A GARS shoots from the edge of the surface.
Two defenders are rushing in the direction where the defenders should try to block it.
The ball hits one in the chest, bounces off the arm of the other and the danger is averted.
There’s hee-haw the second defender can do about it. He doesn’t know.
However, not only does he receive a penalty against him, but he also receives a yellow card.
If this is what VAR brings to the game, then give me honest officiating errors any day of the week.
Did the whistler in the truck lose Rangers this game? Of course he didn’t. They were masters of their own fall from first to last – and it will now take a very special Ibrox performance, on and off the park, to spare them more misery in the Champions League.
But I’m sorry, the decision to send Bosnian referee Irfan Peljto to the monitor – as always, the moment you know things were taken from him – was a joke.
Yes, if Connor Goldson dives with his arm up and the ball hits him directly, point to the spot all day and twice on Sunday.
What does he intend to do, however, when it ricochets off Ben Davies and blows him up in passing? How does he want to get out of the way?
The Belgians did not appeal for a penalty. The local public did not ask for one. When the ball finally went out of play and the restart was delayed for a VAR check, you assumed it was just a formality.
So you have to wonder where the heck was the clear and obvious error in all of this.
That said, it could easily have been four or five, lousy penalty or not. Until the final seconds, when James Tavernier kicked a Christian Burgess header off the line, they never, ever seemed to come away with anything better than a defeat.
The only positive they can hold on to is that they’ve been so good at home in Europe, their 50,000 followers have been so intimidating to visiting teams, that they certainly can’t get any worse than that.
There were long stretches in this one where you couldn’t easily watch a Saturday lunchtime replay at Spaghettihad.
Small narrow stadium? Check.
The local team in a golden jersey? Check.
The visiting team in a Monegasque change kit? Check.
Starting slow, expediting an extremely avoidable goal? Check.
Forget the Bri-Nylon pitch and the similarities to that league curtain-raiser against Livingston were stark – well, the pitch and the fact that at the time they finally woke up enough to pull off a win.
They barely created a chance. All that pace during the break, all that threat from every angle, all the best bits of last season’s run to the Europa League final were missing.
Too many people looked badly cooked, too few new faces brought in for an outlay of around £13m showed up.
Throughout that incredible run last time under Steven Gerrard and then van Bronckhorst they constantly seemed to score on the road. They rarely stopped running in teams, even reputable teams the size of Dortmund and Lyon.
Last night they all walked except on time.
But you know what?
If any team deserved the night to turn out the way it did, if any team deserved this bit of luck with VAR, it’s surely Union – because if life was fair they wouldn’t have played this tie first Instead, they would have sat watching Brugge take on Rangers for the right to face Monaco or PSV in a shootout with a £40m jackpot to the winner.
But life isn’t fair, which is why despite five points and a 16-point lead after a 34-game regular season – their first in the top flight after 48 years – they were denied the title by rules clearly designed to give the biggest clubs a second chance to claim their rightful riches.
Year after year, our Split results in the ridiculous scenario of the team finishing seventh with more points than the team finishing sixth.
Yet as the irritations go, it’s a dwarf sting compared to the full head-to-toe rash the Belgians suffered thanks to a home setup that robbed them of one of the tales. of fairies to complete them all.
Log on to soccer stats site Soccerbase and they list Union as champions. But that’s not the case, because after those 34 games, the Belgian A League is decided by a group of play-offs between the top four teams – and that’s when Union St Gilloise breathless.
They took seven points from six games in a round robin group between the top four, Brugge took 14 and that was it.
You can only imagine how you would feel if this happened to your team, especially if they had punched above their weight as much as the guys from Stella Artois land.
So maybe in the cold light of day they’ll look at a dodgy VAR call and think it’s a pretty small beer.
Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers on the Scottish Sun football page