'I’m glad VAR didn’t intervene!' - Matt Turner expresses his relief after Brentford's Yoane Wissa is denied clear penalty following rash challenge from USMNT & Nottingham Forest goalkeeper

Matt Turner Yoane WIssa penalty No VARGetty Images
  • VAR grabbing headlines again
  • Denied penalty to Brentford
  • Turner relieved after a lucky escape

WHAT HAPPENED? The USMNT shot-stopper was lucky not to give away a penalty after he was caught flat-footed inside the box, having been put under pressure by the Brentford striker. With the deadlock yet to be broken, Turner lost the ball to Wissa following a routine backpass after he was slow in clearing his lines. Turner pulled down the DR Congolese player in his follow-through after the ball was sent rolling towards the goal.

Luckily, Wissa's shot was cleared by a defender and the incident was not picked up by the video assistant referee, much to Turner's relief.

WHAT THEY SAID: “It was a terrible start for me in the second half in general," the keeper told CBS Sports after the match. "The ball was slow. I wasn’t getting it out of my feet and [Wissa] was pressing me really hard. I was a little bit worried but I tried to hold back as much as I could because I knew he was going to win it. I’m glad VAR didn’t intervene because that would have made things go from bad to worse for me.”

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Brentford boss Thomas Frank, meanwhile, was left fuming at the match officials after the final result as he insisted that Turner should have been penalised for his challenge on Wissa. "The Wissa situation is a clear penalty. You can’t go through the man," he said. "That’s an unfortunate mistake from VAR. That is clear and obvious. You can’t go through the back. Unfortunately, my players are too honest, maybe they need to be a bit more nasty. But I would never say that to the players. I like honest players."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Turner had a bad day at the office in general as he failed to keep out a rather tame header from Christian Norgaard, which gave Brentford the lead. However, he was bailed out soon enough as Nicolas Dominguez scored the equaliser for Forest.

The former Arsenal keeper admitted that his performance was not up to the mark and shouldered responsibility for his mistake. "I look myself in the mirror on that first goal and I know I’ve gotta be better," Turner said. "For us to concede in the fashion that we did, I shoulder that burden for sure. The response was amazing, some unbelievable individual plays down the stretch. Every point is crucial in this league. It feels like two dropped, but it’s a weird one."


Matt Turner Nottingham Forest 2023-24Getty

WHAT NEXT? There has been significant controversy about the credibility of VAR this season after several contentious decisions. On Saturday, Liverpool forward Luis Diaz's goal was incorrectly ruled out by VAR officials Darren England and Dan Cook during their 2-1 loss to Tottenham and the duo have been suspended for games on Sunday and Monday.

Craig Pawson was in charge of Forest's clash with Brentford in the VAR room, but his performance will be under the scanner once again after the Wissa penalty incident.