Graham Potter makes blunt VAR admission after controversial victory against Leicester

Albion head coach Graham Potter admitted his team hadluck on their side as they claimed all three points against Leicester at the Amex Stadium

Sunday, 19th September 2021, 6:50 pm
Albion have 12 points from their first five matches - their best start to a Premier League season

The Seagulls found themselves on the right side of VAR throughout the game as Leicester had two levellers ruled out in the final stages, with Harvey Barnes judged to be offside and obstructing the goalkeeper on both occasions.

Neal Maupay put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot in the 35th minute, sending Kasper Schmeichel the wrong way, and Danny Welbeck doubled Brighton’s lead just after the break with a well-timed header.

However, after going two goals behind, it was Leicester who dominated, with Jamie Vardy pulling one back just after the hour mark with his 150th goal for the club on his 250th Premier League appearance.

VAR then came to Brighton’s rescue to leave the Foxes frustrated.

“I’ve not seen them back," said Potter who has guided Brighton to four wins from their first five matches. "Instinctively I thought it was a handball for the penalty. The offside ones felt tight to me so they wouldn’t surprise me if they very, very tight,” he said.

“That’s life sometimes. It goes your way and it goes against you. I’m sure there will be a time when it goes against us.

“At the moment we’re happy but we’re not getting too carried away. We know we’ve had a bit of luck to get the three points.

“There were times when margins didn’t go our way last year and you’re a bit frustrated. I thought Leicester responded really well and showed their quality.

“But like anything in the game of football at this level, you need to be good but also survive some moments and get that little bit of luck on your side.”

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers was in no doubt that one of their disallowed equalisers in the 2-1 defeat at Brighton should have stood.

“Listen you see it in games, you’ll see teams that have two around the goalkeeper, we’ve one around it, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that we should have had at least one of those two given a goal,” Rodgers said.

“The first one, I can see a little bit, it was similar to Norwich, the type that comes in, it’s in the middle of the goal, I think the keeper thinks that Jannik (Vestergaard) is going to head it and he misses it so it catches him by surprise.

“I think he can see the ball but I can maybe see why on that one Barnsey is half blocking him.

“But definitely on the second one, the ball comes in, Barnes is moving out, everything’s in front of the goalkeeper, he can see it, it’s just a great leap and a great header and at no time has he ever blocked the view of the keeper.

“The keeper is six foot five or whatever he is and he’s seen it all the way, it was just a great header, so I think today we just never had the luck on our side with those decisions and I think ultimately that cost us.”

Brighton made the breakthrough through a penalty, when a ball into the box was headed by Shane Duffy and struck Jannik Vestergaard’s hand at close range, with referee Stuart Attwell pointing to the spot after a discussion with his assistant.

“Probably like everyone, I think the first one was never a penalty and I was disappointed with the process in terms of how that was given but I think it was clear that it wasn’t a penalty,” Rodgers said.

“Jannik has been fouled, he’s been pulled down and of course his arm is up because he’s been fouled and then the ball heads onto his hand without even looking at it.

“It was a very, very harsh decision and like I said the process, the fourth official didn’t see it, the referee had given a corner, the linesman who was quite a way away gave it and then obviously for it not to be looked at by Stuart was disappointing so I didn’t think it was a penalty.”