Steve Cooper: Nottingham Forest left counting cost of contentious VAR decision
Steve Cooper was left counting the cost of a contentious VAR decision after relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest slipped to a 2-1 Premier League defeat at Brentford.
Ivan Toney appeared to be in an offside position when Josh Dasilva scored Brentford’s winner in stoppage time.
But after a lengthy check by VAR Neil Swarbrick, the striker was deemed to be onside and the goal was given, dealing a major blow to Forest’s survival hopes.
“I really hope the decision was based on real facts and not a judgement call,” said Forest boss Cooper.
“If its onside, we have to accept it. But we have to wait and see the image they made the call from. I really hope at this stage of the season, they didn’t make a call based on assumption.
“The guys are fuming over it. I’m still waiting for that clear-cut image. It’s a massive call in this time of the season.”
Forest had led through birthday boy Danilo, who celebrated turning 22 with a goal in first-half stoppage-time.
But Toney equalised with a free-kick eight minutes from time, taking his Premier League tally for the season to 20.
And with Forest down to 10 men after Danilo went off injured, substitute Dasilva lashed the ball home to send Forest spinning to a seventh straight away defeat.
“It was just about accepting Brentford were going to have the ball and manage that and overall we did,” added Cooper.
“We defended set-plays well. I didn’t see us conceding and I was hoping we could make better decisions when we got opportunities to break.
“To concede the goals we conceded is tough to take, for all of us. More than anything now, we have to stick together.”
Victory left Brentford in ninth place having reached the 50-pont mark.
“I like that more than the 40 points everyone talks about,” said boss Thomas Frank.
“We were not at our best. I think Nottingham Forest made it difficult for us and defended well. We played too slow. We didn’t play the killer pass.
“But coming back was very, very good. It must be so tough to be in their dressing room after a fine performance.”
The Bees have lost just twice at home this season, against Arsenal and Newcastle.
“Our fans help us a lot,” added Frank. “Every team needs good home form if they want to achieve something and we have created something quite unique.”