‘I asked if the VAR was sleeping… and he told me yes!’: Ruben Neves says referee ADMITTED that Wolves’ missed penalty should have been re-taken due to Sevilla encroachment in Europa League quarter-final defeat

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has revealed that the referee admitted that ‘VAR was sleeping’ as the Midlands club were knocked out of the Europa League on Tuesday.

Raul Jimenez missed a first-half penalty which saw Sevilla defender Diego Carlos encroach on the area and then clear the ball before the Mexican striker could react.

Sevilla ended up winning via an 88th-minute Lucas Ocampos goal and Wolves midfielder Neves said afterwards that he spoke to the referee who told him that the video assistant referee should have intervened with the penalty. 

Ruben Neves says referee admitted that Wolves’ missed penalty should have been re-taken

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves revealed after the game that the referee admitted the mistake

Ruben Neves says referee admitted that Wolves’ missed penalty should have been re-taken

Sevilla defender Diego Carlos (top left) encroached on the penalty and then cleared the ball

‘I asked him [the referee] if VAR was sleeping on the penalty, because the player of Sevilla who took the ball out was inside the box already,’ Neves told beIN Sports. 

‘If you can remember against Man City in the Premier League we had a penalty like this, so I asked him if he was sleeping and he told me yes. 

‘I don’t know why he answered like that because it changed the game. If UEFA make the rules, everyone needs to stick to it. It’s not possible that one game they do one thing and the next game they do another – it does not make sense. If the rules are there, they need to stick to the rules – that’s what happened.’ 

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo also questioned why the kick was not taken again – and refused to blame Jimenez for the error. 

Ruben Neves says referee admitted that Wolves’ missed penalty should have been re-taken

Raul Jimenez’s missed penalty was the first spot kick he has not converted in his Wolves career

Ruben Neves says referee admitted that Wolves’ missed penalty should have been re-taken

Lucas Ocampos broke Wolves’ hearts as he secured Sevilla’s place in the Europa League semis

‘VAR is there,’ said Nuno. ‘If that happens we should ask ourselves why they didn’t [re-take] it. There’s nothing we can do now.

‘It is one fine detail that will make us even sadder about it. Speaking about that now can only make us more frustrated than we already are.

‘Raul is an amazing player. The work, the goals, the talent he has – Raul is a fantastic player.’

Sevilla survived to go through to the semi-finals where they will face Manchester United on Sunday in Cologne.  

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