‘F*** VAR’: Manchester City star Fernandinho blasts system after controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Tottenham
Manchester City star Fernandinho could muster only two words in the aftermath of their dramatic Champions League quarter-final exit on Wednesday night.
The Brazilian said simply ‘F*** VAR’ as he walked through the mixed zone after City had a last minute winner disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee for offside.
Raheem Sterling’s stoppage-time goal looked to have sent Pep Guardiola’s side into the semi-finals and kept alive their dream of the quadruple.
Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho could only say ‘F*** VAR’ on Wednesday night
But their celebrations were shortlived, with VAR intervening and puncturing scenes of jubilation around the Etihad Stadium.
Referee Cuneyt Cakir was informed that Sergio Aguero was offside in the buildup to the goal after Christian Eriksen’s back pass was diverted into his path by Bernardo Silva.
It came after VAR was consulted for Fernando Llorente’s winner in the 73rd minute.
Kieran Trippier’s corner bounced in off the Spaniard’s hip with his elbow in the vicinity of the ball.
Cakir consulted the video screen on the touchline but ruled the goal could stand. Another angle emerged on Thursday morning showing the goal should have been chalked off.
Raheem Sterling thought he had sent Manchester City into the Champions League semi-finals
Tottenham players appear dejected after Sterling netted a dramatic goal at the Etihad Stadium
Pep Guardiola celebrates in front of the home support in the dying minutes on Wednesday
‘It was cruel. This moment when it’s not a legal goal, OK,’ Guardiola said following the full-time whistle.
‘But in the moment we celebrate in three seconds, one minute, when there’s one or two minutes left we are so close to the semi-finals and after we don’t concede so it’s very cruel. But it is what it is.’
Mauricio Pochettino admitted he is still unconvinced by the system, despite the helping hand it gave Spurs here.
‘I didn’t watch. I promise, I didn’t watch,’ he said of the replays.
‘It is difficult after the game to be relaxed or calm. You need to trust in the VAR when it is against or for you.
Cuneyt Cakir consults VAR following Sterling’s goal at the Etihad on Wednesday night
The decision to rule out City’s goal by VAR made for a hugely dramatic conclusion
City star Raheem Sterling was left dejected after his goal was ruled out by VAR
‘The decision to include VAR in football is going to change the game a little bit. I am pro the basis and trying to help the referees and maybe one year ago I was a little bit worried.
‘Today my feeling is the same, when it is for you you need to accept. When it is against you, you need to accept.
‘Like the penalty in the first leg or the situation Fernandinho on Harry Kane that the referee can check.
‘The situations that are happening in every single game we are watching, like yesterday Barcelona against Manchester United, it was a penalty, not a penalty?’