VAR is once again under the microscope following a Premier League weekend pockmarked by nonsensical decisions which enraged managers.
A Premier League call to investigate those incidents has led to an admission from PGMOL that certain decisions were mistakes.
The decisions in question – Cornet’s disallowed goal against Chelsea and Newcastle’s disallowed winner are only the most high profile.
There was also a disallowed winner for Aston Villa against Man City and a disallowed opener for Arsenal at Old Trafford.
At Stamford Bridge, the away side were denied a late equaliser. The apparent foul on Edouard Mendy by Jarrod Bowen was simply not a breach of the rules.
In Newcastle, Joe Willock was clearly pushed into the goalkeeper he was accused of fouling.
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice later called it “one of the worst VAR decisions since it came into the game”.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe said: “It was a perfectly good goal in my opinion.”
The disallowed Arsenal goal, while not peculiar or particularly controversial, best underlines the frustrations with VAR.
Martinelli’s goal was chalked off due to a foul by Martin Odegaard on Christian Eriksen on the halfway line. Nobody has a problem with that challenge being considered a foul – Eriksen was impeded.
However, the referee saw the incident in real time and decided to let it go. As it was a soft foul, there was no need for VAR to get involved.
A video review is supposed to be for ‘clear and obvious’ errors only. It is not intended to be used for finding any possible reason to take away a goal. If Martinelli hadn’t finished the chance, the incident wouldn’t have been flagged. So it’s only a foul if it’s a goal?
The Premier League is the only league in Europe that still has trouble with the implementation of the new technology. With PGMOL openly admitting to mistakes, expect further scrutiny in the weeks ahead.