Alan Pardew believes VAR is the cause of two West Brom injuries during FA Cup win over Liverpool

There were stoppages of around two minutes after each of the referrals 

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Sunday 28 January 2018 14:42
VAR was used eight times in total during the game
VAR was used eight times in total during the game

Alan Pardew believes that the Football Association must investigate the effect that VAR could have on player injuries after the new video technology system dominated proceedings at Anfield on Saturday.

Pardew’s West Bromwich Albion recorded a famous 3-2 win over Liverpool to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup in a pulsating tie, but the night is more likely to be remembered for referee Craig Pawson and his three key VAR calls.

Pawson first used the system to rule out a West Bromwich goal for offside. Minutes later, he referred to it again to award Liverpool a penalty, which was eventually missed by Roberto Firmino.

Just before half time, Pardew’s visitors scored their third goal of the night, but could only celebrate with any confidence after VAR had taken two minutes to confirm it should be allowed.

Though all three decisions were correct, the new system caused significant delays in play which, according to Pardew, contributed to two of his players getting injured.

Kieran Gibbs and Hal Robson-Kanu were forced off during the first-half with hamstring problems and Pardew believes both injuries were due to VAR-enforced stoppages.

“You are going from a high tempo work rate to nothing,” he said after the final whistle. “We had a hamstring injury just after that, so now as coaches we have to change, we have to get our players to do a warm-up in that situation or keep themselves ticking over.

“It is a massive thing, one of the most important things they are going to have to take from this trial tonight. I think they must look at that. We did get a couple of injuries straight after the stoppages, and they need to look at that.”

Jay Rodriguez, scorer of West Bromwich’s first and second before Joel Matip’s decisive own goal on the cusp of half time, suggested that VAR had caused confusion among the players out on the pitch.

“It was a surreal moment. I’ve never experienced that in my career. It’s a new thing. We will have to get used to it if it’s going to be coming into the game,” he said. “I thought the lads did really well to stick with it after the two disappointing decisions. We don’t know what the decisions were but we were obviously disappointed. We continued to work together and focus on what we do.

The in-form striker, who has five goals in his last six, added: “It was a strange one because it stopped the game but it is something we have to get used to.”

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