Phil Neville has once again blasted VAR in the wake of Inter Miami’s fifth consecutive defeat.
The Herons saw their playoff hopes dealt a huge blow as they fell 1-0 away at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night. A Patryk Klimala strike in the 25th minute was enough to separate the two sides.
Miami thought they’d found an equaliser in the 61st minute when Gonzalo Higuain fired home a left-footed effort inside the box, having been played through by Lewis Morgan.
But once Higuain had put the ball in the net, the linesman raised his flag for offside. The decision was checked by VAR and although it looked like a close call, the on-field verdict was upheld.
Just as he was following Miami’s 1-0 defeat at the Portland Timbers a week ago, Neville was left seething at VAR, claiming there was something “fundamentally wrong” with the way referees treat his side.
“We got cheated in Portland and we’ve been cheated [Saturday night],” Neville told reporters (via the Miami Herald).
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but something is fundamentally wrong with the way referees treat Inter Miami. We’re playing in one of the best leagues in the world, and I’m having a great experience, but I’ve got a dressing room that’s asking real, real questions about the integrity of this league in terms of the decisions we keep getting.
“We’ve had our integrity questioned this year. We got stones thrown at us and had to take a lot of [expletive] and when you do wrong you accept it. I hope I don’t come across as a bad loser. Congratulations to New York Red Bulls. But I’m sick and tired of receiving emails on Mondays saying, ‘Sorry, the calls could have gone the other way.’ ”
Though he was furious at VAR, Neville did scale back and clarify he was happy with the on-field referee, Tori Penso.
“I thought the referee had a really good game, an outstanding female official has been let down incredibly by the VAR system,” he said.
Miami’s losing streak has seen them slip to 11th in the Eastern Conference with an eight-point gap now separating them from CF Montreal in the final playoff spot.
Up next for Neville’s men is a trip to the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening in a do-or-die clash for both sides.