Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri has expressed anger towards VAR confusion in his squads match against SPAL on Saturday. The Italian boss said it was a ”great injustice” after SPAL was awarded a penalty against his side despite the pitchside monitor not working.
The Turin side were leading 2-0 thanks to a goal by Ronaldo and Ramsey when SPAL’s Simone Missiroli went down after being challenged by Daniele Rugani in the penalty area. Referee Federico La Penna, who initially waved play on, was alerted of a possible infraction seconds later. La Penna appeared to have issues with his ear-piece and resorted to talking to VAR officials via walkie-talkie. As Ref La Penna tried to review the incident on the pitchside monitor, it was reported the monitor isn’t working leaving the ref to pass a judgment of rewarding SPAL with a penalty.
Andrea Pestagna hit the back of the net but it wasn’t enough to stop Juventus from winning 2-1. Later on, the ref explained that the penalty was awarded from the information VAR officials had given him which only made the Juventus side furious.
“Today, we conceded a penalty on the basis of VAR even though VAR wasn’t working. It seems a big injustice to me,” said Sarri.
“If the monitor doesn’t work, the (pitch) referee should decide. If it had happened the other way around, the world would have collapsed. I am the first coach to suffer a penalty on the basis of a VAR decision without the referee looking at it. I understand that the rules allow it and La Penna explained it to me but I do not agree with it” he added.
Serie A referees normally consult the pitchside monitor when they need to review an incident. This is unlike the English Premier League who mostly rely on the information given to them from the video officials.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against SPAL has made it a record-equaling 11th consecutive Serie A games. It also happened to be his 1,000th professional match. The record-equaling makes the 35-year-old hold the same mark held by Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been in incredible form this season having scored 25 goals in all competition. Out of 25 goals this season, 16 of those goals are in his current run of 11 consecutive matches. Maurizio Sarri’s side has a four-point lead against Lazio who will travel to Genoa on Sunday. Inter Milan are six points behind Juve and will face off with Sampdoria at the San Siro.