Crystal Palace secured their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with relative ease against Doncaster Rovers yesterday afternoon but it didn’t stop Eagles fans fuming at referee Mike Dean after he missed an absolutely blatant penalty.
Having already opened the scoring through Jeffrey Schlupp, Palace’s players and fans alike were stunned when a cut-back from Patrick van Aanholt clearly struck the hand of a Rovers defender before going behind, only for referee Dean to wave away our protests and signal for a corner rather than a spot-kick.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 17, 2019
It goes without saying that, had VAR been in operation, Palace would have been given a penalty but even with the potential for human error, it’s baffling to think that one of the Premier League’s most high-profile officials missed such a clear handball when well up with the pace of play.
Of course, to get too bent out of shape over it following a comfortable 2-0 win is relatively pointless but even so, it’s frustrating to think that video assistance could easily have seen us given two penalties for handball prior to Max Meyer nodding home the second goal of the afternoon on the stroke of half-time.
The incident was made all the more laughable following the defender in question pretending that the ball had struck in the face rather than on the hand, feigning injury in the seconds just after Dean had pointed for a corner. It was the sort of moment you couldn’t help but snigger at, even though the boys had been denied what was a stonewall penalty.
The competition allows VAR to take place at Premier League grounds, meaning that, should Palace be drawn at home in the quarters, they’ll have it in every remaining round of the competition with both the semis and the final being played at Wembley.
Of course, there are times when you wish it wasn’t in operation as a fan but in the interests of fairness, it’s only right to see its potential use as a positive from this point on, particularly if it results in us being given legitimate penalty calls as and when they occur.