LONDON (AP) — After failing to convince Premier League rivals of the need for VAR, Manchester City has contributed more evidence why the technology is needed. But it came at the cost of dropping two points early in its title defense.
The champions fell behind at Wolverhampton on Saturday when Willy Boly used his arm to divert the ball into the net when attempting to meet Joao Moutinho’s cross with a header. That was clear from the replays but England is the only major European league that has yet to allow referees to defer to a video assistant referee for a second opinion.
With City at least recovering to draw 1-1 — through Aymeric Laporte’s header — City manager Pep Guardiola kept his cool.
In public, at least.
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“I don’t work for the Premier League,” Guardiola replied when asked if VAR would have made a difference.
While City backed the introduction of VAR, it requires at least 14 of the 20 clubs to approve any changes in the Premier League. And when it came to a vote in April, the majority of clubs determined that further improvements were required after advanced testing this season.
So a VAR at the Premier League’s London control room is likely to have reviewed whether either Sergio Aguero or David Silva should have been awarded penalties for City at Wolves. But that information isn’t fed to the referee yet.
“I’m not the referee, never will be,” Guardiola said.
City now has seven points from a possible nine. Arsenal has its first victory under Unai Emery at the third attempt, beating West Ham 3-1. Cardiff, Huddersfield and Southampton remain winless like West Ham.
Harry Maguire scored in stoppage time to give Leicester a 2-1 win at Southampton. Huddersfield and Cardiff drew 0-0. Both Bournemouth and Everton had players sent off as they drew 2-2.
Liverpool plays Brighton in the late game.
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