The essence of the Video Assistant Referee has been questioned after a controversial penalty decision went in favor of Barcelona in their Champions League clash with Lyon on Wednesday. The Catalans took the lead in the 18th-minute via Lionel Messi’s Panenka spot-kick to dash the visitors’ hopes of potentially upsetting the odds.
However, the tale could have been possibly different had the match official considered a review of the incident leading to the penalty. The argument that has since emerged suggests that Luis Suarez stepped on Jason Denayer’s foot which was in the process of being withdrawn.
Despite being the culprit, the Uruguayan apparently took a dive to coerce the referee into ruling in his favor without resorting to the VAR. Watch the incident below (geo-restriction may apply):
In retrospect, the last-ditch review by Serbian referee Damir Skomina gifted Manchester United a late penalty in their historic remontada against Paris Saint-Germain last week.
The Red Devils were also handed a controversial spot-kick after Presnell Kimpembe had Diogo Dalot’s stray shot hitting his arm, stimulating another debate about the VAR’s inconsistency.