Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou launched an almighty attack on VAR as a result of several lengthy delays in the Hoops’ 4-2 victory over Dundee United.
Goals from substitute duo Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada ensured the home side would take all three points at Celtic Park, but it did little to quash Postecoglou’s frustrations with the controversial technology.
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It took Celtic just seven minutes to open the scoring, Haksabanovic tapping in after being set up by Jota.
Yet far from being the prelude to another rout, the goal sparked a determined response from United, who were level within five minutes.
Alexandro Bernabei rose to head clear but a Dundee player got a flick-on and Fletcher’s header hit the Celtic left-back’s arm while he was still in the air.
Bernabei may have stopped the ball unwittingly but, after consulting the pitchside monitor, referee David Dickinson awarded a penalty and Fletcher scored from the spot.
There were also several more delays throughout the game with checks for all six goals, as the flow of the match was constantly disrupted.
It caused Postecoglou to reach boiling point.
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“I don’t think people fell in love with football just to be sitting around for someone in a building miles away to decide outcomes,” Postecoglou toldThe Scotsman.
“They do not need to take that long. Even our second goal, our players are celebrating for about two minutes and we are still waiting all that time. To see what? I still don’t know what it was.
“If you can’t decide in two minutes then it is probably not there. If they have seven camera angles it seems like they want to look at every one.
“I might be on my own on this one but I will cop people making mistakes but I just don’t feel comfortable. I know it is early doors and it is a new toy that everyone wants to use but you can’t be disrupting games like this. I don’t think it’s good for anyone.”
Celtic, however, eventually restored their lead in the 34th minute when Matt O’Riley’s cross ultimately fell for Haksabanovic, whose first-time shot was weakly pushed in off the post by United goalkeeper Mark Birighitti’s weak attempt to stop.
The visitors, thrashed 9-0 at home to Celtic in August, were on course for a point when Dylan Levitt’s cross found its way into the net three minutes from time only for Celtic to hit back in style.
But Japan striker Furuhashi headed home from a last-minute corner before Abada made sure leaders Celtic went seven points clear before arch Glasgow rivals Rangers visit St Johnstone on Sunday.
Despite the late comeback, it did little to allay Postecoglou’s frustration with VAR.
“That’s the problem we have got now, we have let technology come into the game and rules that have been in place for over a century that we are all comfortable with are all of a sudden having to be looked at,” Postecoglou said.
“I don’t think that’s what VAR was for. VAR, I thought, was there to pick up clear and obvious errors. Clear and obvious.
“Someone is having a shot from that distance and it hits his arm, how they can say that’s clear and obvious? I don’t get it. That’s not the case anymore.
“The problem is with technology is they are going to have to change a lot of rules because they are re-refereeing the game, which is the one thing they said they wouldn’t do.
“But they are, there’s no doubt about it.”