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Dave Edwards Column: VAR’s a farce – but Raul’s to blame too

Bruno Lage must be cursing the officials and Wolves’ luck after that VAR shambles at the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez (second right) reacts after being shown a second yellow card during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium.
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez (second right) reacts after being shown a second yellow card during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium.

Any point from Liverpool or Manchester City would’ve been a huge bonus.

It was a really good defensive display again. I heard Pep Guardiola say afterwards that Wolves are one of the best defensive sides in the whole world, which is incredible for him to say.

It shows how organised Wolves were and how relieved Pep was. Everyone knows Lage’s men need to improve offensively. I wrote last week it was the formation to go with and the manager went with it, it seemed a lot more compact in midfield.

It did swing on the red card for Raul Jimenez, though, and the Wolves man has to shoulder some blame.

As soon as Raul is sent off that’s the game plan gone. When City are pushing late on that’s when you want Raul and Adama Traore on the pitch to get that one chance on the break.

The first booking for Raul was crazy. It’s arguably not even a foul. But after that it is very petulant from Raul and Lage will not be happy with what happened, because he’s cost his team getting at least a point by being a bit immature, blocking the free-kick.

You know you’re going to get a booking from that, it was a really silly mistake to make and cost his team, although it was poor from Jon Moss initially.

I still can’t get my head around the penalty decision. How on earth VAR can give a penalty there is anyone’s guess.

First Jon Moss should see it’s blatantly not hit his arm, but how the technology can’t see it is just crazy. I can’t fathom it, they came out and said there was not enough video evidence to prove the referee was wrong – but everyone else saw it! The footage clearly shows it. How they can’t overturn it is beyond me.

Wolves can feel really let down. If it happens down the other end, against a City defender, the cynic in me says it doesn’t get given. We saw the penalties for Liverpool, City, Chelsea and United this weekend, would they have gone the other way? I’m not so sure.

I’ve always been a big advocate of VAR. I always thought it got the big decisions right, I thought it was always the rules letting it down. But this was just so obvious, they were too proud to turn the decision.

Brighton won’t be easy tomorrow. They had the weekend off and it’s a bit of travelling for Wolves, they will have to come up with a plan without the suspended Raul too, that’ll be fascinating.

They’ve not scored in four now, after the Norwich and Burnley games, with only one goal in six – it puts a bit of pressure on the game at the AMEX.

It’s Chelsea at home after that, it’s a difficult run. They will feel tomorrow is a game they need to win. But Brighton are tough, Potter has them playing good stuff, they draw a lot and don’t concede many either.

To me it stinks of a nil-nil! But hopefully Wolves can nick one.

Will Wolves take the shackles off and go for it? It’ll depend on team selection. I’d like to think they will be more offensive and try to hurt Brighton. We’ve already seen their fans on edge down there this season.

Wolves need to start fast, in their faces, and really push for the goals on the front foot, rather than be methodical and work out a way to break them down.

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