Clarets match verdict: Dan Black has his say on VAR controversy!

VAR's verdict is returned at the King Power Stadium in the game between Leicester City and Burnley
VAR's verdict is returned at the King Power Stadium in the game between Leicester City and Burnley

“I'm a big fan of VAR but it has to be used more wisely than that." Sean Dyche gave a typically considered assessment in the aftermath, despite the Clarets being on the receiving end of one of the most controversial decisions in recent memory.


The efficiency and effectiveness of the technology was placed under the microscope once more after no less than four of Saturday's Premier League fixtures were hit by further teething problems.

The verdict at the King Power Stadium was arguably the worst of the lot, but circumstances at Villa Park and Molineux were just as bad. These are instances that are inflicting lacerations on football's reputation and, if nothing changes soon, it will leave an ugly scar.

Watford didn't fare much better at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Gerard Deulofeu was denied a penalty - even when VAR intervened - Dele Alli's winner appeared to come off his arm while Hawk-Eye Innovations, the company responsible for its operation, was forced to apologise when an incorrect graphic was sent to the big screen.

But let's make this clear; the issue here isn't with the invention itself. The concern orbits the officials implementing it. In the East Midlands, questions should have been asked of the performances of Jon Moss and Andrew Madley.

The referee's reluctance to back his own judgement once Jonny Evans had bundled the ball into his own net effectively deferred any conclusion to the VAR Hub, based 103 miles away at Stockley Park in Uxbridge.

There was no "clear or obvious" error to rectify in that moment as the match official hadn't signalled for anything. He froze, awaiting a notification from his ear-piece.

If Moss had shown a backbone, opting to go with his gut instinct, whichever way it may have fallen, would Madley have responded to the contrary? But even so, if Madley did oppose, why did Moss, who was clearly undecided, not make use of the pitchside monitor to clarify his thoughts?

It's ludicrous that somebody else, stationed in a completely different part of the country, is able to have the final say on such a big call. That, for one, should not be happening.

Dyche said: "Before the game, the referee said to my coach who goes in before to see the refs with my captain.

"He said that you have to be tolerant of the use of the screen, I will use it if needs be and therefore tolerate that if I have to. And yet he didn't use it.

"I have seen the decision back and he is 35 yards away from the incident so in my opinion he should be using the screen.

"And I might have this wrong, but I don't think I have, we are told they still leave as many decisions with the referee, even with VAR, if needs be.

"So then he has got to come over and see the screen because he has told us before the game he would use it if and when he needed it. How he deems that to not need it when he can't see it.

"I think if I am the referee then I would be going to see it and look at it. I can only presume they are absolutely adamant that it was not a goal."

Of course, decisions are subject to interpretation, meaning conclusions are bound to be abstract, so we may have to accept that it's impossible to standardise such practice across the board. But the judiciary needs to find a way of delivering more consistency. For example, a clear foul on Deulofeu can't go unpunished when an innocuous trip on Evans is acted upon.

Leicester City felt the wrath of such subjectivity prior to the international break when Sadio Mane went over in the box at Anfield, winning a late penalty for the Premier League leaders.

Many felt the Senegalese international could quite easily have gone into Chris Kavanagh's book for simulation, though his fall wasn't anywhere near as animated as that of Northern Ireland international Evans.

The 31-year-old led solitary protestations, claiming he was tripped, though his team-mates, particularly goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, seemed to accept that his error was going to cost them victory.

In all fairness, Chris Wood shouldn't have left anything to chance. The New Zealander should have buried Matt Lowton's peach of a cross at the first time of asking.

The striker, who had beaten the Danish international with the most difficult of chances that came his way, could have had a hat-trick against the Foxes.

The former Leeds United man would have opened the scoring earlier had he made a true connection with the ball once Ashley Westwood's deflected effort fell in his favour on the edge of the six-yard box.

And he snatched at another attempt in the second half, firing the ball harmlessly wide of the near post when getting goal side of Caglar Soyuncu from James Tarkowski's knock down.

However, after Ben Mee had turned James Maddison's shot around the upright, Wood did well to net his fourth goal of the campaign.

Dwight McNeil supplied the sumptuous inswinger, similar to the one that Eddie Nketiah had converted for England's Under 21s midweek, and the striker rose above Evans and Soyuncu to flick past Schmeichel.

Nick Pope made a routine stop to push a Youri Tielemans strike to safety and when Jamie Vardy drove into the side-netting from Maddison's pass it looked as though the visitors would go into the interval with the advantage.

That wouldn't be the case, though. Burnley-born Harvey Barnes, son of former Clarets striker Paul, beat Matt Lowton far too easily down the left hand side and Vardy's finish was just as simple.

Brendan Rodgers' side bossed possession after the break, but Maddison, Tielemans and Ayoze Perez were all off target from the limited opportunities that presented themselves.

The Belgium international wouldn't be as wasteful when the ball arrived at his feet in the 74th minute.

Demarai Gray lost McNeil when switching passes with Ricardo Pereira before picking out Tielemans and, with nobody close enough to the one-time Anderlecht and Monaco midfielder, he rifled the ball home via the underside of the crossbar.