Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder claimed VAR does referees a disservice after his side came from behind to seal a 2-1 victory over struggling Norwich at Carrow Road.
The Blades bounced back from their first defeat in eight matches against Newcastle on Thursday with a determined display as they maintained their unbeaten record away from home in the Premier League this season.
Alexander Tettey put the Canaries ahead inside the opening half an hour but United dominated in the second half. Enda Stevens’ header drew his side level before George Baldock fired home just three minutes later.
But the game also had some moments of VAR controversy, with a red card for United’s Chris Basham overruled and a lengthy delay eventually denying the Blades a third goal.
Both sets of fans expressed their displeasure at the technology and Blades boss Wilder agreed.
“Players, managers, to get to the position they’re in they’ve got to work hard, they’ve got to do a lot of things right and they’ve got to do their jobs right and so do referees and officials,” said Wilder.
“We’ve got the elite referees in the world, the way they work, full time, the way they work away from the game in terms of the fitness and the conditioning and the attention to detail.
“The percentage that we’re looking at improving for me is not balanced by what’s happening on the other bits – that’s the way I’m looking at it.
“That’s the disappointing thing because I am a traditionalist, I love the game, I love the atmosphere at games.
“The percentages that we’re looking at I don’t think are making the game a better game to be involved in at the moment and I think we’re doing a disservice to the elite referees as well. I think that’s putting doubt in their mind as well.”
Daniel Farke made no apologies for his Norwich side’s defensive errors which allowed Sheffield United to get back into the game at the start of the second half, but believes his side have been on the wrong end of VAR decisions this year.
When asked whether VAR decisions affected his side’s ability to get back into the game, the Norwich boss said: “I don’t want to speak about other mistakes, it’s more like we are self critical and we want to speak about our mistakes and they were crucial.
“What I learned during this season is that each and every VAR decision and especially the overruled decision seems to be a disaster for us, each and every decision seems to be against us.
“I can’t understand why or accuse anyone, it is like it is but of course it would have made a huge difference to play the last 20-25 minutes against 10 lads and it would have changed the game completely.”
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