Wenger questions ‘frustrating’ VAR delay

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Arsene Wenger has concerns over the length of time it took for referee Martin Atkinson to refer an incident to the Video Assistant Referee as the new technology had its second run out in English football during Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Atkinson asked for two incidents to be analysed. In the first half, he checked whether Ainsley Maitland-Niles had been felled by Victor Moses in the Chelsea box. Then, towards the end of the game, he reviewed whether a Danny Welbeck tackle on Cesc Fabregas should have been a penalty.

On the second occasion, it took a couple of minutes for the examination to take place because the ball hadn’t gone out of play.

“There were only two opportunities for them to intervene, the first one was straight away because the ball went out,” Wenger said after the match.

“But the second one for me it would look a bit strange…if the referee is uncertain maybe he should be able to block straight away.

“If there is no penalty, you give it to the defending team, because it looks a bit strange to go on for two minutes for example sometimes and then to come back… You cannot intervene straight away, it’s frustrating.”

A decision on whether VAR will become a permanent fixture in English football is yet to be made. It will also be used in the semi-final second leg.

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