Liverpool v Manchester United is one of the most storied and fiercely competed fixtures in world football.
The two arch enemies have been going at it hammer and tongs since the days when shirts didn’t have sponsors. This Sunday sees the two titans clash yet again, with Anfield playing host to the brawl.
Sadly, VAR could ruin Liverpool v Manchester United this weekend. The use of technology has been controversial throughout its introductory season.
Most recently there were complaints when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his yellow card jumped up to a red card after VAR intervention – many fans questioned why Andy Robertson wasn’t pulled up for what they claimed was a similar incident at Spurs.
Just to clarify – these cases couldn’t have been more different: Andy Robbo won the ball and the Spurs defender was late, if anything Robbo was fouled. Auba completely missed the ball and almost broke a player’s ankle.
Over the years Liverpool v Manchester United has seen some of the biggest, bone chilling, blood curdling challenges in the division.
Who can forget Jamie Carragher’s full blooded assault on Nani in 2011?
Whilst we aren’t advocating for players going in at each other’s knees, we still want to see the aggression that has characterised these feisty affairs.
However, with VAR in use – we could see some challenges that would previously have gone unchecked put under intense scrutiny.
It’s commonly accepted that in derby games such as this referees tend to keep their cards in their pockets longer than they usually would – if they didn’t then it could become 9-a-side very quickly.
Unless this approach is also followed by the VAR we could see the intensity of the occasion sucked out by caution. The big hits and the vitriol make this fixture what it is, it would be a shame to see technology spoil our annual blood bath.