Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea all affected in six ‘VAR mistakes’ in Premier League this season

Gabriel Martinelli, October 2022

Arsenal’s disallowed goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford back in September was reportedly one of six major mistakes made by VAR in the Premier League so far this season.

The use of VAR has persistently been a sore subject since its introduction to the Premier League back in June, 2020. The system was designed to eradicate clear and obvious errors, though many feel it’s been overused in borderline situations that did not require intervention.

Furthermore, a report from ESPN now states that on no fewer than six occasions when VAR was utilised, the wrong final outcome was reached.

An independent panel made up of three former players and one representative from both the Premier League and PGMOL was previously established.

Per the report, the quintet have run the rule over all 48 incidents when VAR overturned the referee’s decision this season, and found the wrong call was ultimately made on six occasions.

The most high profile instance relates to Gabriel Martinelli’s disallowed goal against Manchester United during their clash on September 4. Arsenal would go on to lose the contest 3-1 – the Gunners’ sole league defeat this season.

Martinelli believed he’d put Arsenal ahead in the 12th minute while the scores were 0-0. However, the day’s VAR, Lee Mason, advised referee Paul Tierney to disallow the goal due to an apparent foul in the build-up.

The alleged foul was a coming together between Martin Odegaard and Christian Eriksen, though via ESPN, it’s now been acknowledged the collision was not strong enough to warrant a free-kick and Martinelli’s goal should have stood.

“In my opinion, it’s never a foul,” Odegaard said of the decision in the post-match fall0out. “The referee sees it and plays play on.

“It’s a soft challenge and for VAR to come in it has to be clear and obvious. That’s been said a lot of times.

“On the camera, you can always make it look a little bit worse, but, for me, that was never a foul so it’s frustrating.”

Five more VAR mistakes emerge

Another high profile error came in West Ham’s clash with Chelsea on September 3.

Hammers winger Maxwel Cornet believed he’d notched a last-minute equaliser, though Jarrod Bowen was alleged to have fouled goalkeeper Edouard Mendy moments prior.

Replays showed the contact was minimal, but the goal was chalked off nonetheless. David Moyes fumed post-match and today’s revelation the goal should have stood will be scant consolation.

Elsewhere, Douglas Luiz’s red card for violent conduct against Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic was another mistake flagged up. Aston Villa did ultimately get Luiz’s three-game suspension overturned.

Newcastle were another team affected in their clash with Crystal Palace. Tyrick Mitchell’s own goal was chalked off after Joe Willock was adjudged to have fouled Vicente Guiata, but the Magpies midfielder was not at fault, it’s now been claimed.

A penalty awarded to Brentford when facing Nottingham Forest should not have stood. Dean Henderson was deemed to have fouled Yoane Wissa, but the incident is now considered a VAR blunder.

Finally, Lucas Digne’s handball which resulted in the concession of a penalty in Aston Villa’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in August has also been ruled a VAR mistake.

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