Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard pointed out the length of the VAR check but refused to blame the incident for defeat. The check took the best part of four minutes for VAR Darren England and Michael Oliver to decide that Jacob Ramsey’s tackle on Edinson Cavani was a foul. The length raised the question of whether it was a clear and obvious foul.

“How long have you got? The officials took three and a half minutes to settle that one. They have looked at two or three things in it,” Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard said. “When VAR is there and they make a decision you have to accept it. There is nothing you can do to change it. The easy way out is to blame luck and the officials, we won’t do that. It’s very tough. We are out of the FA Cup and coming into this job I saw this competition as an opportunity to have a good run in it.”

“The lads gave a lot in terms of performance but we need to learn and close the gap from a performance that was nearly good enough. We dominated for large parts but we were not ruthless enough,” he added. “I’ve seen enough tonight in terms of the performance to know that I can get to where I want to get to but we need to learn and learn quickly. We need to be more ruthless moving forward, defending crosses we need to be tighter. We cannot be having people with free headers in our six-yard box. It is quite clear what we need to iron out and we will do it in the short term.”

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