Following Thursday night’s fixtures, the Premier League has admitted incorrect penalty decisions were made by the video assistant referee in all three games. VAR was at the centre of controversy throughout the matches in what was a night to forget for the officials.
VAR Continues to Fail in the Premier League
In what has been a less than convincing first season for the new technology, this has to go down as the worst collective evening to date.
In the early fixtures, the Premier League confirmed Southampton should not have been awarded a penalty in their match against Everton.
Another mistake was made in the Tottenham vs Bournemouth game. According to league officials, Tottenham should have been awarded a spot-kick when Harry Kane was pushed to the ground by Bournemouth forward Joshua King.
The most controversial moment of the evening came at Villa Park. Just seconds after midfielder Trezeguet hit the post for Villa, Man United were awarded a penalty when Bruno Fernandes turned on the ball just inside the area before going to ground after catching Villa defender Ezri Konsa’s leg. Referee Jon Moss saw fit to award a penalty, a decision supported by VAR.
However, on replay, Fernandes appeared to instigate contact and stand directly on Konsa’s leg during the incident. Fernandes himself scored from the spot to set United on their way to a 3-0 victory and leave Villa four points from safety.
The Premier League match centre said “It was the wrong decision. It should have been overturned by VAR but wasn’t and should actually have been a foul on Konsa.” Truly a night to forget for all involved.
In a season which has been scattered with incorrect decisions, there is little doubt VAR hasn’t worked as officials and clubs would have wished. Last night’s horror show was proof that at this late stage in the season they still haven’t mastered the use of the technology.
Although FIFA has declared VAR to be “a universal success”, there have been undoubted problems since it’s inception in the Premier League. Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was certainly left cursing the lack of intervention last night.