Chris Wilder hints that Forest’s recent run-in with VAR played part in decision

Chris Wilder Hints That Forest’s Recent Run-In With Var Played Part In Decision
The Blades felt Ben Brereton Diaz was pushed in the build-up to Ryan Yates’ second goal.
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By Jonathan Veal, PA

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder hinted match officials took the “easy decision” of not awarding his side a free-kick because of Nottingham Forest’s recent complaints against VAR.

The Blades felt Ben Brereton Diaz was pushed in the build-up to Ryan Yates’ second goal in Forest’s vital 3-1 win at Bramall Lane, where Callum Hudson-Odoi scored twice to move his side three points clear of 18th-placed Luton with two games left.


Referee Chris Kavanagh did not award a foul and VAR Michael Salisbury did not intervene.

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo admitted he was “anxious” after Yates’ strike, but they avoided any more drama, two weeks after launching a scathing attack on VAR and accusing Stuart Attwell of being biased following a 2-0 loss at Everton.

Wilder indicated he thought that situation influenced the decision.


“It’s a foul isn’t it? He puts two hands in the back, Ben Brereton Diaz doesn’t just fall down,” he said. “He pushes him.

“I will let you put two and two together. I think it is a pretty easy, comfortable decision for everybody to make because of the situation.”

Asked whether he thought the match officials did not want to give a decision against Forest, he said: “I will let you decide on that situation. I’m not going to get dragged into that debate, a foul is a foul, whether it is a push in any part of the pitch.

Sheffield United v Nottingham Forest – Premier League – Bramall Lane
Ben Brereton Diaz shows his dejection after the final whistle. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA.

“For me it is a foul, people tell me the game has moved on, you could day Ben needs to be stronger, but there is no need for him to go down like that, you can see he has two hands in his back. They score from that opportunity, we go 2-1 down.”

The Blades took an early lead through Brereton Diaz before missing a host of chances throughout the match.

Hudson-Odoi scored either side of Yates’ controversial first Premier League goal to earn a vital win.


It meant the Blades’ torrid campaign hit a new low as Hudson-Odoi’s second was the 100th goal they have conceded, making them the first Premier League team to rack up a century in a 38-game season, with Swindon doing it in 1993-94 over 42 games.

Forest boss Nuno says his side still have work to do in their bid for Premier League survival, although their situation could look even rosier if an appeal against a four-point deduction for breaking financial rules is successful, with news expected next week.

If they were to get just one point back, that would effectively relegate Burnley due to Forest’s superior goal difference.

But Nuno said: “It was huge for us and shows a lot after we conceded to react and to go in level at half-time,” he said.

“I’m really happy. Happy for the fans because they supported us and helped us survive the final minutes of the first half.

“We have to keep on going. It is not over. It is a big step but we still have two games to go.

“I think it is an important step (to safety); a very important step. But we still have to prepare and go because it is not over.

“We still have two hard games to play. The next one is going to be very important for us at the City Ground. Let’s try there.”

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