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Harry Maguire somehow gets away with kicking Michy Batshuayi in the groin


The point of VAR in soccer is to correct any “clear and obvious” incidents. The problem is, when referees are in control of making decisions through VAR, boneheaded mistakes can still happen.

That’s what happened in the first half of Chelsea’s game against Manchester United. United defender Harry Maguire got taken down by Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi as both people were going for the ball. But while he was on the ground, Maguire was going for a couple other balls as he kicked Batshuayi in between the legs.

Normally, this would be a red card for violent conduct but not only did referee Anthony Taylor (or fourth official Stuart Attwell, who was standing beside the play) fail to do anything, VAR took a look and VAR official Chris Kavanagh also decided that wasn’t worth anything. So we’re just firing on all cylinders with bad officiating today.

One important note, Anthony Taylor was referee for this game and for Tottenham-Chelsea where a red card was given to Son Heung-min for kicking Antonio Rudiger in a similar fashion. In Taylor’s defense, he too didn’t give a red to Son either but was overturned via VAR. What that tells me is Taylor either needs to see blood or a bone sticking out to give a red card, he’s blind, or he leaves calls like that to the VAR official and have them make the call either to shift blame for making a controversial call or he’s using VAR as a crutch and is reffing based on having review. Either way, it’s another failure to Premier League refereeing in a year that’s having a lot of them.

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