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Shearer says: “I did not feel the Hazard incident was a penalty.”

| 05.01.2018
SPORTSBOOK ODDS

Premier League legend discusses Arsenal v Chelsea

I thought the Eden Hazard penalty was a very difficult incident for the referee to call but we do have to get away from the idea that if there is contact, it is a foul.

Although there was contact here, I don’t think there was enough for him to go down in the way he did, so I did not feel it was a penalty.

The game has changed even from when I played 11 years ago. People will be split 50/50 as to whether they felt it was a penalty or not.

Differences of opinion

I covered the game for TV for the Premier League with Frank Lampard and he thought it was a penalty.

This is the problem we are going to have with VAR as often decisions like this are going to divide opinion.

People need to realise that, believe it not, football is a contact sport.

You are allowed to make contact with an opposition player. Hazard went down holding his ankle and he wasn’t even kicked on the ankle it was on the bottom of his foot.

But was that enough to make him fall over in the manner he did? No. Could he have stayed on his feet despite the contact? Yes.

There have been occasions where pundits have said a player should have gone down to get a penalty, but if a player isn’t forced over, it means there has not been enough contact to impede them.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been in dressing rooms where we have been encouraged to go down if there is any contact so I get all that.

We have seen several incidents over the last few days, like the Hazard one, where there has been contact and the player has gone down so easily.

I did not think Palace should have been given a penalty against Manchester City when Wilfried Zaha went down.

He and Sterling were 50/50 for the ball. I believe he had the strength to stay up and orchestrated the fall.

Wilshere could have been in trouble

Jack Wilshere was also very fortunate not be given a second yellow card last night. He was looking for the contact and flicked his foot out to create it.

Exactly the sort of gamesmanship the authorities are trying to rid from the game, deliberately trying to con the ref.

VAR is going to be used on Monday evening for the FA Cup tie between Brighton and Crystal Palace and in my view it is just going to cause chaos.

From my understanding it is going to be one referee looking at a screen and it is going to come down to their opinion whether decisions should be reviewed or not, if they feel it is a major decision.

But we will still be arguing about it and therefore what is the point of VAR? It is being tested in other countries at the moment and doesn’t seem to have reduced the controversy.

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Author

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer played his entire career at the top level of English football, winning the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1994-95. The following summer he signed for his hometown club, Newcastle United, for a then world record £15 million fee.

He ended his playing career with a record 260 Premier League goals, which still stands today. He also won 63 caps for England, including 34 as captain, and among his 30 international goals were five scored at Euro 96, a total that won him the Golden Boot at that tournament.

Now the chief pundit on Match Of The Day, Alan was one of the first two players inducted into the Premier League Hall Of Fame this year.