Premier League referees had a tough time of it over the weekend, with a number of controversial decisions across the 10 fixtures, including some that VAR missed
The use of VAR in the Premier League has again been thrust into the spotlight following another weekend of fixtures in the top flight.
Across the 10 matches that took place up and down the country this weekend, there were as many as six questionable decisions, either awarded or ignored by VAR.
These included contentious penalty calls and horror tackles going unpunished when a red card could have been brandished.
With the referees and VAR officials already coming under pressure for their decisions over the course of the weekend, here are six utterly horrendous VAR decisions from the latest round of matches.
Thiago Silva’s dive
Harry Kane though he had given Tottenham Hotspur the lead during the first half of their London derby against Chelsea on Sunday.
Having controlled Ryan Sessegnon’s cross, Kane slotted the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga, only to then be penalised for a push on Thiago Silva.
As the cross was sent in, the England striker had placed a hand on the back of the Chelsea defender, who threw himself to the floor following the nudge.
Some fans felt Silva had been clever to cause the goal to be disallowed, while others felt the decision was harsh, including Kane who was later seen arguing with referee Paul Tierney in the tunnel.
Ashley Westwood’s stamp
Earlier on Sunday, Burnley were lucky not to be reduced to 10-men as they held Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium.
After being beaten to a loose ball by the Gunners’ Kieran Tierney, Westwood failed to pull out of his attempted challenge and caught the Scottish full-back half way up his leg with his studs.
Luckily, the stamp did not injure Tierney, with Westwood initially shown just a yellow card for the foul before it went to a VAR review.
To the bemusement of Arsenal fans, though, the VAR review agreed with the on-field decision and Westwood avoided an early bath.
Stuart Armstrong’s horror tackle
Another player fortunate to escape with just a yellow card was Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong during Saturday night’s draw with Manchester City.
Armstrong attempted to challenge Aymeric Laporte as Spaniard controlled the ball on his thigh, however, he missed the ball and raked his studs down Laporte’s thigh.
Again, a yellow card was shown before a VAR review for possible serious foul play agreed with the decision of referee Simon Hooper.
Following the match, Laporte took to social media to share an image of the nasty gash he was left with as a result of the tackle.
Matt Doherty avoids a red card
The decision to disallow Kane’s first half goal was not the only controversial use of VAR during the match between Chelsea and Spurs on Sunday.
Earlier in the match, Spurs’ Matt Doherty avoided a red card for a challenge on Malang Sarr that was branded a “disgrace” by fans on social media.
The Irishman challenged Sarr as he played the ball out of defence, catching the youngster with a studs up tackle that resulted in him stamping on Sarr’s shin.
With Sarr left rolling around in pain, Doherty went unpunished with VAR failing to penalise him after referee Tierney had not even awarded a free-kick.
Diogo Jota penalty
With Liverpool narrowly leading Crystal Palace into the closing stages of their meeting, Diogo Jota went down in the penalty area following a collision with Vicente Guaita.
The challenge went unpunished initially, with Palace given a goal kick before a VAR review resulted in a penalty being awarded.
Replays of the incident further added to the anger at the decision, as it appeared Jota moved into the onrushing Palace keeper in order to initiate the contact.
Fabinho stepped up to dispatch the resulting penalty and kill off any hopes of a comeback for the Eagles.
Allan Saint-Maximin denied penalty
The decision to award Liverpool a penalty for the challenge on Jota came as a surprise to Newcastle United fans after Allan Saint-Maximin was not awarded one in their win over Leeds United on Saturday.
The French winger went down inside the area under a challenge from Robin Koch, but, despite a VAR review, the decision remained as no penalty.
Kevin Friend had been the VAR official for that match and was the on-pitch referee for Liverpool’s win over Palace, changing his decision in that match after consulting the pitchside monitor.
Luckily for Newcastle, Jonjo Shelvey’s second half free-kick proved enough to secure their second win of the season at Elland Road.
- Fans Go Wild On Twitter After Eden Hazard’s Performance Against Cadiz After Injury Return
- FA Cup: Becker Revealed who assisted him in saving Azpilicueta, and Mount’s penalties in a 6-5 win
- Possible Chelsea signing is ‘Unbelievable – one of the best in Premier League fans told ahead of potential move
- Antonio Rudiger makes big Chelsea contract admission after becoming a man at Stamford Bridge
- Why Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea Career Could End Just Like Frank Lampard’s