ARSENE WENGER has said that, if he could go back in time and introduce VAR in the past, he would have had it in for the 2006 Champions League Final.
The former Arsenal boss remains convinced that Samuel Eto’o equaliser for Barcelona in Paris was offside, denying his 10-men side the most famous win in the club’s history.
SunSport looks at Wenger’s claims and reveals other games where VAR would have changed the course of history – but he might not so keen on technology after all.
2006 Champions League Final – Arsenal on top of Europe
The Gunners, down to 10 men inside the first few minutes after Jens Lehmann’s red card, were hanging on to the lead given them by Sol Campbell’s first half header when Henrik Larsson touched into the path of Samuel Eto’o to slide past Manuel Almunia.
It was a tight call but replays showed the Cameroonian was a few inches ahead of Campbell as Larsson played him in. Wenger is right about the offside call which cost Arsenal.
2003 Arsenal vs Portsmouth – The dive that created The Invincibles
Arsenal entertained Portsmouth early in the new season expecting an easy win, and ended up walking away with a highly controversial point.
Teddy Sheringham had headed Pompey into the lead and Harry Redknapp's unfancied side were proving difficult to break down.
Until, that is, Robert Pires threw himself to the ground close to the challenge of Dejan Stefanovic, and ref Alan Wiley bought the dive. Thierry Henry converted the penalty, Arsenal escaped with their unbeaten record intact, and went on to finish the season as the Invincibles. With VAR, Pires would have been booked for cheating.
2010 Manchester United 1 Chelsea 2 – The Blues Title
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were a point behind United with six games to go when they travelled to Old Trafford. Joe Cole’s audacious flick put the Blues ahead but the killer came 11 minutes from time.
Substitute Dider Drogba was clearly offside from Solamon Kalou’s pass but the flag stayed down. Chelsea’s win put them two points clear and a month later they were champions on goal difference.
2004 Manchester United 2 Arsenal 0 – The end of the Invincibles
Another one to get Wenger’s goat, and again involving Campbell.
Arsenal’s Invincibles had not lost in 49 matches as they ran out at Old Trafford and it looked like being extended with the game goalless and just 17 minutes to go.
But then Wayne Rooney threw himself over Campbell’s outstretched leg, Mike Riley bought the dive and Ruud Van Nistelrooy slammed home from the spot. Rooney added insult to injury with the second for United.
2019 Cardiff 1 Chelsea 2 – Bluebirds for the drop
Neil Warnock will go to his grave believing this was the decision that cost the Bluebirds their top flight status.
Cardiff were leading with just six minutes left when Cesar Azpilicueta – two yards offside – headed Chelsea level after the assistant’s view was obscured.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek then scored a stoppage time winner. Cardiff went down by two points, while the three points ensured Chelsea finished above both Spurs and Arsenal, rather than dropping to fifth.
2009 France 2 Republic of Ireland 1 – End of the world
Thierry Henry will never be allowed to forget how he cheated the Irish out of their place the 2010 World Cup.
The play-off was in extra-time after Robbie Keane shocked the hosts when a deep free-kick found Henry at the back post.
The former Arsenal man clearly handled before finding William Gallas to nod home. Ireland demanded Fifa reinstate them but eventually accepted a £3.67m payment from the French FA to avoid a legal suit.
1986 England 1 Argentina 2 – Hand of God
The most infamous goal in football history – followed, of course, by one of the greatest.
Diego Maradona’s reputation was defined, both in his homeland and England, by the “Hand of God” he used to prod the ball over Peter Shilton and into the England net.
Terry Butcher, for one, has never forgiven, or forgotten. It overshadowed Maradona’s astonishing run from inside his own half for the second, Gary Lineker’s header and the later near-miss which would have brought extra-time.
1977 Wales 0 Scotland – Hand of Jord
Nine years before the Hand of God was the Hand of Jord – Joe Jordan that is. The World Cup qualifying decider was played at Anfield and a win would have taken Wales to Argentina.
With 12 minutes left, the ball was hoisted into the Welsh box, Scotland striker Jordan clearly handled but Wales defender David Jones was penalised.
Jordan, provocatively, kissed his fist before Don Masson slotted home.
Kenny Dalglish added a second and Ally’s Army were on the march. For a few months.
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