Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers: VAR denies Wolves win in Midlands derby
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: The LED screen displays a no goal decision after a VAR goal check during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at The King Power Stadium on August 11, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers: VAR denies Wolves win in Midlands derby

In a game that was devoid of attacking quality, neither team could find the cutting edge. Instead it was VAR who came out the winner.

will-laing
Will Laing

For the entirety of the match, we were all waiting for a spark to ignite this Midlands derby. However, when it finally came in the form of a scrappy goal that was poked in from six yards out, VAR ripped it away and left the game stranded at 0-0.

Disallowed or not, the only goal of the game came from Wolverhampton Wanderers' Belgian midfielder, Leander Dendoncker, after he rose above his marker, headed the ball against the flailing arm of Willy Boly, and pounced on the resulting loose ball. Only for the goal to be moments later disallowed due to a VAR review.

Leicester City had their own chances, all of which resulting in a wayward shot or a fizzed cross across goal nipping through the box and out the other side for a corner.

Both sides will feel hard done by that they did not find the back of the net at least once in the 90 minutes. The reality is VAR is not to blame, it is but themselves.

The story of the game

In the opening minutes, the home side appeared to take the initiative while Wolves sat back and invited the pressure, almost looking as if they were getting penned in by the Foxes.

The hosts maintained three-quarters of possession in the opening exchanges, gently knocking at what appeared to be a very compact iron door.

It took half an hour for the first chance to make the home fans hearts flutter. A floated Wolves set piece from the right-hand side was met by a rising Ryan Bennett who managed to nod it down to a bumbling Boly, only for his prodded effort to be comfortably dealt with by Kasper Schmeichel.

Shortly after, James Maddison mishit a volley on the edge of the penalty area that fortunately found Youri Tielemans. Eager to impress on his home debut as a permanent signing from AS Monaco, he fired the ball across the goalmouth, and uncharacteristically through the legs of Jamie Vardy.

The first half was was brought to a close perfectly by Diogo Jota. The Portuguese forward found himself brilliantly bounding towards the goal, leaving everyone in the home portions of the crowd wincing in anticipation of falling behind. That was until he tripped and fell at the feet of the relieved Leicester centre half - a perfect way to sum up the first half.

A switch in sides for the second half saw a switch in emphasis from the travelling side.

Almost instantly from the restart, Raúl Jiménez was sent through by a searching long ball from Dendoncker. The Mexican number nine made his way into the opposition penalty area, only to be caught in two minds trying to make his way around debutant defender Çağlar Söyüncü. The result was a far from clinical effort straight into Schmeichel's gloves.

Five minutes into the second half, it appeared as though Wolverhampton had found the breakthrough as Dendocker poached the ball home. The jubilation swiftly switched from the away end to the plastic clappers of the home fans. A VAR review deemed Boly to have handled the ball moments before Dendoncker opened the scoring.

The home fans then erupted in an appeal for a penalty after Bennett struggled to keep up with the pace of Vardy. In an attempt to prevent the onrushing striker, Bennett bundled Vardy to the ground, but referee Andre Marriner waved it away as nothing more than a tangle of legs. 

As the game came to a close, Nuno Espirito Santo saw a perfect opportunity for fresh-faced forward, Patrick Cutrone, to replace a struggling Diogo Jota - in hope of changing their fortunes in the final third.

The King Power Stadium was filled to the brim with tension as 32,000 watched on sensing a goal brewing. That tension was quickly drowned out by a smattering of laughter as ageing centre half Jonny Evans, attempted an overhead kick in a final attempt to turn the ball towards goal.

Andre Marriner finally brought an end to a game that probably still would have been goalless if he let it go on until the sun went down.

The takeaways

Wolves missing the mark

It's fair to say Wolves were far from clinical this afternoon. The travelling side had a total of eight shots on goal but only two of them were on target.

At least three of those chances were ones in which you would have put money on a Europa League side slotting away. Instead, they excruciatingly wasted them, each one being more bereft of quality than the last.

New laws being applied

In the first weekend of VAR being available in the Premier League, it has already brought up controversial decisions that have sparked debate. Whether it be an offside call or in this case a handball, there will always be someone who will argue the contrary.

Many of the Wolverhampton fans will have been bad-mouthing VAR on their short trip back from Leicester - especially if the hurling abuse following the disallowed goal was anything to go by. By the handball law, there is no way you can argue that the goal should stand - but it may well have taken the travelling fans until they were passing Walsall to come to that conclusion.

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