Roma director calls for VAR to avoid 'incredible' errors

Roma striker Edin Dzeko being brought down by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius in the second half but he was wrongly ruled offside. Roma were denied another penalty when defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (No. 66) appeared to handle the ball in the box
Roma striker Edin Dzeko being brought down by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius in the second half but he was wrongly ruled offside. Roma were denied another penalty when defender Trent Alexander-Arnold (No. 66) appeared to handle the ball in the box from a Stephan El Shaarawy shot but the officials failed to spot it.PHOTO: REUTERS

ROME • Roma sporting director Monchi says that the video assistant referee (VAR) must be brought into the Champions League after "incredible" errors by the officials during his side's semi-final loss to Liverpool.

The Italian outfit threatened a repeat of their quarter-final comeback against Barcelona but they fell to a 7-6 aggregate defeat despite a 4-2 second-leg win at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead, but an own goal by James Milner handed Roma an equaliser.

Georginio Wijnaldum's header put Liverpool back in front but Roma, who had overturned a three-goal deficit to beat Barcelona, were given renewed belief when Edin Dzeko fired past Loris Karius early in the second half.

Radja Nainggolan drilled in from distance after 86 minutes to make it 3-2 and smashed home a penalty in stoppage time.

Although Roma were awarded a penalty in both legs, Monchi insisted his team should have been awarded more spot kicks.

Dzeko was brought down by Liverpool goalkeeper Karius just after the interval, but the striker was ruled offside.

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to handle the ball in the box from a Stephan El Shaarawy shot, but the incident was missed by the officials.

"Congratulations to Liverpool, but it is necessary to analyse what happened," Monchi told Italian television. "There were two very clear penalties that were missed tonight and that changed everything and, in the first leg, they scored an offside goal. The VAR must come into the Champions League."

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has said that video technology will not be introduced for next season's European competitions, although Fifa will use it for this year's World Cup.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon launched into a tirade against officials after his side were knocked out by a stoppage-time Cristiano Ronaldo penalty in the quarter-finals against Real Madrid, and Monchi thinks that Juventus were also treated unfairly.

"This is the moment for Italian football to raise its voice," he added.

Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi was more forgiving of the officials. He told BT Sport: "Dzeko and I didn't realise Alexander-Arnold handled the ball so it can happen that the referee didn't see it."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted the result could be deemed to be harsh on Roma.

"We had a bit of luck and we needed that," he said. "It would have been deserved by Roma if it went to extra time."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2018, with the headline 'Roma director calls for VAR to avoid 'incredible' errors'. Print Edition | Subscribe