Fernando Llorente’s ‘Handball’ v Man City
Tottenham’s thrilling Champions League quarter-final second leg clash against Manchester City on Wednesday night will go down as one of the great European knockout matches.
There were four goals in the opening 11 minutes, which was a new Champions League record.
Another Champions League record was then broken 10 minutes later when Man City took a 3-2 lead. It was the fastest time in which five goals had been scored in a game in the competition’s history.
The second half, meanwhile, was full of controversy.
Fernando Llorente’s goal made it 4-4 on aggregate – and meant Spurs were going through to the semi-finals on away goals – before Raheem Sterling thought he’d won it for the hosts in stoppage time.
City’s fans went crazy – only for referee Cuneyt Cakir to disallow the goal for offside following a VAR review.
That decision saw Spurs advance to the last four, where they will take on Ajax over two legs, at City’s expense.
Football fans are split over whether Llorente’s goal should have been allowed to stand.
Was it a handball?
Cakir reviewed the incident courtesy of VAR and came to the conclusion that it was a legal goal.
However, Spanish newspaper AS claim the Turkish match official did not see the angle that we’re about to show you.
VAR will never be successful if idiots are using it.
— Atishay Agarwal (@Atishay_Agarwal) April 17, 2019
The arm cannot have a material effect on a goal being scored. Intent or natural position do not factor in. The ref was not given this angle on his VAR check for some reason. He got the wrong angle. pic.twitter.com/dwfXy2Q4Zi
— Craig Burley (@CBurleyESPN) April 17, 2019
The slowed down footage clearly shows the ball deflected off Llorente’s arm before hitting his thigh and ended up in the net.
AS’s resident referee Iturralde González commented: ”It hits his hand first then his hip and the UEFA instructions are clear: you can’t score if it hits your hand, even if it’s involuntary. It doesn’t matter if the elbow is tight to the body. If it happens to a defender it’s not a penalty, but if it’s an attacker it has to be disallowed. Rossetti has told the UEFA referees.”
He added: “Irrati (the VAR) – the number one VAR official – advises Çakir because he’s seen a hand. When Çakir comes back from seeing the images he tells the players ‘I didn’t see anything. It hit his thigh.’ They didn’t play him the view from behind where you can see it hits the elbow. The error from the VAR is not showing the two key images. Why? The question is getting it right, not how long it takes.”
AS’s resident ref’s conclusion: “Manchester City are out because the VAR wasn’t used properly”.
But others, like former Premier League striker Stan Collymore, believe the goal is fine because it wasn’t deliberate: “How SHOULD hand ball be defined? Deliberate? Or as long as it touches hand/arm, it’s an infringement regardless?
“Arm retracts, so not deliberate.
“Not deliberate means not trying to break a rule! Benefit given!
Watch the video.
How SHOULD hand ball be defined? Deliberate? Or as long as it touches hand/arm, it's an infringement regardless?
Arm retracts, so not deliberate.
Not deliberate means not trying to break a rule! Benefit given!
— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 17, 2019