VAR controversy: Graeme Souness wants offside rule change

Wolves denied equaliser at Liverpool by close call on VAR; Palace, Norwich, Brighton and Sheffield United also denied this weekend by marginal decisions

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Jamie Carragher feels continuous marginal offside calls are killing VAR, while Graeme Souness believes a simple rule change can solve the problem

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness has called for the offside rule to be changed in the wake of more VAR controversy overshadowing Liverpool's clash with Wolves on Super Sunday.

Already angered by VAR's decision to overrule what was adjudged by on-field referee Anthony Taylor to have been handball in the build-up to Liverpool's opening goal, the visitors were then denied an equalising goal on the stroke of half-time by a marginal offside decision ruling out Neto's strike.

"I just don't get it," said Souness in the Sky Sports studio.

"We're in the entertainment business. What we're doing is denying the people the enjoyment of goals. What we should do is say that if any part of an attacker is in an onside position they can't be given offside.

"We cannot go on like this. There's too much frustration going on."

Fellow pundit Jamie Carragher argued: "VAR is costing football goals."

It's calculated that 22 goals in the Premier League have already been ruled out for marginal offside rulings this season.

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The decision to rule out Neto's 'goal' ultimately proved decisive with Liverpool holding out for a 1-0 win.

Image: Jonny was adjudged to have been offside in the build-up to Wolves' goal against Liverpool

"It's ridiculous," Wolves captain Conor Coady told Sky Sports. "It's not working. I can't get my head around it. Decisions are killing us.

"VAR is affecting the game. Nobody likes it."

Wolves boss Nuno added: "The decisions are being made miles away by a referee looking at a television screen. He does not feel the game.

"Anfield is amazing, but they were celebrating a non-goal - it doesn't make sense. The referee should sustain their decisions because there is a referee miles away taking decisions of a lot of things that are happening here. Who feels the game? Who is inside of the game? Who feels the flow of the game? The distances of the game, the intensity of the actions, it is all from the referee."

What was said about Wolves' disallowed goal

Wolves protest during Premier League game against Liverpool
Image: Wolves protest during their Premier League game against Liverpool

Sky Sports' Tony Cottee: "They should hang their heads in shame at Stockley Park. They are ruining the game! They should be giving the advantage to the forward, they are not doing it.

"Their aim is to have less goals, not more goals! Just what the fans want! It's ridiculous, a joke."

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher: "These decisions have caused massive uproar in lots of games this weekend. There's lots of suggestions of how you can change it, and I'm not sure how you can. You talk about offside being offside, and people don't like it being very tight."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "VAR is about decision making. I would prefer if referees went to the screen because it is directly next to us and never used, I don't know exactly why."

VAR's weekend of controversy

Sunday's furore at Anfield was merely one of a series of highly contentious VAR calls this weekend.

Crystal Palace were denied a goal against Southampton when Wilfried Zaha's shoulder was deemed to be offside, what would have been Dan Burn's first Brighton goal was ruled out against Bournemouth for "my armpit or something like that" according to the player, while Norwich thought they had gone 2-0 ahead against Tottenham only for VAR to adjudicate that Teemu Pukki's shoulder had strayed millimetres offside.

Sheffield United were also denied the lead at Manchester City with Lys Mousset adjudged to be marginally offside by VAR after slotting the ball under goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

What was said this weekend about VAR's controversial calls

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Man City manager Pep Guardiola understands Sheffield United's frustration due to the ball hitting the ref on their first goal

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: "I said many times I have a huge list for VAR and haven't made one statement. I didn't do it after the last game when there were decisions against us. We didn't complain and I'm not going to complain. That is for the referees, the big masters, to discuss. Every weekend is a big mess. In other games it was a big mess. Hopefully next season it can do better."

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder: "Yet again we had another goal disallowed by VAR, that's about eight or nine over the weekend, this is not a situation helping the game and the small margins. But I will leave that for everyone else to talk about because I have said too much about it."

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: "We're being told by people in football, the media, and presumably fans who are affected by these things that this is going to make football better. I went along with that because it would have been wrong to make a strong stand against the way the tide was turning in favour of technology. The big problem with technology is that it's like speed cameras.

"When they say you've done 32 or 33 and not 30, can you be 100 per cent certain you have done 32 and not 29? That's where we are with VAR, and as a result, we get the situation where people are becoming a bit disillusioned because they're seeing good goals chalked off by very small margins."

Sky Sports' Alan Smith: "I know Bournemouth fans will disagree but it leaves you feeling deflated. It sucks the life out of you, for such a tight margin to disallow a goal. Especially when it's not an exact science with the frame being picked."

Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp: "We have to trust the calibration but we're talking centimetres. I think they have to change the rule in the summer - it's not something the fans appreciate.

"I think maybe next year, we need to look to a situation where you can only be offside with your feet, because when people are running, you're naturally going to be leaning, it might be your head or shoulder. It just feels unfair, and it's not 100 per cent accurate either."

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