England v Malta: Pictures
England supporters were left furious by Channel 4’s coverage of their side’s 2-0 victory over Malta on Friday night. The Three Lions struggled to impress against a markedly lesser opposition, prompting plenty of criticism from many expecting a goal-fest at Wembley Stadium.
After a shaky start that saw Malta given two clear-cut openings, England took the lead in the eighth minute after excellent work from Phil Foden saw him force an own goal from Enrico Pepe. The Manchester City playmaker received the ball on the edge of the box before weaving his way into the box and attempting to cross the ball to Harry Kane, but his pass struck Pepe and bobbled into the back of the net.
Beyond that moment of magic from Foden, England struggled to create any clear-cut openings and went into the half-time break without a shot on target to their name. Gareth Southgate’s side then doubled their lead in the 75th minute through Harry Kane, after neat work from Foden and Bukayo Saka left the Bayern Munich star with a simple tap-in.
The floodgates looked to have opened after Kane’s strike when Declan Rice curled a magnificent effort into the bottom corner just minutes later, only for VAR to intervene and rule that referee Luis Godinho should rule out the goal.
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Channel 4 viewers were left in the dark as to why VAR ruled out the goal though as the coverage cut into silence, meaning that the commentary team could not explain that Kane was stood in an offside position and in the eye-line of Malta goalkeeper Henry Bonello.
Complaining about the broadcasting blunder, one X user (@dnbentley) wrote: “The cameramen can’t believe we scored another goal so are messing up the coverage deliberately.”
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Another (@MikeDingDong) added: “Think that Declan Rice goal killed the Channel 4 coverage.”
Some were left confused by the silence at such a crucial point in the match and assumed that the commentary team, which included ex-Aston Villa star Dion Dublin, had opted to remain silent rather than explain why Rice had been denied the fourth England goal of his career.
One user (@Darren_Oakley) wrote: “No explanation from the Channel 4 commentary team as to why the England goal was ruled out. Just sat there in silence and perked up again when the game restarted.”
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