EPL

Vincent Kompany incensed by decision not to review handball in Bournemouth loss

By Sports Desk October 28, 2023

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany had no qualms about the lengthy delay to check an offside call late on in their 2-1 Premier League loss at Bournemouth, but was incensed by the decision not to review a handball in the final moments of the match.

The Clarets suffered an eighth defeat of the campaign after goals by Antoine Semenyo and Philip Billing cancelled out Charlie Taylor’s sweet strike in the 11th minute.

A controversial moment occurred after 89 minutes when Jay Rodriguez fired into the bottom corner and – although it was immediately ruled out for offside – video assistant referee David Coote at Stockley Park took six minutes to review the incident.

Initially a green line was drawn to signal it was onside before a new line was drawn, which showed red and it was eventually ruled out, but Kompany was left stunned that a supposed handball by Chris Mepham was not checked in the eighth minute of added time.

Mepham and Burnley substitute Sander Berge tangled from a Taylor cross which resulted in Bournemouth goalkeeper Andrei Radu making a close-range save that appeared to be from Berge’s head, but Kompany stated it was actually via Mepham’s hand.

“It’s obvious at this moment in time, I will not have anything other than disappointment,” Kompany said.

“I want to address the first thing for me now which is the last thing that happened in the game. The handball situation in the box.

“Games get played on a knife edge but I am trying still to wrap my head around what happened in that moment of time.

“We take five to seven minutes to review the offside or not offside. The line goes green which means goal, the line goes red which means it is not a goal.

“OK, I am a person who always believes in the fact they have taken their time because they want to make the right decision. And a decision gets given against us.

“Tough one to take but then when the situation happens in the last moment of the game and we don’t take time to review the handball?

“There is no call to the referee to delay play when the players have called for it and the staff on the bench, we could see with a wide angle that there was a handball.

“It is the hand that brings the ball down. And there is no check, no delay for the restart and the ball goes and we lose the game. I am trying to understand what is happening in that moment.”

Kompany revealed he did speak with referee Sam Barrott after the match.

He added: “Yeah, I think for the first time in my career since I have been a manager I have actually politely and calmly gone to ask for a word of explanation from the officials.

“They were very open with me and they seemed surprise by the fact we would have liked this (handball) to go to VAR, so it means no one from VAR has told them it was worth reviewing. When you look at it, it is as blatant as it can be.

“I’m fairly confident this one would have taken them 15 seconds (to review).”

While Kompany was flabbergasted, Bournemouth head coach Andoni Iraola was able to toast a first Premier League win at the 10th time of asking thanks to Semenyo’s fine solo goal and Billing’s 76th-minute lob from 40 yards.

“Obviously happy, relieved because I think it was a needed victory for us,” Iraola said.

“Probably when you are in this situation everything costs a lot more. It happened today. We really deserved to win today but with the last VAR decision of the offside, we had to suffer until the end.

“For sure we all were remembering the Brentford game in stoppage-time and thinking it cannot happen again, because we didn’t deserve – we deserved to win clearly the game.”

On the handball, Iraola admitted: “I haven’t seen it.”

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