VAR takes center stage again in Spanish league

MADRID (AP) — Video review attracted the wrong kind of attention again in the Spanish league after a disallowed goal in the 0-0 draw between Cádiz and Villarreal on Sunday, a day after VAR helped to award a decisive penalty kick for Real Madrid in its “clásico” win against Barcelona.

Cádiz’s first-half goal by Álvaro Negredo was called back for offside after a wait of nearly five minutes while the play was analyzed by the officiating crew. The television broadcast showed the image with the superimposed lines that led to the decision, but it still left plenty of space for debate.

Video review also played a role in Alavés’ 2-0 win at Valladolid, leading to a red card for the hosts in the first half and influencing two other calls after the break.

Most front pages in Spain on Sunday mentioned the VAR call that played a part in Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Barcelona after Sergio Ramos’ jersey was pulled inside the area at the Camp Nou Stadium. Barcelona and coach Ronald Koeman loudly complained, saying the pull on Ramos did not cause him to drop on the field in such a manner.

A victory against Villarreal could have left promoted Cádiz near the top of the standings, but instead it stayed in sixth place. The club from southern Spain was coming off a 1-0 win at Real Madrid.

“What bothers me is if only some plays are being checked,” Cádiz coach Álvaro Cervera said. “If they went to check and it’s offside, then it’s offside, no problem. But which ones are checked and which ones are not checked?”

Koeman had claimed Saturday that only calls against Barcelona were being checked.

Unai Emery’s Villarreal could have temporarily gone top if it had won in Cádiz. It stayed in fourth place, two points behind leader Real Socieded.

“The team did well and showed improvement, but it wasn’t enough for the win,” Emery said. “The point wasn’t enough.”

Villarreal is yet to score goals away from home in the league this season.

SOCIEDAD AT THE TOP

Sociedad took sole possession of first place after a 4-1 win against winless Huesca, with Mikel Oyarzabal scoring a goal in each half.

It was the third straight league win for Sociedad, with all of them coming by a margin of three goals.

Sociedad leads Real Madrid and Granada by one point.

OTHER RESULTS

Tomás Pina and Borja Sainz scored as Alavés won at last-place Valladolid, which is yet to win this season.

The hosts went a man down in the 21st minute after video review determined that Nacho Martínez deserved a red card for a foul. VAR later helped to disallow one goal by Alavés and confirm another.

Granada stayed near the top with a 1-0 win at Getafe, its second in a row in the league and the first since beating PSV Eindhoven away in the Europa League.

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