Another matchday, another VAR controversy in the Premier League.
With Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur scoreless in north London on Sunday, Edinson Cavani appeared to put the visitors in front on 33 minutes, only for referee Chris Kavanagh to consult VAR and subsequently award a foul in the buildup, with Scott McTominay adjudged to have swung an arm into the face of Son Heung-Min.
Predictably, social media was up in arms.
Scrap VAR... an absolute shambles!— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) April 11, 2021
The fella at Burnley Volleyed Longstaff in the face earlier and wasn't a foul... now this! 😴
Pogba is all of us watching VAR in action this season. pic.twitter.com/dgC2wdyZmZ— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 11, 2021
Son grabs at McTominay's shirt while he's in possession. He bats him off - that's a natural reaction from any footballer. Ref was presented with half second of footage - not enough. Didn't show the context. Atrocious decision followed. Surprised at Son going to ground like that.— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) April 11, 2021
It's extraordinary how ludicrous VAR has become. Not only with their many errors but that it sucks the life out of the game. The joy of celebrating, which is what makes football so special, has been completely diluted.— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) April 11, 2021
Can't think why Cavani isn't enjoying his time in English football...— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) April 11, 2021
Responses to my tweet almost unanimously against VAR. FIFA really have to seriously re think every aspect of how this is used in future. As Micah Richards just said : " This is not football ".— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) April 11, 2021
The word 'cheating' started trending on Twitter moments after VAR denied Man United a goal 😬 pic.twitter.com/ICcjPlUuzm— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) April 11, 2021
Personally I think it's not VAR that is the main-problem. It's how we use it/the time we spend using it.— Jan Aage Fjortoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 (@JanAageFjortoft) April 11, 2021
VAR was implemented to clarify decisions that are clearly and obviously wrong. It has too often confused matters instead.— Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) April 11, 2021
33' - VAR rules out Cavani goal for foul on Son— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 11, 2021
40' - Son scores
Oh VAR 🤧 pic.twitter.com/QW2RoY1AZZ
Eventually, United clawed back to level terms, before quite fittingly Cavani scored to put the Red Devils in front.
Can I celebrate that goal yet....?— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) April 11, 2021
'We stand with you, Sonny'
Not all of the reaction on social media, however, was directed at the Video Assistant Referee.
Late on Sunday, Tottenham moved to condemn the "abhorrent" racial abuse that Son had been subjected to.
"Another matchday and more abhorrent racial abuse suffered by one of our players," Spurs tweeted.
With English soccer bodies piling pressure on social media companies to tackle the issue, Instagram has announced measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said last week the club want to make an impact in the fight against online racist abuse and may join other teams in a boycott of social media.