Football headlines and news: Fresh VAR calls, Leeds begin life after Thomas Christiansen and Antonio Conte wants Chelsea backing

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After another eventful weekend in the world of football, we look at the top three stories dominating Monday’s headlines.

Dive-gate: A new case for VAR

More calls have been made for VAR after an eventful final few minutes in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah’s injury-time strike looked to have sealed the Reds a victory before Spurs were awarded a penalty after Virgil van Dijk’s foul on Erik Lamela.

Harry Kane was the villain as he successful converted, shortly after he had his first penalty – controversially given by Jon Moss – saved by Loris Karius.

But it was the awarding of the first spot-kick which was the biggest talking point.

Referee Jon Moss ruled Tottenham’s England international had been brought down after the slightest of touches from goalkeeper Loris Karius after being controversially allowed to play on despite being in an offside position.

Moss’ decision came after a lengthy discussion with assistant Eddie Smart and the TV cameras picked up their discussion where Moss himself did not seem sure before awarding it anyway.

 

Referees’ conversation in full:

Eddie Smart: “All I need to know is, did Lovren touch the ball?”

Jon Moss: “I don’t know.”

Eddie Smart: “If he’s not touched the ball, it is offside, so you’re chalking off the penalty. It has to be offside if Lovren has not touched the ball.”

Christian Eriksen: “He did touch the ball.”

Emre Can: “He didn’t touch the ball.”

Jon Moss: “Just talk to me again.”

Eddie Smart: “You know what I’m asking; I need to clarify, has Lovren touched the ball? If he has, it’s a deliberate action and, therefore, it’s a penalty. If he has not, it is offside.”

Jon Moss: “I have no idea whether Lovren touched the ball to be honest with you. Martin, have you got anything from TV? I’m giving the penalty.”

Leeds in the hunt for a new manager

Sky Bet Championship play-off chasers Leeds United are back in the market for a new manager after sacking Thomas Christiansen on Sunday evening.

The Dane’s eight-month reign came to an end after a seven-game winless run, leaving them seven points adrift of the Sky Bet Championship’s top six.

 

The West Yorkshire side are expected to make a swift appointment within 24 hours. Steve McClaren is the current favourite but local reports suggest it will not be the former England boss.

Leeds fans appear split over Christiansen’s departure, with some believing he was unfortunate with injuries and suspensions while others think he was a nice guy who was out of his depth.

 

Antonio Conte wants Chelsea pledge

Antonio Conte has called for public backing from Chelsea in order to quash constant speculation about his future as manager.

The Italian, who won the Premier League title in his first year in England, has had an inconsistent second season with the Blues and he was outspoken about their transfer dealings in January.

There have been persistent rumours about his job being under threat and he has repeatedly expressed his desire to honour the remaining 18 months of his contract.

Conte – who was last week linked with a return to managing the Italy national team – would now like a public vote of confidence from his employers to help silence talk of him departing Stamford Bridge.

Next permanent Chelsea manager

Luis Enrique – 5/2

Massimiliano Allegri – 9/2

Diego Simeone – 5/1

Carlo Ancelotti – 6/1

Maurizio Sarri – 8/1

Thomas Tuchel – 10/1

Mauricio Pochettino – 12/1

Brendan Rodgers – 14/1

Guus Hiddink – 16/1

Zinedine Zidane -16/1

“Maybe I’d like that the club prepare a statement for me to tell (the media), ‘I trust in his job, I trust in his work’,” said Conte.

“But at the same time I know that in the past it never happened, this, and for this reason why would I hope for something different?

“For sure, I think that I’d like to have a statement to support against this speculation.”

Conte’s side go into Monday evening’s clash at Watford as odds-on favourites with Sky Bet. You can back the Blues to win 3-1 at a price-boosted 14/1 – see more here.

 

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