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City faithful call for VAR in Premier League after Wolves earn point from hand ball goal

Man City fans are lobbying for VAR to be introduced in the Premiership after Willy Boly punched the ball into the net to deny them victory on Saturday. The officials did not spot the handball, and most of the players seemed oblivious, but replays showed the goal should have been ruled out. That was a bitter pill for City fans to swallow as a 1-1 draw at Molineux ended their 100% start to the season. They are now two points behind league leaders Liverpool and it was all totally avoidable.

The advent of video assistant referees has split opinion, but the process worked well at the World Cup and it has proved successful elsewhere. Later on Saturday, Barcelona recorded a 1-0 win away at Valladolid and they were aided by VAR. Keko thought he had notched a dramatic late equaliser for the newly promoted side, but the video assistant correctly ruled it out for offside. VAR has also been a positive development in Serie A, the Bundesliga and MLS, but the Premiership has not introduced it, as two-third of the division’s clubs voted to defer it as trials elsewhere strive to refine the process.

You would hope that over the course of a 38-game season these things even themselves out and that City benefit from a few controversial decisions too. It is obviously still early days in the title race and there is no need to panic about a couple of dropped points away at an ambitious club boasting players like Joao Moutinho. To locate the best odds from a reputable betting site make sure to check the Bookmaker review first, and you will see that Man City are still odds-on favourites to win the title, while Liverpool are out at 11/4. It is just frustrating to have dropped points in such an unjust fashion.

Yet it is also worth bearing in mind that City were a long way off their brilliant best during this contest. If you stick three or four goals past the opposition, it does not matter if a dodgy refereeing decision goes against you. More worrying than the lack of VAR could be the prolonged absence of star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne. His absence was not felt during the 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield the previous weekend, a game that saw David Silva in inspired form. But City really could have done with his thrust and creativity on Saturday as they struggled to unlock a stubborn Wolves midfield.

Man City’s next four games are all against stubborn teams that like to put men behind the ball and battle for every ball. First up they face a Newcastle side that are extremely pragmatic under Rafa Benitez, then they host Fulham, before a trip to play Cardiff – who have kept two clean sheets in three games – followed by a tenacious Brighton team. City really should take 12 points from that run ahead of the trip to Anfield on October 7. They do not want to lose any further ground to Liverpool, who must navigate tricky fixtures against Leicester, Tottenham, Southampton and Chelsea in that period.

It will be up to David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan to share the creative duties between them, and they are certainly capable of doing so. City may be missing their most creative player, but every other team in the league would kill for such a talented quartet. The onus is on David Silva in particular to step up and deliver, and there is every reason to think he can, as the Spanish magician has been consistently brilliant for many years now. Since 2010 he has provided 75 assists in the Premiership, 22 more than any other player, and he still has the stamina to hold the fort until De Bruyne returns to action. He has never won any Premiership Player of the Year awards, despite his sustained excellence, so maybe it is time for him to seize that accolade by leading his team to glory.