Sterling livid that referee & VAR let Zouma get away with penalty foul

‘He put his knee into my hamstring, I knew it was a penalty’: Raheem Sterling incensed that referee and VAR allowed Kurt Zouma to get away with clumsy challenge in the box

  • Raheem Sterling was furious not to be given a penalty after a Kurt Zouma tackle
  • The Manchester City forward said Zouma ‘put his knee’ into Sterling’s hamstring
  • Referee Anthony Taylor waved play on and VAR supported his decision
  • Sterling said it was a ‘sure penalty’ and added he thought VAR ‘was here to help’ 

Raheem Sterling was furious that both the referee and VAR turned down a Manchester City penalty following Kurt Zouma’s challenge on the England forward.

Chelsea put the brakes on City’s crowning as Premier League champions with a 2-1 comeback victory, with goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso cancelling out Sterling’s opener. 

At 1-1 in the second half, Sterling was driving into the box and appeared to be brought down under a clumsy tackle from a retreating Zouma. 

Raheem Sterling said he was denied a ‘sure penalty’ in Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea

Sterling went down in the box under a clumsy challenge from Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma

Referee Anthony Taylor waved play on, and a VAR check confirmed his no-penalty decision, to Sterling’s bemusement and the 26-year-old vented his frustration after the match.

‘For me I couldn’t get a shot off because he (Zouma) put his knee into the back of my hamstring,’ Sterling told Sky Sports. 

‘I’m not sure how it’s not a penalty or how it’s not been reviewed properly, the ref said it has been reviewed but at the end of the day personally I knew it was a penalty.’

When pressed on whether VAR should have told Taylor to take another look at the incident on the pitch-side monitor, Sterling shrugged his shoulders and questioned the review technology. 

Sterling called for a penalty but referee Anthony Taylor waved for play to continue

Sterling remonstrated with Taylor but VAR also confirmed the referee’s no-penalty decision

‘I thought VAR was here to help but wasn’t meant to be,’ he said. ‘He (Taylor) said to me it’s been checked and cleared and not a penalty, but for me it was a sure penalty.’

Sterling’s penalty controversy could have been much less significant for City had Sergio Aguero not embarrassingly missed an attempted Panenka penalty in the first half which would have put Pep Guardiola’s men 2-0 up. 

While Chelsea were the stronger side in the second half, City were wasteful in front of goal throughout and Sterling reflected on the team’s missed opportunities. 

‘(The defeat is a) Difficult one to take,’ he said. ‘Especially (because) we had chances to finish the game off, we didn’t and got punished.’ 

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