Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella was furious at the referee for not checking VAR on the winning Lazio goal. “That’s what it’s there for.”
The Viola were beaten 2-1 by a late Ciro Immobile header, but the issue was Jordan Lukaku winning back the ball from Riccardo Sottil – seemingly with a foul – to then provide the assist.
“I don’t understand when there’s a decisive incident in the final minutes and you have this technology, why not use it? Just take a minute and go look?” the visibly irritated coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“I said to the referee, if you see it afterwards and think it wasn’t a foul, I’ll buy you a coffee. If you see it and think it was a foul, you can buy me a coffee.
“It’s not the first time this has happened to us. There might’ve been a penalty for Lazio on Lazzari, fine, but this was at the last minute and the decisive goal, why not go and check? That’s what VAR is there for.
“The protocol is meant to be that the referee makes the final decision, but why can’t he go and evaluate it properly for himself? It was easier to accept without VAR, because we know that’s over in a second, but here we have the technology and aren’t using it.
“We all stood around for four minutes waiting for the VAR to say if he should see it or not. If he’d just gone and looked at it, it would’ve been a minute or two longer, but at least we’d all be sure.
“He may well have made the same decision that it wasn’t a foul, but at least we’d have the confidence he’d seen it.”
Fiorentina had been unbeaten since September 1, but Montella picked the same starting XI for the seventh game in a row.
“I am proud of the lads, as it was a difficult game, Lazio have been working together for a long time and are well-drilled. Lazio were more consistent, certainly. We struggled a little physically, which was strange, considering they had played on Thursday.
“I think this is the first game in the last few weeks where the opponents have been superior in terms of performance, not by much, but it could’ve gone either way or ended in a draw.”
Franck Ribery was livid at being substituted, spending the next 10 minutes in the dugout complaining about the decision and asking for clarification.
“I thought he looked tired, maybe he was angry because he wanted to come off earlier,” joked Montella.
“He’s a champion, I like the adrenaline and passion, he’ll have plenty of time to give his contribution. I was a forward, I know what it was like being substituted.”
Ribery was visibly still furious after the final whistle, as there is footage of the veteran pushing the linesman as they walk off the field.
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