FC Barcelona were left with much to ponder after a controversial call denied them the opportunity to potentially snatch a point against Inter Milan on Tuesday night. Los Blaugrana thought they had earned the chance to go level with the host but were hard done when a handball in the area by the host's Denzel Dumfries was dismissed by VAR.
The night's affair took many dramatic twists and turns and, eventually, it was Inter who fired themselves into the driver's seat against the run of play. After seeing his warning shot from 30 yards being saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the seventh minute, Hakan Calhanoglu caught the German goalkeeper off-guard and delivered a piledriver from outside the penalty area to hand his side the lead before half-time.
In the second half, Simeone Inzaghi's men had another opportunity to extend their lead via a spot-kick after Lautauro Martinez's goal-bound effort had hit Eric Garcia's arm. However, a pitch-side review revealed that the the former had been offside in the build-up of the play.
While the legitimacy of the call was being questioned by fans, the biggest scandal of the encounter arrived. Earlier in the 68th minutee, Barcelona thought they had levelled the score but saw Pedri's strike being chalked off after a VAR review showed that the ball struck Ansu Fati's hand before reaching the the midfielder.
The biggest talking point has been the technology's role in denying Los Blaugrana what many thought was a blatant penalty. In stoppage time, play was stopped as officials reviewed a potential handball in the penalty box from Inter's Denzel Dumfries. The Dutchman had redirected a cross away from Ansu Fati in his attempt to head the ball away.
However, the match referee did not award a spot-kick the way of the visitors. According to the Sun, the Barcelona players were reportedly told that the reason the decision did not go in their favor was because the ball hit Ansu Fati's hand, after making contact with Dumfries'.
Esto NO fue penal para Barcelona en Italia. ¿Qué te parece? pic.twitter.com/oWZ2JgNDSt— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) October 4, 2022
Barcelona full-back Sergi Roberto was left disappointed and furious after the game. The 30-year-old Spanish international hit out at the lack of consistency within officiating.
"I'm angry. Every year it changes," he said. Neither the players nor they [referees] know what to blow for."
He added: "From the new rules they explained to us at the start of this season, Ansu's handball is involuntary, and Pedri's goal is legal."
Fans have since taken to social media to air out their grieverances with the match result leaving Barcelona in third place with just three points from three games.
Barcelona have been ROBBED by VAR. https://t.co/UgXzePoXWG— BARCA MEDIA (@Barca_Media_) October 4, 2022
VAR is the most worthless tool in this sport. No two calls are ever the same. Barcelona had a goal called back for the exact same thing earlier, but nothing is called on this obvious handball. https://t.co/sXlpaPxREA— Ash Mezzell (@AshMezzell) October 4, 2022
Barcelona were atrocious and, in all honesty, I can't say we deserved anything from this game. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that some of those VAR calls were downright scandalous.— Neal (@NealGardner_) October 4, 2022
Life for Barcelona in Group C would look veeeery different if the VAR would do his job properly.— Alex Truica (@AlexTruica) October 4, 2022
Barça feel robbed now twice in two crucial games - pretty rightfully so I'd say. https://t.co/a7oBi55uyl
Barcelona were clearly robbed tonight. That was a clear penalty, even after the VAR check, it wasn't given. Very bizarre decision.— footie fantasy (@FootieAdFantasy) October 4, 2022