• Christian Marchetti

Three conclusions as Macarthur and Wellington play out controversial draw

Macarthur and Wellington have played out a controversial 1-1 draw at Campbelltown Stadium, where VAR was front and centre for the first time this season.


Here are our three key conclusions from the 1-1 draw.


Do Macarthur have a plan B?


It's no secret that Ante Milicic favours a possession-based, attacking style with the Bulls.


However, when they don't have the ball, they look vulnerable.


Wellington penetrated the Macarthur defence at will in the first half, with Ulises Davila and David Ball particularly causing problems.


Even last week against the Mariners, the two goals they conceded both came from wide areas.


The scorer on both occasions was left completely unmarked in the box.


Macarthur does not have an aggressive enough press in place.


The midfield three today of Beñat, Mark Milligan and Denis Genreau were chasing shadows for most of the game.


The red card for Alex Rufer turned the tide, and without it, the Phoenix might have cruised to three points here.


The last two games have shown a defensive instability that the manager needs to address as soon as possible.


Ridiculous Rufer Red


I have arguably been VAR's number one fan in the A-League this season.


However, today's decision to award a red card for Rufer in the second half was a real shocker.


The midfielder's boot barely lifted up against opposite number Genreau.


If you watch the replay, the 24-year-old has his eyes closed during the action.


Most fans wonder whether the red was for the initial challenge, or the supposed raised boot straight afterwards.


But was this decision a VAR issue, or just awful refereeing?


The technology provides a replay; it does not make the decision.


Therefore, it is Steven Lucas' job of interpreting the evidence given to him by VAR.


The process is just like a judge interprets the law to bring down a just decision in court.


The other thing is that it is questionable if the incident was 'clear and obvious'.


I'm not a fan of the whole 'clear and obvious' barometer anyway, but if that is what we're following than referees have to ask that question before making any decision.


This decision must be reviewed by officials and changes made in the coming weeks.


Calm the hype


It was all a bit reactionary after Lachlan Rose's debut against the Wanderers last week.


The way some pundits were acting, you would think he was already on the fast-track to Europe.


Yes he has come from the NPL 2 in Victoria, and yes he showed glimpses of promise, but others have impressed just as much without the same kind of praise.


It is questionable whether Rose has been that impressive at all.


He brings a lot of energy and pace.


However, his quality on the ball is severely lacking.


The likes of Valentino Yuel and Yaya Dukuly look more A-League ready at the moment.


Time will tell whether these comments look ridiculous in a few months.