Fuming ex-Liverpool star smashes VAR monitor to the ground in wild scenes
Ex-Liverpool star Iago Aspas was involved in wild scenes towards the end of Celta Vigo’s La Liga clash with Sevilla on Saturday as he smashed a VAR monitor to the ground. The 36-year-old, who spent two years at Anfield between 2013 and 2015, was furious after his team had been denied a penalty and was unable to control his emotions at the side of the pitch, despite the fact he had already being subbed off by his manager Rafa Benitez.
Celta Vigo have been in dismal form this season and went into their latest match with just one victory from their opening 11 league matches. But they took the lead on their home ground midway through the first half as Carl Starfelt found the back of the net.
Aspas was taken off after 69 minutes as Celta Vigo attempted to close the match out. But Youssef En-Nesyri fired Sevilla level with six minutes remaining.
The home team thought they had been handed a lifeline in the closing stages when referee Alejandro Hernandez waved to the penalty spot following a challenge on Anastasios Douvikas by former Manchester City player Jesus Navas. But the penalty was overturned following consultation with VAR.
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Aspas was in no mood to accept the decision in a calm manner and proceeded to stomp over to the VAR monitor and chuck it to the floor. The weighty screen almost hit a nearby official, who was forced to jump out of the way. And the striker could face repercussions for his actions.
Speaking after the incident, Aspas told DAZN: “The balance always falls on the same side. And today when it could have favoured us, he goes to the VAR to see it when all of Spain has seen it. We have been through 12 days and in seven games the balance always falls the other way. We want to be the best league in the world and we are not advancing like this.”
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Benitez, who led Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League trophy, was also furious with the penalty decision and echoed his captain’s thoughts. “I’m not the one who has to say if there is a black hand or not, but for another week we are surprised by the referee’s performance,” the 63-year-old hissed after the showdown.
“I have not even spoken with the referee, I have seen the replay and it has come to me to see what all of Spain has seen.”
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