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Referee admitted penalty decision against Wolves was wrong, rages Gary O’Neil after Fulham defeat

Gary O’Neil was furious after Wolverhampton Wanderers were on the wrong end of several VAR decisions during a 3-2 defeat at Fulham last night. 

The 40-year-old said referee Michael Salisbury conceded the decision to award the first penalty against Wolves was wrong. 

The visitors twice fought back to bring the scores level but ultimately returned empty-handed from Craven Cottage after Willian’s injury-time winner. 

Alex Iwobi opened the scoring for the hosts in the seventh minute but Matheus Cunha restored parity by heading home Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s cross. 

The Cottagers were awarded a penalty in the second half for Nelson Semedo’s foul on Tom Cairney, which Salisbury later admitted was an error. 

It wasn’t long before Wolves also got a spot-kick when Tim Ream bundled over Hwang Hee-chan, who hit the target from 12 yards. 

Another late penalty was awarded after VAR advised Salisbury to look at the screen for Joao Gomes’ foul on Harry Wilson. 

William stepped up to convert the spot-kick as Fulham secured all three points. O’Neil was furious after the game.


“Maybe tonight has finally turned me against VAR,” O’Neil said (per BBC Sport).

“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.

“I think it is a really complex [issue]. I have always been for VAR, but I think it is causing problems at the moment. I think VAR has cost us there.”

The Wolves boss believed that there were four big decisions that went against his side. 

According to the 40-year-old, Carlos Vinicius should have received a red card for clashing with Max Kilman, while Ream should also have been sent off for a second bookable offence. 

“We have discussed a lot of decisions,” he added. “Vinicius should have been off for headbutting Max [Kilman]. Ream should have been sent off for a second bookable offence on the penalty. They are my opinions.

“Nelson [Semedo] plays the ball and doesn’t touch 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 Wilson one we disagree. I feel it was soft. For all four decisions to go against us is tough to take, and we didn’t deserve that.”

Wolves will now travel to Arsenal in a tricky Premier League fixture next month before hosting Burnley at Molineux.

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