Cesc Fabregas was sent off during Monaco v Lyon after controversial VAR decision


It wasn't just the Premier League season that kicked off on Friday night. 

Most of our eyes were on Liverpool's demolition of Norwich, but over in France, Monaco and Lyon got things rolling in Ligue 1.  

Just like it was in the English top-flight, VAR was also deployed for the first time overseas and it didn't take very long to cause controversy. 

It took 28 minutes, to be exact. 

Monaco midfielder Cesc Fabregas was shown a yellow card after appearing to catch Leo Dubois inside the Lyon penalty area.

The replay showed it was almost certainly accidental and the Spaniard quickly apologised to his opponent.

But while he was doing so, the referee went over to consult VAR and after a short delay, he came back onto the field and sent Fabregas off.  

You can view a clip of the incident below - just listen to the whistles and boos that follow the decision.  

It seems quite astonishing that Fabregas' challenge was judged to be worthy of a red card upon review. 

The ex-Chelsea midfielder certainly isn't the type of player to go around intentionally fouling others. In fact, he only received three red cards in his 13-year Premier League career.

After just eight months in France, he's added another to his disciplinary record, but it's one that seems completely unjust. 


Monaco will surely go on to appeal the decision, but the damage was already done in their opening Ligue 1 game.

By half-time, a Memphis Depay double had Lyon 2-0 up at the Stade Louis II and it looks like Leonardo Jardim's side could be in for another tough campaign. 

Their task will be even harder if Fabregas has to serve a suspension.


VAR was always going to cause a bit of drama, but it seems Monaco have been very hard-done-by on day one. 

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