STEVEN GERRARD let rip at VAR after seeing his Aston Villa side denied an equaliser at Manchester United after a never-ending review.
But the night could have panned out differently had a second-half Danny Ings strike been allowed to stand.
However, VAR immediately intervened and held up the match for a number of minutes as they checked several incidents.
One was a potential handball by Ings and another was a possible foul by Jacob Ramsey on Edinson Cavani.
But despite a lengthy check, VAR still suggested that ref Michael Oliver take a look at the touchline monitor.
After more time spent reviewing the goal, Oliver and VAR finally concluded that Ramsey had been offside before his block on Cavani.
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Villa were left raging at the decision, which also saw fans fume at the lengthy hold-up – a total of 3 minutes and 45 seconds.
Gerrard had no objections at the decision but fumed over the time it took because Villa lost their momentum.
Gerrard said: “We were pushing for an equaliser, we had the momentum and were in a good place at the time – and that three and a half minutes took a lot of sting out of the game.
“The linesman said it was to do with Jacob impeding Cavani’s run. I’ve heard an array of different things but the disappointment was that it took three and a half minutes just to iron it out.”
Gerrard admitted he was in the dark just like the confused fans in the stadium at Old Trafford – where there are no TV screens – and millions watching on television.
He said: “I don’t think anyone knew in the stadium. But for me now that I’ve heard the reasons why, I don’t think it was that complex to take three and a half minutes to straighten that out.
“It is what it is. When VAR is there and they make a decision you have to accept it. There is nothing you can do to change it. The easy way out is to blame luck and the officials, we won’t do that.”
Former England captain Alan Shearer also blasted the VAR controversy saying: “It’s rubbish. To take three and a half minutes to come to a decision is not acceptable.
“It’s not acceptable for the fans because they have no clue what’s going on, and the players have no idea what’s going on. The communication is hopeless.”
United’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick said: “We had a look in the dugout and when I saw the situation for me it was clear. The player who blocked Edinson Cavani was offside in the very moment when the ball came in.”
Mark Halsey on Villa’s disallowed goal
STEVEN GERRARD will be very frustrated to see Danny Ings’ equaliser ruled out for a block by Jacob Ramsey on Edinson Cavani.
The Aston Villa midfielder did move into Cavani’s path and block the Manchester United striker from heading the ball clear.
Ramsey was standing in an offside position from John McGinn’s free-kick and that is not an offence in itself.
But Ramsey’s movement impacted on the ability of Cavani to challenge for the ball.
That meant the Villa player interfered with an opponent in accordance to Law 11: Offside.
The controversy took far too long for VAR and referee Michael Oliver to come to a decision.
And it’s also not fair that only FA Cup ties at Premier League grounds have VAR and others don’t.
It is bringing the integrity of the competition into question.
Rangnick, who was without Cristiano Ronaldo who has a hip injury, was generally pleased with the response of his team to their defeat against Wolves – even though Villa were the better side for long periods.
He said: “We showed a reaction after the Wolves game, that is what everyone expected from us. To say that this was a perfect game, nobody would believe that of course it was not.
“We still have quite a few things we can get better at but clean sheet was important today and we worked together. There are still a lot of things to improve but it is easier to do that with a 1-0 win.”
Former Liverpool star Gerrard was given a lively welcome from the Old Trafford crowd but he smiled: “It was relatively quiet! I have been to noisier stadiums than this.
“It was a good cup tie, a good atmosphere but in terms of what I got, water off a duck’s back.”
Gerrard will welcome new signing Philippe Coutinho to Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground on Tuesday.
And he says his former Liverpool team-mate, who passed his medical yesterday, could make his debut against United in the Prem on Saturday if he proves his fitness this week.
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