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Chris Wilder slams VAR's lack of action as Sheffield United denied by Hawk-eye error



Spoils shared: Chris Wilder with Villa ace Jack Grealish after the game

Spoils shared: Chris Wilder with Villa ace Jack Grealish after the game

Getty Images

Spoils shared: Chris Wilder with Villa ace Jack Grealish after the game

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was left baffled after the Blades were denied victory at Aston Villa by technology failing to register Oliver Norwood's goal.

Goal-line technology failed to award the visitors a winner after Orjan Nyland carried the former Northern Ireland midfielder's first-half free-kick over the line.

Referee Michael Oliver's watch failed to signal the goal and the game - which finished 0-0 - continued. It stopped the Blades moving above Manchester United into fifth as they continue to mount a European challenge.

Hawk-Eye, which runs the technology, issued a statement apologising for the error, saying the fact goalkeeper Nyland, Keinan Davis and the post were in the way meant no camera saw the ball cross the line.

But Wilder insisted it was clear the ball was over.

"The goalkeeper was in the Holte End and eight rows back. Everyone knew it, saw it and felt it," he said. "I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's all going to come out but we're disappointed and we've got to get on with it.

"I believe a decision should have been made from Stockley Park (the VAR centre). For someone to tell me with seven cameras and this is the first time it's happened in over 9,000 games it's a difficult one to take.

"We've got Chris Kavanagh (fourth official), one of the best referees in the Premier League, and Michael Oliver, possibly one of the best referees in Europe, and if you ask them they'll be scratching their heads over this. We believe it should have been referred (to VAR)."

Nyland tried to claim Norwood's deep free-kick three minutes before the break but was bundled across the line by team-mate Davis.

It was clear the ball crossed the line but referee Oliver's watch did not signal a goal.

VAR did not intervene either as the play continued and Villa won a free-kick, starting a new passage of play - although it could have done in the interim.

A statement from the Professional Game Match Officials Board explained why VAR did not intervene.

It read: "Under the IFAB protocol, the VAR is able to check goal situations, however due to the fact that the on-field match officials did not receive a signal, and the unique nature of that, the VAR did not intervene."

Villa boss Dean Smith admitted: "We controlled the first 30 minutes but we got away with one, with the technology not working. But I've been in the other position where technology has not been good for us."

Belfast Telegraph