A host of referring decisions went against clubs outisde the so-called 'big six' during Saturday's round of Premier League matches, leaving the fans, managers and players of West Ham, Everton, Aston Villa and others fuming.
In one afternoon VAR certainly worked its magic for all the wrong reasons.
Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk only saw yellow for a clumsy studs up challenge on Everton midfielder Amadou Onana, while West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle were all denied perfectly good goals. Leeds also missed out on a late penalty which resulted in head coach Jesse Marsch getting sent off.
David Moyes branded VAR official Jarred Gillett unfit for duty after an expletive-laden confrontation with referee Andy Madley following West Ham's 2-1 loss at Chelsea.
West Ham boss Moyes accused Edouard Mendy of twice faking injury, as his side were denied a draw when Maxwel Cornet's goal was chalked off after a VAR review. Referee Madley awarded the goal, deeming Jarrod Bowen's contact with Chelsea keeper Mendy as no issue before Cornet fired home. Mendy spilled the ball, allowing Cornet the chance to level, but VAR ordered Madley to review the incident on the pitchside monitors and the effort was duly ruled out. An incensed Moyes insisted he had "lost faith" in "weak" Premier League refereeing standards in an extended rant in the wake of the Stamford Bridge defeat.
West Ham star Declan Rice took to social media to vent his own frustrations, posting on Twitter: "That's up there with one of the worst VAR decisions made since it's come into the game. Shambles."
In the 1-1 with Manchester City, Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho fired home a 20-yard strike off the underside of the bar but referee Simon Hooper had already blown his whistle for offside, only for replays to show the Brazilian was in fact onside in the build-up.
Another very bad for VAR yesterday..
- West Ham goal
- van Dijk tackle
- Newcastle goal
- Leeds penalty
- Coutinho goal
Where do we actually go from here because surely it can't carry on like this? It's ruining the game. pic.twitter.com/7U4VAz5DWv
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) September 4, 2022
Villa manager Steven Gerrard says it was a "legitimate goal" ruled out and claims the officials have since recognised they called the offside decision too quickly. "I've gone and spoke to the officials calmly after the game," Gerrard said. "I've given enough time and I've asked for their side of it. "Listen, I always try and understand their side of it. But the referee has blown the whistle too soon. "I know there's a slight rule change in terms of not waiting too long for these whistles and flags. I understand that rule change. "But I think when something is so tight it's worth that little extra bit time and we could have scored a second goal tonight, for sure. "Obviously that moment and those decisions have gone against us but fair play to the officials. They've recognised that in the room afterwards."
Everton boss Frank Lampard claimed that would have been different if Virgil Van Dijk had been shown a red card instead of yellow when he caught Amadou Onana with his studs in the 76th minute.
"I'm surprised it hasn't gone to VAR and they've not made what I think would be the correct decision," Lampard said. "It doesn't matter now but for me it was a red card that would of course changed the face of the last 20 minutes…I think VAR got that one wrong."
— Citi Sports (@CitiSportsGHA) September 3, 2022
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