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Aug 10, 2019 at 3pm UK
Middlesbrough
0-1
Brentford
 
FT(HT: 0-0)
Watkins (54')
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Unhappy Boro boss Woodgate calls for VAR in Championship

:Headline: Unhappy Boro boss Woodgate calls for VAR in Championship:
Unhappy Boro boss feels decisions went against his side.
PA | 2mo

Jonathan Woodgate has called for VAR to be introduced in the Championship after claiming his Middlesbrough side were robbed of two clear goals in their 1-0 home defeat to Brentford.

Ollie Watkins' second-half strike settled things at the Riverside, but Woodgate was left raging at the officials' decision to rule out two first-half efforts from his side.

Ashley Fletcher was penalised for handball after a quick corner from Marvin Johnson ended with the ball in the net, but Woodgate is adamant the final touch came off Brentford defender Julian Janvier, and replays suggest Fletcher was clearly onside 14 minutes later as he raced on to Daniel Ayala's through ball and lofted a shot over David Raya.

Video technology has been introduced into the Premier League this season, but it is still not in use in the Football League, something Woodgate thinks is a unjustifiable anomaly given the financial clout of the Championship.

The Middlesbrough head coach said: "It was two mistakes from the linesman in my view. Ashley Fletcher was two yards onside, and I mean two yards. I can't understand how you can't see that. Then after that, he gives a handball, and it wasn't.

"My view is that VAR is in the Premier League, so why isn't it in the Championship? Why? Is the Premier League more special than the Championship? Not in my eyes.

"This is a league we want to get out of, but big decisions don't go your way, so I'm not happy about it. On the plus side though, I thought my players were absolutely outstanding. Especially in the first half.

"OK, in the second half, especially in the first 10 minutes of the second half, we need to tighten up a little bit. But me being a Middlesbrough fan, I'd have been proud of my team."

Brentford barely created an opportunity before the interval, but Thomas Frank's side were a completely different proposition as they took the game to their opponents in the second half.

Darren Randolph produced a fine save to deny Mathias Jensen, but Brentford claimed the only goal of the game nine minutes after the break as Watkins converted Sergi Canos' low cross.

The Bees lost their opening game of the season at home to Birmingham, and suffered another blow in the week as last season's leading goalscorer, Neal Maupay, left to join Brighton.

However, Frank feels that in Watkins, they boast a ready-made replacement for last season's number nine.

Frank said: "I have big belief in Ollie – he scored a classic number nine goal. We had to sell the best number in the league when Neal left, but now the (new) number nine has scored, so it is a case of job done.

"It is becoming a nice habit to win here, but I was disappointed with us in the first half because we gave the ball away too much, and I was impressed with Middlesbrough.

"We kept throwing the ball away and making bad decisions. At half-time, I said we needed to be much more aware, that we were too soft, and that we had to make better decisions."

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool98102171425
2Manchester CityMan City96122992019
3Leicester CityLeicester9522168817
4Chelsea95221914517
5Arsenal94321312115
6Crystal Palace9423810-214
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs93331513212
8Burnley93331211112
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd933387112
10Bournemouth93331313012
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham93331113-212
12Aston Villa93241513211
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves92521212011
14Manchester UnitedMan Utd9243109110
15Everton9315813-510
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9234912-39
17Southampton9225916-78
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9225514-98
19Norwich CityNorwich92161021-117
20Watford9045521-164
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