October 19, 2019 / 4:54 PM / a month ago

Soccer-Alli grabs Spurs equaliser as VAR dominates Premier League day

LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Dele Alli scored a second-half equaliser for Tottenham Hotspur to secure a 1-1 home draw with Watford on an afternoon when VAR again emerged as the main talking point across several Premier League games.

Complete confusion followed Alli’s strike at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium when the big screen indicated that the goal had been disallowed for handball after a VAR check but the referee pointed to the halfway line for the restart.

Burnley were also controversially denied an equaliser in a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City while technology ruled out two Wolverhampton Wanderers goals in their 1-1 draw with Southampton as well as an Aston Villa effort in their 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Less controversially, Chelsea beat Newcastle United 1-0 and Everton overturned West Ham United 2-0 while the game between Bournemouth and Norwich City ended goalless.

Spurs, who had conceded 10 goals in their previous two games, looked to be heading for a fifth defeat in six matches after Abdoulaye Doucoure put the visitors ahead.

But Alli took advantage of a flap by Watford keeper Ben Foster and, after appearing to control the ball with his shoulder, put the ball in the net. Although the VAR check ruled the strike legitimate, the big screen flashed up “no goal”, sparking bemusement in the stadium.

“I was sure it didn’t hit my hand but then you start thinking did it?,” said Alli. “I tried to make sure it didn’t touch it so I could get the strike away.

At the King Power Stadium, Leicester moved second — ahead of Manchester City’s late kickoff — although technology proved decisive once again.

DYCHE FURIOUS

Burnley’s Chris Wood was denied a second goal when he was adjudged to have fouled Jonny Evans in the build-up, a decision that left Burnley manager Sean Dyche furious.

“I’m a big fan of VAR but it has to be used more wisely than that,” he said. “Their defender is never going to get that in a million years. There was a touch, but there is no intention in the touch and his gait doesn’t change.”

At Molineux, Raul Jimenez put the ball into the back of the net three times before having a goal count after two first-half efforts were disallowed. But his persistence eventually paid off as Wolves cancelled out Danny Ings’s opener for Southampton.

Asked about VAR, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said: “It is what it is. I hope it gets better.”

Matt Targett’s late winner helped Aston Villa come from behind to beat 10-man Brighton 2-1 as Dean Smith celebrated his one-year anniversary in charge. Technology was involved once again, with But Conor Hourihane having an early strike ruled out for Villa.

Pressure eased on Everton manager Marco Silva after overseeing a much-improved performance against West Ham. Excellent goals from Bernard and Gylfi Sigurdsson ended Everton’s run of four consecutive defeats and moved them out of the relegation zone.

“Pressure is normal in football,” Silva said.

West Ham disappointed throughout in going down as they suffered their first away league defeat of the season.

At Stamford Bridge Marcos Alonso’s second-half strike gave Chelsea the narrowest of wins over Newcastle — their fifth in succession in all competitions — to move them third.

Crystal Palace host Manchester City in the late kick-off. (Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond)

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