Patrick Viera says ‘VAR was naive’ after controversial penalty decision in 3-1 loss to Liverpool

Patrick Viera says ‘VAR was naive’ after controversial penalty decision in 3-1 loss to Liverpool… with Palace boss claiming Diogo Jota ‘was really smart’ to draw foul

  •  Patrick Viera was slammed ‘naive’ referee and VAR decision after controversy
  •  Liverpool were handed dubious penalty after Diogo Jota was brought down
  •  Pundits and fans have reacted to the decision arguing that it wasn’t a foul
  •  Palace boss says Jota ‘was really smart’ in winning a penalty for his side

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira last night accused Liverpool’s Diogo Jota of being ‘really smart’ in securing the dubious late penalty which ended his team’s relentless push for an equaliser.

The Eagles trailed 2-1 to Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday afternoon with the game entering it’s final minutes, before Jota collided with Crystal Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

Referee Kevin Friend left the field to howls of derision from Palace’s fans after Jota was dubiously adjudged to have been fouled by Vicente Guaita in a collision late in the game when his own momentum seemed to have taken him into the keeper and then to ground.

Patrick Viera called the referee and VAR ‘naive’ after controversial penalty against Liverpool

Reflecting on the decision post-match, Viera did not mince his words over the Liverpool forward or the match officials on the day. 

Vieira said: ‘He (Jota) was really smart and the referee was naive and VAR was naive. There was no way he would get the ball back to score. I don’t even want to talk about it.

‘We’ve had meetings with referees and they have explained that if there’s innocuous contact, there’s not going to be any penalties. I’m looking at every single angle and I don’t understand how that penalty can be. 

‘That took our hopes away to get back into the game and get a point. That was a really poor decision by the referee and VAR.’

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota was brought down by Vincente Guaita in the final minutes of the game

Palace boss Viera claimed Jota was ‘really smart’ in winning his side a penalty on Sunday

Klopp said he had not seen the incident properly, though he did admit that his side could have ended up with only a point – allowing Manchester City to escape after their weekend deadlock at Southampton.

A frustrated Palace chairman Steve Parish later tweeted: ‘If we are made to have an independent regulator – can we give them VAR!’

Vieira also felt that Liverpool’s second goal should not have been awarded, with Roberto Firmino offside as a ball came in which flew over him and reached Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he did not see the incident properly to comment on it

Firmino drew defender Tyrick Mitchell’s attention and there was no one marking Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

Vieira said: ‘He (Firmino) had an impact on that situation so he must have been offside.’

Klopp implied that his players’ fatigue was the reason for the remarkable Palace comeback which had put his team’s two-goal lead in grave jeopardy before the VAR decision. 

‘We wanted a break on the pitch but that’s not possible. The win is a relief after an intense week.’

The Liverpool manager agreed that a string of outstanding saves from Alisson, as the excellent Michael Olise led the Palace charge, had been the key for Liverpool. 

‘We needed him,’ the German said.

Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho were on the scoresheet for the Reds

Palace’s performance leaves them in the bottom but underlines the way that the club have reshaped the ageing squad which finished last season. Odsonne Edouard, Joachim Andersen and Michael Olise – all ambitious summer signings – were impressive. On this display, Palace’s hopes of matching their highest ever Premier League finish – 10th in 2015 – are not misplaced.

Vieira said: ‘Physically, we took over and the momentum was on our side. Then we had a couple of situations and chances we didn’t play particularly well.

‘But I was proud with the way my team came back. That was a really positive reaction. That was what I expected and they gave it to me. We tried our best to get back.’ 

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