The primary half of Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 tie towards Napoli was crammed with motion and pleasure, however there was additionally no scarcity of controversy because of the actions of the ever-divisive Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Match official Cuneyt Cakir referred to VAR at least 3 times within the opening 45 minutes, which completed with Barcelona holding a commanding Three-1 lead at Camp Nou.
Barca would go on to advance previous Napoli after a Three-1 win on the night and a Four-2 victory on mixture, with the entire controversy coming within the first half.
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First, Napoli was incensed when Clement Lenglet’s opening purpose was allowed to face, regardless of replay footage exhibiting that the defender had clearly pushed his marker apart earlier than heading residence from a nook with 9 minutes on the clock.
Lionel Messi then doubled Barca’s lead on the night time with an impressive particular person purpose, solely to search out himself on the flawed aspect of a VAR name minutes later.
The Argentine thought he had doubled his tally after chesting down Frenkie de Jong’s cross within the field, however after a prolonged session Cakir deemed that he had used his arm to regulate the ball earlier than firing previous David Ospina.
However there was nonetheless extra drama to return, because the video assistant awarded Messi a penalty after the Barca captain was pole-axed by a careless problem from Kalidou Koulibaly. Leo was nonetheless smarting from that hit, leaving Luis Suarez to step up and convert.
A minimum of there was little question round Napoli’s sole strike of the half, a transparent penalty choice 4 minutes into damage time dispatched with knowledgeable precision by Lorenzo Insigne.
Each groups, then, had been left with trigger to gripe over VAR, they usually had been joined by loads of observers on social media who questioned using the know-how.
VAR is an absolute shame. It took FOUR minutes to determine that was a penalty. That is an absolute joke and it is ruining the rhythm of the sport. There is no manner it ought to take that lengthy. Koulibaly clearly tackled Messi from behind and it is an apparent penalty.
— FutbolBible (@FutbolBible) August eight, 2020
The beginning of subsequent season shall be delayed as a result of referee checking this f*cking penalty incident. #BarcaNapoli
— Paddy Energy (@paddypower) August eight, 2020
VAR took away that second purpose as a result of it will have been crushing for Napoli followers to not even have hope going into the second half. A compassionate overlord.
— Zito (@_Zeets) August eight, 2020
After which they get it flawed anyway… hahah, christ VAR is garbage
— Sid Lowe (@sidlowe) August eight, 2020
Is not VAR for clear and apparent conditions? 🤷🏽♂️
Ah, I surrender
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August eight, 2020
VAR… Human error I can dwell with. Human madness after reviewing a video a number of instances & nonetheless making questionable selections, I can not. It’s speculated to be clear & apparent?
Think about one in all these current calls deciding a #UCL Closing. #BarcaNapoli #JuveOL
— Adriano Del Monte (@adriandelmonte) August eight, 2020
Reminder that the ‘new handball rule’ causes no downside in anyway in competitions that do not use VAR.
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) August eight, 2020
VAR referees needs to be held accountable and their communication with the match referee needs to be broadcasted on TV so everybody understands their selections. How this Barca purpose wasn’t overruled is past me.
— hash (@hashim0307) August eight, 2020