Gary O'Neil SLAMS 'terrible' VAR after Nelson Semedo red card vs Liverpool

Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Gary O'Neil has slammed VAR after Nelson Semedo was sent off during their 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on the final day of the Premier League season. 

Liverpool claimed all three points thanks to goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Jarell Quansah during Jurgen Klopp's emotional final game in charge of the Reds, but the match was altered by Semedo's sending off in the 28th minute.

The Portuguese caught Mac Allister with his studs following a late challenge, with referee Chris Kavanagh initially handing the Wolves defender a yellow card.

However, VAR recommended an on-field review and Kavanagh decided to upgrade the challenge to a red card after being sent to the pitchside monitor.

While the result of the match meant little for either team in terms of the Premier League table, O'Neil was still left furious by the call after the match, with Semedo now suspended for the start of the 2024/25 campaign.


Speaking about the incident after the match, O'Neil once again launched an attack on VAR and the standard of officiating in the English top flight.

"The VAR doesn't even pause it at the right place when he's watching it back," said the Wolves boss. "They pause it when Nelson's foot is really high, in line with his shin, and he hasn't made contact yet he misses his shin and lands on his foot.

"There is no way VAR was brought in to get involved in things like that when the referee has been really clear that it is a yellow card.

"Most in football would agree it was a strong yellow card. If the ref decided it was a red I don't think VAR would have overturned it the other way so I don't see why it needs to be involved. It's not the technology's fault but it needs to be used better.

"They have to get better at it. This season has been completely unacceptable from an officiating point of view. It's been terrible. We used to moan about referees when I played, you would always have a gripe but you knew it was live and things were moving quickly."

O'Neil also believed that Wolves could have had a penalty for Virgil van Dijk's challenge on Matheus Cunha, stating: "I thought Van Dijk got lucky as Cunha got across him. Normally side-to-side with contact that isn't given but I thought he got on the wrong side of him and if you put an arm on him you run a real risk of giving a penalty.

"I thought we had a real good shout for one there. When the ref doesn't give it you are pretty sure it won't be overturned. But the game was done when they sent Nelson off."

Wolves recently proposed that the Premier League scrap VAR following a number of decisions that have gone against the Old Gold this season, with clubs set to vote on whether or not to get rid of the technology in the near future.

Liverpool have reportedly shown their support for VAR amid talks of removing it from the Premier League, even though they too have had some shocking decisions go against them this term.

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