To Var or not to Var? That is the question!

VAR RULES AGAIN

As far as this round of Premier League games go there was only one thing on everyone’ mind and that was VAR. Yes, VAR is rapidly becoming the talk of the town (whether you like it or not) and who can blame this tech. My my my, some of the decisions over the weekend were questionable and that’s me putting it mildly.

There were a hand full of games that had the pleasure of VAR intervention but no rewards attained. I’ve just found out that referees can’t actually view and review a contention on the monitor in the league as the FA have yet to sanction it (definitely defeats the objective to be honest). All they have access to is the information being passed through their earphones whereas during the World Cup, the officials were able to run across the turf view the replay in slow motion and make a calculated and informed decision.

Apparently it would take approximately 90 seconds for officials to head to the Referee Review area (RRA) however VAR continues to lead the way forward. After 9 games there have been 19 overturned decisions and over 500 incidents checked by VARs in the Premier League (skysports.com).  I am very much a fan of VAR and believe in what it’s trying to achieve but the weekend’s VAR activity was farcical to say the least.

Tottenham played host to Watford and were looking to bounce back after the disastrous few weeks they’d had. Well you couldn’t blame the Spurs supporters for feeling slightly disappointed after they went a goal down in the 6th minute (Doucoure bursting through the Spurs defence to put the away side ahead). Danny Rose was brought down in the penalty area but no penalty was awarded (VAR??) and this was succeeded by Vertonghen bringing down Deulofeu, yet again no penalty (VAR anyone).

The VAR check clearly shows Vertonghen bringing down the Watford winger only for the referee to overrule VAR and wave the game on (we need some consistency in fairness irrespective of favourability). Credit to Spurs as they endeavored to find an equaliser and get their campaign back on track. Their breakthrough came in the 86th minute when Dele Alli took advantage of a bunder in the Watford defence to slot the ball home and send the Tottenham hopeful into a burst of jubilation (shows you how badly Spurs have been in recent games, for their supporters to be happy with a draw against Watford).

Yet again Alli was adjudged to have handled the ball to gain an advantage before scoring and VAR was required to assist in finding the current ruling. The referee appeared to have given the goal but the VAR screen showed a “NO GOAL” display on the replay screen which left players and fans alike very confused. After a final clarification Alli was awarded the goal which proved to be Tottenham’s equaliser and earned the homeside a valuable point.

Manchester United and Liverpool drew 1-1 with goals from Rashford in the 36th minute for United and Lallana with the leveler for Liverpool in the 85th minute. This result meant Manchester City have now closed the gap to Liverpool to six points having beating Crystal Palace away 2-0. Chelsea continue their winning streak with a home win against Newcastle. Alonso grabbed the only goal of the game for Chelsea, ensuring Lampard’s boys remain in the top four.

There were also wins for both Everton and Leicester who beat West Ham and Burnley respectively. Arsenal meanwhile, lost 1-0 away to Sheffield United thanks to a goal from Mousset whilst Wolves drew 1-1 with Southampton and Aston Villa beat Brighton 2-1.

Thats a very VAR decision!!

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