Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder was left baffled when the Blades win at Aston Villa was thwarted by a technical mistake.
Goal-line technology failed to send visitors a winner after Orjan Nyland pushed Oliver Norwood’s first-half free-kick over the line.
Referee Michael Oliver’s watch failed to signal the goal and proceeded with the game-which ended 0-0. It stopped the Blades from jumping over Manchester United in fifth place as they continue to present a surprise challenge for Europe.
Hawk-Eye, who manages the system, released a statement apologizing for the error, saying the fact goalkeeper Nyland, Keinan Davis, and the post had meant no camera had seen the ball cross the line. But Wilder had insisted the game was over.
“It was in the Holte End, the goalkeeper was in the Holte End and eight rows back. Everyone knew that they saw it and they heard it,” he said.
Three minutes before the break, Nyland tried to claim Norwood ‘s deep free-kick but Teammate Davis was bundled across the line. It was obvious the ball crossed the line but referee Michael Oliver’s watch did not signal a goal. As the action progressed, VAR did not interfere either, and Villa won a free-kick, starting a new process of action – as it may have done in the interim.
A statement from the officials at the Board of Professional Game Match explained that VAR did not interfere when technology failed. It read: “Under the IFAB rule, the VAR can test goal situations, but because on-field match officials did not receive a signal, and the VAR did not interfere because of the special nature of that.”
It was United’s only possible flashpoint, as they failed to establish themselves on a side of Villa that lacked a cutting edge despite all their efforts.
Villa had been much better and Conor Hourihane and John McGinn were denied by Dean Henderson when Davis and Kortney Hause passed by. But they struggled to move from the bottom three ahead of hosting Chelsea on Sunday and boss Dean Smith admitted Villa was getting lucky.