The referee got the Fernando Llorente decision right.... but next season it would be handball

Keith Hackett
The Telegraph
Llorente steers home the decisive goal of a pulsating Champions League tie at the Etihad - Action Images via Reuters
Llorente steers home the decisive goal of a pulsating Champions League tie at the Etihad - Action Images via Reuters

Keith Hackett is a former referee and his ebook, You are the Ref, is out now

A referee reviewing this clip would not rule out the goal so I support his decision to allow the goal. In fact, Uefa have demonstrated this week how VAR should be used: at the Etihad Stadium, he made the decision on the basis of the pitch-side footage shown to him.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Other angles appeared to show more clear-cut contact as he drifted past his marker and directed Kieran Trippier's corner towards goal.  However, I suspect the view the referee has with the pitch-side monitor for the Llorente goal does not give him  clarity. He made the right call. 

What is called into question, however, is what will happen next season. Roberto Rossetti,  Uefa’s head of refereeing, said he would not allow any goal to be scored with use of hand. 

The International Football Association Board announced in March that future handballs will be given against a player if their arms extend "beyond a natural silhouette" - even if accidental.

The handball rule change is designed to clear up those regular moments of controversy. Earlier this season we saw a fortuitous equaliser by Wolverhampton Wanderers' Willy Boly who handled the ball to score against Manchester City.

They said referees needed a "more precise and detailed definition for what constitutes handball" and "a goal scored directly from the hand or arm, even if accidental, and a player scoring or creating a goal-scoring opportunity, after having gained possession from their arm, even if accidental, will no longer be allowed." Last night Uefa got the moments right. I do think that Uefa are operating the VAR in the correct manner. 

The use of the pitch side monitor is essential for it to operate correctly and efficiently. The decision stays with the referee and not to the VAR which we have witnessed in England. The Sterling offside decision was right too.

 

What to read next