At Parken in Copenhagen on Wednesday, a tifo was held up stating that this would become "Your Theatre of Nightmares." The Copenhagen fans were correct in their assessment as they defeated the Red Devils 4-3 as United finished with 10 men due to Marcus Rashford being red carded in the first half. It took a VAR review to hand out the card for a challenge on Jelert but the controversial decisions wouldn't stop there as penalties were handed out to each team for hand balls as the Red Devils' Champions League campaign took a huge hit.
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Here's a look at the Rashford challenge:
VAR again took center stage during the middle of an important match and the CBS Sports' UEFA Champions League Today crew had some thoughts on the madness. Here's what they had to stay:
Rules analyst Christina Unkel:"At least the officials are being consistent on the application [of the handball rule]. So here, unfortunately, the deflection argument is going away so anyone arguing a deflection on the first potential handling has gone away from the current interpretation ... his right arm extended outside of his silhouette effectively leaving it there. I understand the jumping component, I get that but during the current interpretation of handling, I am not a current fan of the current interpretation of handling I just want to put that out there, but this will fall into what they want from a recommendation and an acceptance standpoint."
Man United legend Peter Schmeichel: "Obviously I'm frustrated about Manchester United's performance tonight. I just want to say one thing about what Christina [Unkel] said and the explanation. I love Christina, I think she explains everything very very good but I'm a bit tired of we don't understand now who we are playing this game for. It's for the people who are here, the 36,000 here and not a single one of them reacted to those incidents. No one was screaming for a red card, no one was screaming penalty in both situations and the game was stuck. Nobody knows what goes on and it kills a great atmosphere. It just kills it. It kills the enthusiasm the fans who are in the stadium. YOu can explain your way out of it with the letter of the law but common sense is gone out of football with at VAR. I mean they've had a bad two weeks but we need to rethink it, that is my opinion."
Former Man City defender Micah Richards:
"There's always this talk about putting ex-players within referees and learning the game. Anyone who has played the game knows full well that should be a yellow card and not a red card. Obviously, by your law, it comes out a little different but there's no intent there. He is endangering an opponent a little bit but I think a yellow would have been the right decision there."
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Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher:
"The referee's position on that, sometimes I understand VAR when a referee can't see but the referee couldn't have had a better position he was literally five yards away from it, saw it in real time, and waved play on. He then goes to the monitor and I understand he's probably got no option but his position is absolutely fantastic. Yes, he doesn't intend to do that and he could be endangering the opponent but for me, a yellow card is sufficient."
Former U.S. men's national team star Clint Dempsey:
"I'm not a fan of VAR because it makes the referee look bad if they go and are able to look at the replay and they get it wrong then come out and admit their mistake. It'd be better to not have VAR in the first place and also, I think it brings the game for the fans in the sense of not knowing when to celebrate goals, 'is it going to be called back, is it not'. I have no problem with gaol line technology, I have no problem with offside technology but for me, I think VAR ruins the game."
Even Copenhagen's manager Jacob Neestrup chimed in: "I haven't seen the two penalties but as a general point, it has went too far with the hand ball penalty every time the ball goes in the box in Denmark in England and everywhere that's not football for me.
"We need to play and there's way too many cheap penalties given in all countries in terms of hand balls. I think Rashford doesn't do it on purpose but I think the red card is fair. When I see it in slow motion but when I was on the bench [during the] first half it didn't even look like a free kick."
Across the board, it's a concern that something needs to change in the application of VAR even including three separate incidents. We're reaching an inflection point with the system and it isn't like stakes will get lower anytime soon which is why something needs to be done sooner than later as murmors of change needing to come grow louder.