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‘It’s simply not fair’ – Baggies boss Bilic bemoans bad luck with VAR verdicts

West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace – Premier League – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Slaven Bilic has described the way things have been going for West Brom in terms of VAR as “very unfair to us”.

The Albion boss says “every decision was against us”, and has labelled Matheus Pereira having to serve a three-match ban after his red card last weekend as “crazy”.

Pereira was dismissed in the first half of Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Crystal Palace at the Hawthorns, shortly after the hosts had equalised.

The Brazilian tangled with Patrick Van Aanholt and, while he was on the ground, his boot appeared to make contact with the defender’s stomach. After a VAR check, referee Paul Tierney consulted the pitchside monitor, then sent Pereira off.

A subsequent appeal by West Brom was unsuccessful and Pereira begins a three-game suspension by missing Saturday’s clash with Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Bilic, whose side are 19th in the Premier League, with just one win from 11 matches, said: “I said after the game he (Pereira) gave them an option – when I say that, it looks like he is guilty, but for me, it wasn’t a red card.

“The more you watch it, the more you see it is not a red card – and now it’s three games. It’s crazy.

“In my opinion, that red card shouldn’t have been given, and I expected that to go down to one game, like Everton, (Lucas) Digne, against Southampton.

“I wouldn’t even be happy with two games. Then when I found three games – very, very disappointing decision.

“It’s simply not fair, especially when you look at the bigger picture, what happened in that game, what happened in previous games, what is happening with VAR with us and everything. Everything goes against us, every decision.

“There is not one of them, not two, not five. I don’t know how many. Eight is it, or more than eight? It is a lot.”

Bilic was asked if he thought VAR was putting pressure on managers, and he said: “It does, of course it does. You get less points and your position is different in the table.

“They all say at the end it levels up, but in our case it is not the case unfortunately. Our situation is it is completely going against us.

“Nobody knows what would be the result if Matheus Pereira was on the pitch, if a penalty was given in the 53rd minute on Conor Gallagher when it is 1-1.

“Maybe we would lose 5-2, I don’t know. But with Matheus and a penalty I am thinking we would be closer to winning the game.

“Or Manchester United (on November 21), if the penalty stayed, and it was 1-0 for us – maybe we lose 3-1, but maybe we would have won that game. Not to mention more games.

“I don’t know is it one, two or six points. We wouldn’t be 19th, we would be maybe even above (16th-placed) Brighton.

“All I am saying is it is very unfair to us the situation with VAR because every decision was against us, and that affects the results.”

The United game saw West Brom awarded a penalty, only for referee David Coote to overturn the decision after watching footage back on the advice of the VAR, and United’s Bruno Fernandes then have one saved by Sam Johnstone, before the VAR ordered a retake that the Portuguese converted.

Asked if he had been having conversations with the people above him at West Brom, Bilic said: “I speak to (technical and sporting director Luke Dowling and chief executive Xu Ke) after every game. It was the same after the Palace game.

“And of course nobody is happy with the 5-1 defeat, but they were also quite happy with the performance, even in that game, (in terms of) the first half. We agreed on that.”