Given the contentious penalty call against PSG on Wednesday, can VAR really eliminate referee error?

By March 07, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Leipzig hero Werner hails Nagelsmann impact Leipzig hero Werner hails Nagelsmann impact

    Timo Werner singled out head coach Julian Nagelsmann after scoring twice as RB Leipzig upstaged Benfica in their Champions League opener.

    Werner was the hero with a second-half brace to lead visiting Leipzig to a 2-1 win over Portuguese champions Benfica in Group G on Tuesday.

    Leipzig star Werner opened the scoring in the 69th minute before doubling the lead nine minutes later at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, where Benfica's Haris Seferovic netted a late goal.

    Afterwards, Werner hailed Nagelsmann – who arrived from Bundesliga rivals Hoffenheim to replace Ralf Rangnick this season and has led Leipzig to the top of the German table after four matches.

    "Nagelsmann is getting us very well-prepared before the games, he's always got a few ideas when it comes to tactics and how we can react to our opponents," Werner told DAZN. "It's worked really well in every game we've played. He sets us up, but we have to execute out on the pitch."

    Werner said: "It always feels great to score twice whether it's in the league or the Champions League, but tonight I think we saw phases of a very attractive game of a football. Both teams wanted to win, but for long periods our lead was deserved so we're delighted to come away with a win.

    "The way my team-mates set me up today was great. That's why I'm here - to put the finishing touches on chances. Everyone put in a great performance today.

    "After opening the scoring, doubling our lead was only a matter of time. We're pleased with the win, but if we can improve our chance conversion we'll be able to decide games in our favour earlier."

    Leipzig defender Willi Orban added: "Nagelsmann is making every player better because we've got a little bit more structure in our game, especially with our work on the ball. You could see that in the second half - we created a lot of good situations, engineered space and that helps someone as good as Timo Werner profit up front."

    It was the perfect start to Leipzig's Champions League campaign for Nagelsmann, who reportedly attracted interest from Real Madrid and Arsenal before committing to the Bundesliga outfit.

    The 32-year-old sensation, who led Hoffenheim to the Champions League during his time at the club, won his first European match in charge of Leipzig and he said: "The win feels good, because we wanted to win here at the start. The victory at the start is extremely important - especially before the exhausting weeks ahead of us."

    Meanwhile, Benfica assistant Nelson Verissimo said: "The game was very even in the first half, with both teams creating dangerous chances. In the second half the team that was most effective turned out to be the happy one. We had a chance before the first goal, then we had another chance for Cervi to level and we were this close from equalising after it."

  • Klopp says Napoli can win Champions League after Liverpool loss Klopp says Napoli can win Champions League after Liverpool loss

    Jurgen Klopp said Napoli can win the Champions League, while the Liverpool manager backed his team to bounce back from their defeat.

    Defending champions Liverpool were beaten 2-0 by hosts Napoli in a controversial Group E opener on Tuesday.

    Dries Mertens converted an 82nd-minute penalty after Jose Callejon appeared to go down under minimal contact from Andy Robertson at Stadio San Paolo, where the referee's decision was ratified by a VAR check, and Fernando Llorente sealed the win.

    Liverpool manager Klopp, whose side lost 1-0 to Napoli in last season's group stage, was frustrated with the penalty decision afterwards and when asked about the Champions League chances of Carlo Ancelotti's side, he said: "They can win the competition, that’s how it is.

    "If you have a good plan, if you have good players, which is what they obviously have, then they can win the competition. We experienced that you don't have to be the best team in the world to win the Champions League.

    "You have to be in the right moment, you need to be lucky in some situations and when there's only two guys in the room that think it's a penalty you still have to accept that's a penalty, but that's all. They can win the competition, of course."

    Klopp was pressed as to whether Napoli were fresher and finished stronger than Liverpool due to Serie A starting later than the Premier League, and the German was not happy.

    "Tonight, the questions are really a challenge, to be honest," Klopp said. "I think the guy from Sky Italia asked me or told me Napoli was much better than us. I didn't see that game, so I don't know exactly where he was when the game happened.

    "But now you say we were tired. Who had the cramps? Who was on the ground? Liverpool players or Napoli players? After the 2-0 they looked fresher than us, after the 1-0 they looked fresher than us – that's normal. You have a boost. But there was no fresher team on the pitch. There was no physical problem apart from the normal physical problems in a game like this, which is very intense [because] both teams fight hard and all that stuff. It's not a physical problem tonight.

    "We have to finish the situations off. How everybody is in life, you need positive moments and you can run forever. We didn't have really positive moments tonight. They obviously got the second air, so they could go again. That's normal, but that was not the reason."

    Klopp added: "I hope it [the result] is not decisive. Give us at least a few more games to change the table. In the moment it looks like Napoli’s through, but we still will be playing. We will not stop."

  • Ronaldo regrets alcoholic father missed best years of career Ronaldo regrets alcoholic father missed best years of career

    Juventus and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo opened up on the sadness he feels that his alcoholic father never saw his greatest football achievements.

    Ronaldo, 34, has enjoyed a glittering trophy-laden career with club and country, while he is the recipient of five Ballon d'Or awards.

    However, his father Dinis Aveiro passed away when Ronaldo was aged 20 after liver failure from excessive drinking and did not see Real Madrid's all-time leading scorer reach the zenith of his career.

    "My family see, my mum, my brothers, even my old son, but my father, he didn't see nothing, and it was - he died young," Ronaldo said in an interview on ITV with Piers Morgan.

    "I have to have these images to show my family. But I really don't know my father 100 per cent.

    "He was a drunk person. I never spoke with him, like a normal conversation. It was hard.

    "Sadness? To be the number one, and he don't see nothing, and he don't see me receive awards."

    Ronaldo – a five-time Champions League winner – also admitted he has banned his mother from attending big matches for her own health.

    Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, 64, has collapsed on a few occasions at tense games which prompted the Juve forward to step in.

    "She gets so nervous, I don't understand. She is not allowed now to watch big games," he added.

    "I get friends to stay with her and she goes for walks around the house. She fainted two times in the stadium. She is nervous.

    "It is impossible, I don't have a father anymore and I don't want to lose my mum, so I told her 'you will not watch semi-finals or finals anymore'."

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