Wayne Rooney frustrated with penalty decision but sure VAR is not the answer
Birmingham manager Wayne Rooney is adamant he does not want VAR in the Sky Bet Championship despite his side being denied a clear penalty in their 3-1 defeat by Southampton.
Gavin Bazunu wiped out Oliver Burke just before half-time when the score was 2-0 but referee David Webb waved away the spot-kick shouts.
Instead, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Carlos Alcaraz and Adam Armstrong’s goals condemned Rooney to his third straight defeat as Blues boss.
“These decisions happen when you don’t have VAR,” said Rooney. “I’m not a fan of VAR and you accept referees and linesmen might make mistakes but what you can’t accept is the penalty decision.
“It is ridiculous and everyone in the stadium could see it.
“The keeper is committed and is coming at pace and is reckless. If he is coming like that then he has to win the ball but he absolutely wipes out Burkey.
“The most frustrating thing is that the fourth official told me that the referee was clear in his decision and wasn’t willing to take advice from his fourth official and assistant.
“He was clear there was minimal contact. That is a worry for me.
“I hope VAR doesn’t filter down but we would have got a penalty if VAR was here.
“I know referees will make mistakes, I can accept that but for me that was too much and a big error.”
Southampton manager Russell Martin agreed, saying: “I haven’t seen it back but at the time I thought it was a penalty.
“I feel for Wayne and if he’s frustrated with that I would be as well.
“It was a moment of madness from Gav. He hadn’t had a lot to do at that point.”
Saints opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Harwood-Bellis nodded in his first goal for the club from Adam Armstrong’s cross.
Alcaraz added a second from close range after fine work from Kamaldeen Sulemana and Stuart Armstrong.
Jay Stansfield wonderfully bent in his fourth goal of the season 52 seconds after coming off the bench but Adam Armstrong settled things with his eighth career goal against Birmingham.
Rooney added: “I thought Southampton were the better team and there are no complaints that they won the game.
“For where we are at, we could have come away from this game with something. There are positives for coming to the best team in the league at playing football but there is still a lot for us to work on.”
It was Southampton’s sixth game unbeaten and Martin said: “It has been a really nice run, especially after the run that came before that.
“That probably makes me more proud of the players and the staff for the way they came through that. It has been beautiful to see the growth in that time.
“To see them smiling together and fighting for each other, it has been brilliant to be a part of it.
“We played some beautiful stuff in the first half with so much energy and aggression, without giving them much threat.
“I’m annoyed we conceded the goal as Gavin deserved a clean sheet.
“We deserved to win and should have scored a few more goals, so there is a bit of frustration but I’m there to be relentless with the lads.
“It has been a brilliant week for us and now we have to keep going.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub