The Angle Not Used In VAR Review For Fernando Llorente's Goal Against Manchester City
The use of VAR was at the centre of the thrilling Champions League quarter final second leg between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, with Pep Guardiola feeling aggrieved over the referee not using one specific angle that showed the ball hitting Fernando Llorente's arm for his decisive goal.
The City boss had no issue with Raheem Sterling's late strike being chalked off courtesy of a correct VAR review but he did lament referee Cuneyt Cakir not exploring another angle for the Llorente goal.
"I support VAR but maybe from one angle Fernando Llorente's goal is handball, maybe from the referee's angle it is not," Guardiola said, as per The Guardian.
In the 73rd minute, the former Swansea City and Athletic Bilbao striker bundled the ball in past Ederson from Christian Eriksen's corner.
Turkish referee Cakir went to the VAR screen and after a long wait, elected to award the goal and gestured to his hip while City players protested.
However, the angle that he was not privy to, shows the ball clearly striking Llorente's arm before it hits his hip and ends up in the back of the net.
The arm cannot have a material effect on a goal being scored. Intent or natural position do not factor in. The ref was not given this angle on his VAR check for some reason. He got the wrong angle. pic.twitter.com/dwfXy2Q4Zi- Craig Burley (@CBurleyESPN) April 17, 2019
Opinions on the decision has been split amongst fans and pundits alike but BT Sport's Rio Ferdinand was adamant that it was handball.
"That's off his arm for me. That's hit his arm. Watch the skin on his arm, it moves,' the Manchester United defender said, to which host Gary Lineker replied: 'But even if it just flicks the arm and then goes onto the hips that's not... is it?
"I'm just saying the ball's hit his arm and then it's up to the referee to determine whether its a handball or not,' Ferdinand added.
"I think it's handball personally I've got to be honest."
The law on handballs in the game will change as part of a number of IFAB rule changes coming into play next season, meaning accidental handball - like in the case of Llorente last night because his arm was by his side - would see the goal disallowed.
IFAB technical director David Elleray told the BBC:
"Deliberate handball remains an offence. In the past we've managed to improve the laws by focusing on outcome rather than intent.
"What we are looking at particularly in attacking situations is where the player gets a clear unfair advantage by gaining possession or control of the ball, as a result of it making contact with their hand or arm."