The technology reversed a potential penalty against the hosts for a foul on Marcelo, while their keeper also dodged a red card
Zinedine Zidane’s men had enjoyed a stellar first half at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Karim Benzema putting them 1-0 up after 17 minutes.
Despite all their dominance, however, the hosts ended the opening 45 minutes facing a potentially game-changing reversal of fortunes.
Mauro Icardi broke clear of the Madrid defence and was clumsily brought down by Thibaut Courtois, albeit with the Argentine going down rather eagerly.
Referee Artur Soares Dias’ first reaction was to show Courtois the red card, before deciding to consult with VAR over whether the foul took place inside the area – an outcome that would have seen a penalty given to PSG but the goalkeeper’s punishment reduced to a yellow under the current guidelines.
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But there was a further twist: VAR footage showed that much earlier in the build-up Marcelo had been felled by an illegal push, leading Soares to bring back play to that original infringement and overlook the subsequent foul on Icardi entirely.
There was no doubt that Marcelo had been fouled, but the bewilderment of the PSG squad in seeing a golden chance slip away was only matched by a flood of (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) criticism from confused social media users.
Stinking VAR decision in the Real Madrid game. Must be a conspiracy against PSG.
— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) November 26, 2019
Courtois is shown a red card, but VAR overturns it for an earlier foul on Marcelo. Crazy scenes in Madrid! 😵 pic.twitter.com/BkqWmdwWXD
— Goal (@goal) November 26, 2019
Wow!! PSG awarded a penalty, Courtois sent off. Referee pulls play back after a VAR check to award Madrid a foul for the absolute slightest of push from Gueye on Marcelo earlier in the move. Proper bottle job
— Andrew Cesare (@AndrewCesare) November 26, 2019
VAR is shite!!!! Anyone watching the Madrid game. Ridiculous
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) November 26, 2019
VAR destroying families in the Madrid vs PSG game
— Matt (@MGH) November 26, 2019
Possible the biggest farce ever with VAR in the Real Madrid and PSG match, ref bottled it because it’s Real and gave them a soft free rather then sending off Courtois and a penalty to PSG
— John O Sullivan (@Corballyred) November 26, 2019
Real Madrid don’t conceded a penalty, have the red card reversed & a free-kick given in their favour thanks to VAR.
Someone will blame this on Liverpool.
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) November 26, 2019
Absolute assault on Marcelo. Lucky he hasn’t broken his back. Clear foul. No goal. No red. Free kick Real Madrid. Play on. 1-0. #RMPSG
— VAR (@VARHUB) November 26, 2019
Courtois SENT OFF.
Free-kick to REAL MADRID.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) November 26, 2019