Benitez wants VAR straight away after last-gasp loss

LONDON • A livid Rafael Benitez demanded the immediate introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR), after his 10-man Newcastle slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Wolves following Matt Doherty's stoppage-time winner.

The Spaniard made the plea on Sunday after DeAndre Yedlin was sent off for hauling back Diogo Jota after being caught in possession 56 minutes into the defeat, which left the Magpies three points from the Premier League relegation zone.

Benitez was also convinced his side should have been awarded a penalty after Willy Boly caught Ayoze Perez with an elbow, which he felt was a straight red card.

"It was an elbow in the face, he was bleeding, it was so obvious," said the 58-year-old. "You can see the replay and see the face of the player and after, what happened. Anyone can see so we need VAR."

However, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, whose side are up to 10th after their second straight league win, felt Yedlin's sending-off was justified while claiming Boly's elbow had been accidental.

"It's a clear elbow on Ayoze," he insisted. "But from my point of view, not being over-protective, he (Boly) jumps for the ball and he doesn't see him, so it's not intentional."

VAR is set to be introduced to the English top flight from next season after clubs "agreed in principle" to the move last month, following an update on the non-live VAR trials already taking place.

Newcastle thought they had battled their way to a point at St James' Park despite going a man down .

Jota had opened the scoring for Wolves, firing home from close range from Helder Costa's cross.

But Benitez's men hit back after Salomon Rondon's free kick struck the woodwork, only for the striker to snaffle up the rebound and assist Perez for the equaliser.

Wolves thought it would not be their day after substitute Raul Jimenez's shot came back off the underside of the crossbar but at the death, Doherty had the last say.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2018, with the headline 'Benitez wants VAR straight away after last-gasp loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe