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'Sterling's prolific goalscoring armpit was offside!' - VAR sparks controversy in Man City opener

7:01 PM IST 10/08/19
VAR rules out Gabriel Jesus goal, West Ham vs Man City
The defending Premier League champions initially saw technology work against them during a meeting with West Ham, with many onlookers left bemused

The Premier League has embraced the brave new world of VAR, but technology has already sparked controversy on the opening weekend.

Defending champions Manchester City opened their campaign with a trip to West Ham.

Video assistance was available to the match officials at the London Stadium and was called upon on several occasions.

One incident in particular, though, sparked bemusement among those on and off the field.

Gabriel Jesus, who broke the deadlock midway through the first half, thought he had a second of the game shortly after Raheem Sterling had doubled City’s lead.

He was, however, to be left disappointed as the build up to his effort was checked.

Sterling was adjudged to have been in an offside position when latching onto David Silva’s pass, before squaring to Jesus.

That call was tight, to say the least, and many have questioned whether VAR should be delivering such verdicts when there is not “clear and obvious” evidence to rule out a goal.

City did eventually find themselves on the right end of a technology call when adding a third effort to their tally for the afternoon.

Sterling grabbed his second of the game 15 minutes from the end, before securing his hat-trick in stoppage-time after Sergio Aguero had netted from the penalty spot having initially missed before VAR ordered a retake.

There was no doubting the most contentious moment of the day, however, with many pundits, supporters and journalists all appearing bemused by the decision to disallowed Jesus's goal.