Marc Albrighton backs use of Video Assistant Referees after controversial penalty

Miguel Delaney
The Independent
Albrighton wants VARs to be introduced: Getty
Albrighton wants VARs to be introduced: Getty

Marc Albrighton believes Atletico Madrid’s penalty in Leicester City’s 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat bolsters the argument for further experimentation with Video Assistant Referees in football.

The VAR system was trialled successfully in Spain’s recent 2-0 friendly win away to France, ironically denying Antoine Griezmann a strike that was ruled offside after review, since the Atletico star got the benefit of the current less sophisticated use of additional assistant referees in Wednesday's match at the Vicente Calderon.

It was Albrighton himself who brought down Griezmann outside the box in the 27th minute of the game, admitting he felt he had to do exactly that because of the danger the 26-year-old poses inside the area. Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare felt the decision was a “guess” from referee Jonas Eriksson.

“I think there are people deciding that and it could only be good for the game,” Albrighton said of VAR. “It would be nice to see it get trialled and see how it works out, but we can't dwell on it too much. It is disappointing from my point of view and the lads' point of view but we have to move on."

Asked again whether he was frustrated with the officials, Albrighton said: “There are enough officials, I don't know who has made the decision but at the end of the day the final decision lies with the referee and it has cost us.

“My first thought was not to let him [Griezmann] in the box because he is dangerous, I felt like I had to bring him down. It has proved costly tonight but we have to make sure we don't dwell on it and we move on.

“Maybe [it can provide motivation, but] we have a game at the weekend so we need to put it out of our minds as soon as possible and move on.”

Albrighton admitted a mere 1-0 defeat away at Atletico was an acceptable result, but lamented the lack of an away goal and admitted that they will have to be much more aggressive going forward in the second leg to turn the tie around.

“Yeah of course, obviously we came to win the game. We want to win every game we play, we knew it was going to be difficult. Overall 1-0 is not a bad result. We would have liked to have got an away goal. That would have been a lot better.

Replays showed the foul was clearly outside of the box (Getty)
Replays showed the foul was clearly outside of the box (Getty)

“We have to understand that 1-0 is not a bad result, we are still in the tie and they won't want to come back to the King Power.

“We will be more aggressive in our play going forward and take a couple more chances. We are going to have to be.

“We got to a point tonight at 1-0 where we felt let's hold on to what we have got and just stay in the tie and get back to Leicester.

“Before the game they would have liked more of a cushion going back to Leicester. I think the important thing for them is they have won the game tonight and they have not conceded an away goal, they will be pleased with that.”

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