Referees’ body PGMOL has acknowledged the VAR incidents at Chelsea and Newcastle on Saturday as mistakes, after the Premier League asked the officiating board to investigate them.
Saturday’s Premier League action was marred by a series of decisions that were either overturned thanks to the intervention of VAR or not given despite the presence of the review system, which infuriated managers of multiple teams, who were unable to contain their feelings post-match.
After the Premier League called for an investigation into the circumstances around key decisions at Stamford Bridge and St James’ Park, Sky Sports News understands the PGMOL believes errors were made in the incidents that denied West Ham and Newcastle goals.
In west London, West Ham were denied a late equaliser when Maxwel Cornet’s goal was chalked off after a VAR review judged that Jarrod Bowen had fouled Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy in the build-up.
Hammers midfielder Declan Rice later called it “one of the worst VAR decisions since it came into the game”.
Meanwhile, in the North East, Newcastle had what would have been a winning goal disallowed for a foul by Joe Willock on Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita – despite Tyrick Mitchell pushing Willock into Guaita.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said: “It was a perfectly good goal in my opinion.”
Other incidents on Saturday included:
- Leeds not being awarded a penalty for a tackle on Crysencio Summerville by Aaron Hickey in their defeat at Brentford.
- Philippe Coutinho’s goal against Manchester City being disallowed after the assistant referee incorrectly flagged for offside, with VAR unable to overturn the decision as the whistle was blown before the ball went in.
There have been other flashpoints over the first weeks of the season. Chelsea were the victims of an incorrect call last month, with Mike Dean – who was on VAR duty at the time – later admitting he should have advised a red card for Spurs defender Cristian Romero after he pulled Marc Cucurella’s hair at a corner.
Dean claimed in a newspaper column he had just a “few seconds” to review the incident, despite taking more than a minute to decide Romero had no case to answer.
Antonio Conte was left perplexed by VAR decisions that went against his side against both Nottingham Forest and West Ham, with the Spurs boss questioning whether the Premier League should get rid of the system completely as “no one is happy” with it.
Premier League to voice concerns in usual VAR weekly review
Key match incidents from each Premier League game are reviewed weekly as part of a newly-formed independent panel. The process started this season.
The panel includes a representative from PGMOL and the Premier League, as well as three former players.
Outcomes are subsequently shared with clubs for transparency.
The Premier League has been left unimpressed with VAR controversies this weekend and will share those concerns at the review this week.
Moyes: I’ve lost faith in VAR
West Ham manager David Moyes was scathing in his assessment of VAR Jarred Gillett for his decision to advise referee Andy Madley to go to the screen to take another look at Cornet’s late equaliser.
“The goalkeeper comes to take it and fumbles it out of his hands,” said Moyes. “Then he acted as if it was a shoulder injury. I’m amazed that VAR sent the referee to the screen.
“I thought when I saw it, ‘Even if he goes to the TV, there’s no way he’s overturning this’. It was a ridiculously bad decision.
“I think I question VAR today as much as the referee. The referee should have stuck to his own guns and been big enough to do what he said.
“I’ve had a chance to look at three or four angles, which they have, so there is no excuse for VAR. Today there is no excuse for that not to be a goal, none whatsoever.
“The sad thing is that this is the level of our elite refereeing at the moment. The goalkeeper tried to do the same thing with the first goal as well, he tried to fake an injury for the first goal as well.
“They’ve got new people in charge. I’ve lost faith in them today.”