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Henry furious after VAR ‘stops working’ in latest Monaco loss

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Monaco’s French coach Thierry Henry (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)

Beleaguered Monaco coach Thierry Henry claimed that VAR stopped working during his struggling side’s 5-1 thrashing at home by Strasbourg on Saturday, saying that they should have been awarded a penalty.

Henry told reporters, “I have a scoop for you” as he entered his post-match press conference after a humiliating defeat which left the principality club second-bottom in the Ligue 1 table and three points from safety.

“There was a foul on (winger) Rony Lopes in the box when it was 2-1,” said the 41-year-old. “The fourth official told me: ‘I’m really sorry Mr Henry, but VAR isn’t working’.”

Monaco had been on the wrong end of a controversial VAR decision in midweek, when Nice’s Youcef Atal won a penalty despite appearing to take a dive in their 1-1 draw.

“If it was a penalty for Atal, then it was 10,000 times a penalty for Rony Lopes,” said Henry.

“So I would like to know why VAR wasn’t working for Monaco, and then started working again just after. Bizarre.

“We created a penalty where he (Strasbourg midfielder Jonas Martin) is late. He takes his leg… I need to be told why it wasn’t working on a blatant penalty.”

Monaco were made to pay for their own mistakes by Strasbourg, with Brazilian defender Naldo sent off in the seventh minute and his fellow new signing Cesc Fabregas gifting the visitors their third goal by losing possession inside his own area.

But Henry insisted that the result was down to the brief lack of VAR.

“Yes (you can put the result down to a refereeing error). At that time, we came back with 10 men against a team that was starting to doubt,” the former Arsenal great said.

His Strasbourg counterpart Thierry Laurey confirmed that the officials told the coaches that VAR was briefly not functioning.

“I put myself in Thierry’s place, but there are times when technology doesn’t work,” he said.

“It’s already happened in Ligue 1 in one or two matches… That’s not why you’ll win a match.”

It was perhaps the worst day of his short managerial career so far for Henry, with his team, French champions in 2017 and runners-up last term, still winless at home in the league this season.

Several players, led by goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and captain Radamel Falcao, were seen arguing with fans at the Stade Louis II long after the final whistle.


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