Where's the VAR? Contentious goal denies Southampton in EPL
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 14, 2018 06:14 AM
Southampton's manger Mauricio Pellegrino gestures to his players from the sidelines during their English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley stadium in London, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
By Steve Douglas, Associated Press
Video assistant referees were trialed in domestic English soccer for the first time this week.
Unfortunately for Southampton, they aren't being used in the Premier League.
Southampton conceded a 90th-minute equalizer in its 2-2 draw at Watford on Saturday after Abdoulaye Doucoure forced the ball into the net with his right hand.
Southampton's players protested but neither the referee nor his assistants saw an offense. A VAR surely would have.
"If VAR had come in, we probably wouldn't get that," said Watford captain Troy Deeney, who set up Doucoure's goal, "but today we got it. It's the luck of the draw."
Used for the first time in England for the national team's friendly against Germany in November, VARs were deployed in domestic soccer this week for the FA Cup third-round game between Brighton and Crystal Palace on Monday. They were also used for the League Cup semifinal between Chelsea and Arsenal on Wednesday.
They remain a source of debate, but incidents like the one at Vicarage Road may yet hasten their arrival.
Here's a look the rest of Saturday's games, where there were wins for Tottenham — on another record-setting day for Harry Kane — West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace and West Ham:
Harry Kane overtook Teddy Sheringham as Tottenham's record scorer in the Premier League era (since 1992) with a second-half double in a 4-0 win over Everton
The England striker moved onto 98 goals, one more than Sheringham, and reached 20 goals in the league for the fourth consecutive year.
Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen scored the other goals at Wembley Stadium as Tottenham moved level on points with fourth-place Liverpool, whose game in hand is against Manchester City on Sunday.
Held 0-0 at home by Leicester, Chelsea has recorded three straight goalless draws across three competitions — and four in its last seven games.
Leicester dominated at Stamford Bridge until the 68th minute when Ben Chilwell was sent off for a second yellow card, and then easily saw off Chelsea's late rally.
Chelsea missed the chance to climb into second place above Manchester United, instead moving level on 47 points. Both teams are 15 adrift of Man City.
West Bromwich Albion forward Jay Rodriguez is set to be investigated by the English Football Association for an alleged remark made to Brighton defender Gaetan Bong during West Brom's 2-0 win.
Neither club has commented on the nature of Rodriguez's alleged comment to the Cameroon international, but it has been reported to the referee and he will be obliged to include in it his report. That means the matter will be examined by the FA.
In an incident that took place during the second half at The Hawthorns. Rodriguez pinched his nose after clashing with Bong, who alerted the match officials moments later.
It overshadowed West Brom's first win in 20 league games, with Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson scoring the goals from corners.
WEST HAM, PALACE CONTINUE REVIVALS
Crystal Palace and West Ham both won to continue their revivals under their new managers.
Palace didn't have a point or a goal after seven games, but Roy Hodgson has engineered a turnaround that has seen the team lose just once in the league since then. The latest win was 1-0 against Burnley, courtesy of Bakary Sako's first-half goal.
Sitting level on points with Palace is West Ham, which has only lost one of its last eight games under David Moyes, who replaced the fired Slaven Bilic in early November.
West Ham won at Huddersfield 4-1, with Marko Arnautovic scoring one goal and setting up two more for Manuel Lanzini.
In the other game, Newcastle drew 1-1 with last-place Swansea, which is four points from safety.