Koeman: You need a magnifying glass to give Barca goal offside

Ronald Koeman expressed his frustration with the small margins involved in VAR decisions after Barcelona had a goal ruled out against Alaves.

Lionel Messi and Ronald Koeman during the La Liga contest on Saturday. - REUTERS

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman expressed his frustration with the small margins involved in VAR decisions after his side had a goal ruled out for a fractional offside in Saturday’s 5-1 win at home to Alaves in La Liga.

Barca thrashed their opponents thanks to two goals each from Lionel Messi and Francisco Trincao and a late strike from Junior Firpo for a seventh league win in a row but the Dutch coach was still annoyed about a disallowed first-half effort from Messi.

Messi finished off on the rebound after Antoine Griezmann’s shot had been saved but a video review ruled Griezmann’s shoulder had been offside when he latched on to the through ball. “You need a magnifying glass to see that the move is offside,” Koeman told reporters.

“I’ve seen the replay several times and for me it’s not offside. But it’s best to not speak about VAR because it’s not the referee’s fault. And in the end we won the game which is the most important thing.”

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Former Spanish referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez said ruling the goal out was likely to increase disillusion with VAR among fans. “Those operating VAR are shooting themselves in the foot. What they are doing is turning half of the country into non-believers,” he told radio station Cadena Ser.

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Barca director Guillermo Amor added: “It was a goal, it wasn’t offside, everyone at the club agrees. It’s such a shame that we’re still talking about VAR. It’s not a good sign that VAR continues to attract so much controversy. Two years on and it’s still creating a lot of doubt and confusion.”

Barca have won their last seven games in a row and are in a confident mood ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash at home to Paris St Germain. “We are in excellent shape right now,” Koeman added.

“In the first half we were a little inconsistent but after they scored their goal we reacted very well and broke down their defensive wall thanks to our quality and our determination.”

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