Bologna coach Thiago Motta blamed VAR Luigi Nasca for ‘another one of his moments’ in the equalising last-gasp Lecce penalty. ‘Football is the loser.’
The Rossoblu had taken the lead at the Stadio Via del Mare thanks to a sensational Charalampos Lykogiannis free kick and wasted numerous other scoring opportunities.
Deep into stoppages, Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone went up for a corner and was hauled down from behind by Riccardo Calafiori, allowing Roberto Piccoli to convert the penalty.
Thiago Motta was understandably irritated during his post-match interviews, though it was not at his own players, but rather the VAR.
“I am not even surprised. The game was already over and we allowed a possibility for Nasca to do another one of his moments,” shrugged the coach on Sky Sport Italia and DAZN.
“I remember he did a few of those with us in the past. There is enormous frustration, as we had played very well and deserved the victory.
“The referee had let play continue, he should’ve finished the game earlier, because we were not time-wasting at all. The referee had done everything right today until those last minutes.”
Although Daniele Doveri had not blown the whistle for a penalty for Calafiori wrestled Falcone to the ground, it was largely because the offside flag had been – incorrectly – raised on the Patrick Dorgu pull-back.
Once VAR confirmed he was not offside, it was able to send Doveri to the on-field review.
“This is an incident where football is the loser. If Doveri allowed play to continue… I have bad luck with Nasca, as he did a similar thing in Spezia–Lazio, and our game in Turin. VAR is a tool that has to be used wisely.
“None of these incidents can demoralise the team. When I look at what happened, I remember my players coming to train all week despite feeling pain and problems.
“It was a good team performance, we must continue battling like this, try to digest what happened and move on.”