England penalty: Arsene Wenger says 'VAR let the referee down' in Denmark's Euro 2020 exit

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England have booked themselves a place in the final of Euro 2020.

England 2-1 Denmark (AET)

The Three Lions reached their first major final since the 1966 World Cup with a dramatic win over Denmark, which went all the way to extra-time at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night.

Mikkel Damsgaard fired Denmark into a shock first-half lead with a stunning free-kick, but England hit back before the break when Bukayo Saka's cross forced an own goal from Simon Kjaer.

In the end, the semi-final was settled in the first-half of the additional 30 minutes as England won what has proven to be a controversial penalty.

England vs Denmark match reaction (Football Terrace)

England's controversial penalty

Harry Kane saw the eventual spot-kick saved by Kasper Schmeichel, who produced a masterclass on the night, but was able to convert the rebound to send England through to Sunday's final.

However, whether Kane should have had the chance to score from 12 yards is open to debate with many feeling that Raheem Sterling went down easily under Joakim Mæhle's challenge.

While there didn't appear to be too much contact, referee Danny Makkelie pointed to the spot nonetheless and VAR didn't overturn the subsequent decision.

Was a penalty the right call?

It's a controversial call that will infuriate countless supporters for years to come and many key footballing figures have cast doubt on whether England should have been awarded the penalty.

And few such skeptics come with more prestige than Mr. Arsene Wenger who has made a habit of shaping the beautiful game both as Arsenal boss and FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development.

As such, it should come as no surprise that thousands of heads turned and ears pricked up when the legendary footballing figure declared that he didn't think England should been given a penalty.


Wenger: VAR let the referee down

"No penalty," Wenger decreed on beIN SPORTS. "I don't understand why they don't ask the referee to have a look at it.

"In a moment like that, it's important that the referee is absolutely convinced that it was a penalty. It was not clear enough to say: 'yes it is,' and at least he should have had a look on the screen.

"I don't know why the VAR didn't ask him to go. For me, it was no penalty, no. I think that VAR has let the referee down, not Denmark. Denmark is a bit unfortunate.

"I understand that it's difficult for the referee, but he must have a look at it."

Wenger has a point...

Regardless of whether you agree that Sterling was sufficiently fouled or not, it's difficult to dispute Wenger's claim that there was enough doubt that the referee should have doubled-checked.

At the end of the day, there's no harm in being thorough when we're talking about a game-deciding moment in one of the biggest matches in international football.


Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

And perhaps it goes to show that although the Euros seem to have handled VAR far better than the Premier League that football's relationship with technology remains a complicated one.

All that being said, England's victory is now set in stone for eternity regardless of the controversy and fans will just have to hope that it doesn't come back to bite them during the final with Italy.

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