Wolves boss Gary O’Neil fumes as ref ‘admitted mistake’ in awkward talks after VAR drama | Football | Sport

Gary O’Neil did not hold back in his post-match interview after Wolves found themselves on the wrong side of several contentious refereeing decisions against Fulham. The Cottagers managed to secure a 3-2 win on Monday night but there was plenty of controversy during the match as VAR took centre stage once again.

Three penalties were awarded by referee Michael Salisbury during the match, with two of them going against Wolves. The first came when Nelson Semedo was judged to have fouled Tom Cairney, with VAR failing to overturn it despite replays showing that he managed to get a touch on the ball.

The other penalty against Wolves was given after VAR intervened following an incident between Joao Gomes and Harry Wilson which Salisbury initially waved away. Fulham were then somewhat fortunate to avoid a red card after Carlos Vinicius made contact with Max Kilman using his head.

O’Neil delayed his media commitments after the final whistle in order to hold talks with the officials, with the 40-year-old later revealing that Salisbury admitted making a mistake when it came to awarding the penalty for Semedo’s challenge on Cairney.

“We have discussed a lot of decisions,” said O’Neil on Sky Sports. “Vinicius should have been off for headbutting Max. Tim Ream should have been sent off for a second bookable offence on the penalty. They are my opinions.

“Nelson plays the ball and doesn’t touch Tom Cairney. The referee says he felt that was wrong and he should have been sent to the monitor. That doesn’t help me. So that one has been pretty much admitted that it was a mistake. The Harry Wilson one we disagree on, I feel it was soft.

“For all four decisions to go against us is tough to take and we didn’t deserve that. [It’s] bad luck that it keeps going against us, but yeah, there are bad refereeing decisions in there. I have had a good grown-up conversation in there and tried to remain calm. I am not angry with people, it’s like: ‘Come on guys, there’s six or seven that have gone against us’.

“I’m managing a big football club here. The impact that you are having on my reputation, and the club and people’s livelihoods, is massive. We should be able to talk about the game and not decisions but unfortunately, we can’t.”

The result saw Fulham move level on points with Wolves in the Premier League table, with the west Midlands outfit sitting two places ahead on goal difference. O’Neil will be desperately hoping for his side to steer clear of any more VAR drama from now on, starting with their next match away at Arsenal on Saturday.

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