VAR fails to punish Wilfried Zaha after he tried to poke James Ward-Prowse in the eye

Crystal Palace v Southampton FC - Premier League

The Premier League has reached a point with VAR where even the most absurd decisions go under the radar. 

So chaotic and ineffectual has the new technology been that we're almost tired of talking about it. 

But we need to talk about Wilfried Zaha. 

The Crystal Palace forward was involved in a flashpoint with Southampton's James Ward-Prowse during the Saints' 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park.

With the Eagles failing to inspire in the first half, words were exchanged between the two players as they left the pitch. 

Referee Andre Marriner will have seen the pair being separated by their teammates, with stewards also getting involved, but failed to pick up on Zaha appearing to try and poke Ward-Prowse in the eye. 

If only there were some kind of handy system that showed replays and allowed the officials to act on them...

The video can be seen here: 


Sure, the Ivorian was never going to cause an injury, but you can't raise your hand like that. 

It's not the first time bad blood has flowed between the duo either. 

Almost a year ago exactly, Zaha was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession having squared up to Ward-Prowse and then shown dissent. Ward-Prowse then celebrated the red card in front of the fans. 

Maybe the midfielder had a quiet word in Zaha's ear to rattle him. 

At any rate, all of this is immaterial because VAR saw nothing wrong with it, and Roy Hodgson in fact saw nothing at all. 

"Are you going to still talk about it? I told you I didn't see it, but you're still going to talk about it," the Palace boss told Sky Sports. 

"I don't know what incident you're talking about. The fact is, at half-time, I was talking to the players - and Wilfried Zaha was one of the 11 - about what we were going to try and do in the second half.

"I only just found out that I was going to get questions about an incident with Wilf, but I don't know what that incident is. All I've heard is that VAR looked at this incident and decided there was nothing to do about it. That's good enough for me.

Crystal Palace v Southampton FC - Premier League

"It was good enough for me also when they looked at an incident involving Luka Milivojevic and decided to send him off [in the FA Cup third round against Derby] and we've missed him for three games."

Hodgson has a point, of course. VAR had its chance. That doesn't mean Zaha will necessarily get away with the spat though, as the FA may still choose to look at the incident and could ban him for violent conduct if they choose.

The men at Stockley Park also came under the spotlight in Manchester City's win over Sheffield United, when Dean Henderson saved a penalty from Gabriel Jesus while clearly well off his line. 

All we can hope is that these ridiculous decisions even out over the course of the season. 

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