The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) came in for rare praise after Crystal Palace’s 1-0 home win over Southampton on Saturday, as Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuettl heaved a sigh of relief after defender Kyle Walker-Peters’ red card was rescinded.
Walker-Peters was harshly dismissed for a high challenge on Tyrick Mitchell in the second half but referee Jon Moss changed it to a yellow after reviewing the incident on a pitchside monitor following the intervention of VAR Craig Pawson.
“I spoke last season about how referee should go to the screen more often so I think this was absolutely better with the VAR now,” Hasenhuettl told the BBC.
VAR was a source of controversy in England’s top-flight last season, with decisions to disallow goals for players being marginally offside coming in for criticism.
The Premier League said last month clubs had unanimously agreed to implement global soccer governing body FIFA’s guidelines on its implementation.
The most significant change was likely to be an increased use of pitchside monitors by on-field referees.
Meanwhile, Hasenhuettl said he was disappointed that his team could not do more in the game despite having more than 70% of possession.
“You could see it was not so easy to switch immediately on. I think it was a tough game for us especially after going a goal down early on,” the Austrian added.
“Crystal Palace always play like that. They give you the game and then have one or two counter-attacks. We had two or three good chances and so you end up with no goals and no points.”