Graeme Souness has accused Premier League referees of “making it up as they go along” as the latest VAR controversy hits the top-flight.
On-field referee Jon Moss waved away protests with VAR Andy Madley upholding the decision, despite video evidence appearing to show clear contact.
It is believed that Moss’ initial decision was confirmed after he made it clear that he felt McCarthy had got a touch on the ball. VAR were unable to find that was incorrect and therefore the original decision stood.
Speaking at half time, Souness suggested that officials placed within the VAR command centre have got into a habit of just ‘backing up’ colleagues on the pitch.
“The referees back each other up – we know that,” Souness told Sky Sports.
“The referee’s not given it, so the people sitting in Stockley Park don’t. That’s a penalty.
“They just make it up as they go along.”
Pep Guardiola was also visibly furious, with his protestations continuing into the second half.
That was despite his side going into the break 3-1 to the good, with goals from Kevin De Bruyne Riyhad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan putting them in control at the Etihad.
However, Guardiola was still seen remonstrating with the fourth official, clearly of the belief that his side should have been awarded a first-half penalty.
It looks as if that decision will have no great impact on the outcome, as further strikes from Mahrez and De Bruyne, either side of a Che Adams goal, put them 5-2 up on the hour mark.
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The controversial decision by Moss is the latest in a long line, with referees coming under increasing scrutiny.
On Tuesday in the Champions League, Borussia Dortmund vs Sevilla descended into chaos when Erling Haaland ’s goal was disallowed, only for a penalty to be awarded.
That spot kick was then missed, before the game was halted again after it was determined Sevilla keeper Bono had come off his line.
Haaland was allowed to retake, scoring on the second go as Dortmund progressed into the quarter finals.
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