Kai Havertz sparks controversy as Gary Neville and Alan Shearer agree after X-rated VAR criticism

Arsenal forward Kai Havertz celebrates scoring for Germany.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Premier League icon Alan Shearer has slammed VAR after Arsenal striker Kai Havertz profited from a controversial decision in Germany's Euro 2024 Round of 16 clash with Denmark. Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen was adjudged to have handled the ball from a Germany cross just minutes after he thought he had netted his first international goal.

The Gunners talisman continued his goalscoring run in the home European Championships in a dramatic, weather-hit knockout game between the two nations. Both countries met at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park in a rematch from the 1992 final where the Dane's stunned the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann and co.

Premier League referee Michael Oliver was in charge of the encounter as Julian Nagelsmann's side looked to avoid an upset against the country ranked 21 in the world by FIFA. He came to the aid of Die Mannschaft when he awarded a penalty after reviewing the monitor with the help of the 'snickometer' technology.

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Havertz stepped up and fired low into the bottom right corner to hand Germany the lead. They twice came close to doubling their lead with the 25-year-old's deft chip trickling wide before Leroy Sane dragged wide from close-range shortly after.

And Shearer took to social media to express his disdain at the supposed poor use of the technology and laws as VAR continues to draw negative reactions. The 53-year-old tweeted: "The handball law is s*** #GERDEN."

Neville's thoughts were of a similar mood as he described the penalty decision as "shocking", he added: "Absolutely shocking that penalties are given for that!"

The knockout tie in North Rhine-Westphalia wasn't shy of talking points as Nico Schlotterbeck's free-header was cancelled out by the Video Assistant after a foul in the build-up from Joshua Kimmich. Germany soon doubled their lead with over 20 minutes remaining when Jamal Musiala finished with aplomb from a piercing counter-attack.