Steven Gerrard has said Fashion Sakala had his shirt pulled by David Bates as Rangers were awarded a controversial penalty against Aberdeen – but believes the introduction of VAR will end a lot of debate over refereeing.
Aberdeen were 2-1 ahead at Ibrox when referee John Beaton awarded the spot kick. After James Tavernier scored from 12 yards to earn the hosts a draw, Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass was adamant that the decision was wrong, and also that a free-kick before Rangers first goal was also incorrect.
The incident sparked widespread debate, with some observers believing that Rangers were fortunate with some decisions that go their way.
“I’ve heard that a lot,” Gerrard said. “It comes from the outside and it normally comes amongst a social media crowd from opposition teams.
“I’m sure VAR would be the next question.
“My point is that 12 months ago everyone was slaughtering VAR and saying it wasn’t good for the game, it’s slow and it’s not even getting the decisions right.
“This year I must say it has improved a lot, I’m enjoying it an awful lot more and I’ll back up what I’ve said many a time. When VAR is in then it’ll take away all of those opposition opinions that are coming in my direction.”
Referring specifically to Wednesday night’s penalty at Ibrox, Gerrard shared his view of the incident but was clear that the match official was the one who made the awards.
He said: “There’s a clear shirt pull. I know the decision you’re referring to.
“There’s a shirt pull. Whether or not that’s enough to be a penalty, that’s John Beaton’s decision, not my own.
“It went our way and I’m sure every manager over the course of a season will say the same thing: Some you get, you’ll feel like maybe the luck went your way, and times you think you should have got something and there’s been a bit of an injustice.
“Over the course of 38 league games, you’re going to get some and then some you won’t.”