‘Not a massive error’ - Dermot Gallagher and Graham Poll disagree on one key decision during Wolves vs Leeds United
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The Whites climbed out of the relegation zone in style with a win in their last game before the international break. Javi Gracia’s men put on a thrilling away performance at Molineux to win 4-2, moving out of the bottom three and pulling Wolves back towards it in the process.
Though, the game was not without its controversy, with one of the main points of debate being Jonny Otto’s red card for a nasty challenge on Luke Ayling. Otto took a heavy touch and over-extended in his bid to win the ball back, missing the ball and planting his studs high on the ankle of Ayling.
Asked about that decision, former Premier League referee Poll told betting. co.uk: “There were an unusually high number of big, important decisions for referee Michael Salisbury to make, assisted by VAR, and they did pretty well.
“I fully expect Wolves to calm down today, review the video and accept the red cards and subsequent disciplinary action. The first is a shocking tackle by Jonny (Otto) on Leeds’ Luke Ayling. It’s over the top of the ball and studs landing on Ayling’s leg. It certainly endangers the safety of the opponent and is a clear red card. Salisbury really should have seen it ‘live’ but it is just the sort of situation that VAR was brought in for and the intervention ensured the correct decision was taken.”
Another former referee in Gallagher agreed with that verdict, telling Sky Sports News: "Good intervention from VAR, it is similar to the Casemiro red card the other week when the player goes over the top of the ball and plants his studs into his shins. For me, red card."
There was also an incident where Adama Traore thought he was fouled in the lead up to Rodrigo Moreno’s goal, but Poll agreed with the on-field and VAR decision, adding: “There was a slight shirt pull on Adama Traore but he still has possession of the ball and at 3-2 down in stoppage time he shouldn’t stop and appeal, but strive to get the ball upfield and play to the whistle. To not award the foul is not a massive error and so VAR does not intervene, correctly again.”
Gallagher saw things differently, however, saying: “I think it is a foul, the referee should give a foul. VAR intervenes correctly, when he is send to the screen, when I was watching it live I thought it was a heaven-sent opportunity for the referee to reverse his decision. But he chose not do, which is his prerogative. A foul would have been the more acceptable decision."