Crystal Palace eventually emerged from Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium with all three points under their arm thanks to a Wilfried Zaha wonder-goal but the task could have been so much easier had this second-half effort been allowed to stand by referee Lee Mason.
Anyone worked out why this isn't a goal yet? pic.twitter.com/iP3wJ6dSAH
— E-Crystal Palace (@e_crystalpalace) September 16, 2018
Whilst the Eagles spent a good deal of time under the cosh from David Wagner’s Terriers, our natural counter-attacking style, coupled with an obvious threat on set-pieces always forced them to be mindful of falling two goals behind and after re-watching the above incident numerous times, I can’t spot an infraction serious enough to provoke Lee Mason into blowing his whistle and denying us that crucial two-goal cushion.
I dare say James McArthur’s run in front of goalkeeper Lössl was the reason for the stoppage but having seen it clearly from the angle above, it’s obvious that the stopper’s fall has absolutely nothing to do with James. After seeing him mistiming the flight of the ball so badly, Kouyate was left with the simple task of tapping the ball in from close-range and will no doubt be frustrated to have had his first goal in Palace colours chalked off for an invisible foul.
I’m not for a moment suggesting that Mason was keen to bring play to a halt in a bid to stop us doubling our lead but with instances like this, there is a strong argument for the introduction of VAR as soon as possible. The Premier League decided against its implementation prior to the 2018 World Cup kicking off and are now likely to be kicking themselves, given how well it went down out in Russia.
It won’t be a huge talking point from a Palace point of view, given the fact that we got all three points but had Huddersfield taken one of the numerous chances they had to level the scores, you can bet that plenty of the Palace faithful would be up in arms about the call.
The officials got it wrong at the time, that much is clear. The least the authorities can do now is ensure that VAR is brought in as soon as possible in a bid to minimise similar errors occurring in the future.