The Premier League final day was nothing less than a roller-coaster ride. Manchester City were crowned as the champions after winning 3-2 against Aston Villa in their final fixture. Moreover, City defended their league title and won their 4th Premier League trophy in the last five seasons. However, Man City had to come from behind after Aston Villa went 2-0 up against them. Meanwhile, Liverpool who needed to win their game against Wolves fell behind after just three minutes into the game. But goals from Mane, Salah, and Robertson ensured a 3-1 victory. Controversy had its say as well with many thinking that City escaped a possible red card to Fernandinho.
Aston Villa led through Matty Cash, who shocked the Man City fans with a header in the 37th minute. Former Liverpool player Philippe Coutinho then doubled the lead in the 69th minute to send Liverpool fans into a frenzy. However, three quickfire goals from City within five minutes turned the tables and clinched the title for Pep’s men. But the picture could have been totally different, with the Premier League trophy decorated with red ribbons instead of blue.
Has VAR committed another blunder in the Man City-Aston Villa clash?
The VAR was put in question after it failed to review one particular incident in the Man City versus Aston Villa game. It seems Fernandinho was the man at the center of the controversy this time. Fernandinho playing at the center-back once again found it hard to settle in. The Man City captain was unable to keep track of Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins throughout the first half. Watkins easily embarked through on City goal a couple of times thanks to Fernandinho’s mistakes.
However, on one occasion when Watkins got ahead of Fernandinho, the 37-year-old pulled back the Villa striker who went to the ground. In the 40th minute, Fernandinho put his fellow teammate and goalkeeper Ederson in jeopardy with a loose back-pass. Watkins almost pounced on the opportunity only for Fernandinho to hold him back. Though it looked like a slight pull, Watkins could have easily closed down Ederson to double Villa’s lead. However, neither the in-field referee nor the VAR had a look at it.
On the other hand, it could have also resulted in a potential red card for Fernandinho. And a free kick just outside the penalty could have been fatal. Aston Villa could have had a better chance of winning against a 10-man Man City side if so many aspects fall in place. Moreover, it could have also changed the fate of the Premier League season, with Liverpool lifting the title on the final day. Further on, Fernandinho’s City career could have ended on a bad note as the Brazilian was playing in his last game for the club.
Nonetheless, Fernandinho was taken-off at the half-time by Guardiola, sending Oleksandr Zinchenko in place of the Brazilian. The Ukrainian had a fantastic game, with an assist, a 100% success rate in dribbles and duels won, and a 94% pass completion rate. And moreover, this is not the first time VAR has created controversy in the game. But it needs a fix as consistency is the need of the hour with VAR.
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