Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey says that Atletico Madrid didn’t get a penalty when Joao Cancelo tackled Angel Correa in the box because VAR “thought to themselves that is not a clear and obvious error” and points to the incident earlier in the game between Phil Foden and Felipe as the cause of all the chaos later on in the match.
Atletico and Man City played out a feisty 0-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night, which saw the Premier League side advance to the semi-finals, after Pep Guardiola’s side won the first leg 1-0.
One of the many talking points in the game was the incident between Cancelo and Correa, in which the City defender seemed to kick the Argentine in the box and no penalty was awarded – a major decision that could have changed the tie.
Many were left wondering how the Portuguese international got away with the foul and former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has helped explain what happened.
“When you see the replay, you think that Cancelo has not got the ball, he has caught Correa on the shin; there are lots of bodies there and it’s difficult for the referee to see.”
“Is that a clear and obvious error or is it subjective, is it a clear and obvious error for VAR to get involved.”
“VAR should only get involved when it is a clear and obvious error and obviously, they have looked at that and thought to themselves that it is not a clear and obvious error, so that is why VAR didn’t recommend a review on that incident”.
Halsey also stated that the incident earlier in the match between Foden and Felipe was the root cause of all the chaos that transcended afterwards.
Speaking on that incident, Halsey said: “If you don’t stamp your authority on those challenges, then things could get worse later on in the game”
“All that [the chaos] stems from that incident, where the referee didn’t get hold of Felipe early on in the game”
The referee on the night Daniel Siebert “didn’t really have a bad game” according to the former official, but the German simply lost control after that Felipe incident and struggled to get back control of the match, as it is “very very difficult to keep control of that situation” when “players lose their heads”, says Halsey.
Atletico will feel hard done by on that decision but their behaviour on the night won’t gain them any sympathy, as Man City advance to face their bitter rivals Real Madrid in the next round.