned following review to the VAR by referee Jonathan Moss as the Foxes won 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Frenchman Wenger has long been an advocate of video technology, but accepts there is still work to be done on all sides as to just how it is implemented successfully.
“What you want is to improve the system that exists at the moment and we will contribute to improve it,” said Wenger, who is the longest serving manager in English football.
“There are some hiccups at the start of the functioning certainly and we need to clear up the way it works, yes I agree.
“Is that enough to renounce [the current system]? I would say no, I am still a fervent supporter of it and I believe we have to move forward with it and improve the system certainly, but we have to go with it.
“You cannot imagine that in the future it will not be used. We will have to find the proper way to do it, but it has to go that way.”
Gerard Pique has signed a new deal with Barcelona that will keep him at the club until 2022.
The 30-year-old defender joined the Catalan giants in 2008 after a short spell at Manchester United.
Barcelona said a buy-out clause was in the contract for €500 million.
Years go by but the dream remains the same for @3gerardpique!
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 18, 2018
Pique joined Barcelona when he was 10 years old in 1997. He moved to Manchester United in 2004 but rejoined the Blaugrana in the summer of 2008.