Cast your mind back to the opening day of the Premier League season. Leeds United vs Wolves. Elland Road. An amazing atmosphere on show as the crowd looked to inspire Jesse Marsch’s side back into the game after an early Daniel Podence strike.

Ultimately, Leeds turned the game around and did secure the three points. And few might have been more relieved about the result than the officials in charge of the game that day.

While the score was 1-0, Leeds won a free-kick 40 yards from goal. Too far out to have a go, Jack Harrison lifted the ball towards the back post to find Rasmus Kristensen in plenty of space.

Messi penalty
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Kristensen – who was making his debut – headed the ball back across the goal. However, while the Dane was in the air, he was clattered by Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa.

The referee did not stop the game for a little while, seemingly not seeing anything wrong with the Portuguese’s challenge.

Thankfully, we have VAR. So, after seeing a replay of just how reckless Sa’s challenge was, it seemed inevitable that the decision would be overturned and Leeds would be awarded a penalty.

Somehow however, the VAR agreed with the referee’s decision and nothing was given.

So why, almost four months later, am I mentioning this incident which ultimately did not cost us a win?

Messi wins World Cup penalty after baffling decision

Well, while watching Argentina’s win over Poland at the World Cup, you could not help but notice the similarities between that challenge from Sa on Kristensen, and the clash between Wojciech Szczesny and Lionel Messi.

Messi penalty
Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Crucially however, there were two major differences as Szczesny caught Messi in the first-half.

Firstly, there was a lot less force from Szczesny, who did catch Messi in the face with his hand.

And secondly, the penalty was actually given.

Thankfully for Poland, justice was done as Szczesny saved the penalty brilliantly moments later.

But the two incidents highlight exactly why everyone gets so frustrated with VAR.

Of course, we have to be prepared to accept that humans make errors. However, there is some distance between the force Kristensen was hit with by Sa’s entire body, and the hand which caught Messi in the face.

It is extremely petty to bring up what happened against Wolves. But fans of every club have these moments which leave you completely baffled.

Messi winning a penalty on Wednesday was definitely one for those of us who remember what Sa got away with.