16 May 2024

VAR’s high-profile Premier League errors as Wolves push to scrap system

16 May 2024

Wolves have called for the video assistant referee system to be scrapped in the Premier League after being frustrated by several decisions against them.

VAR was introduced to England’s top flight in the 2019-20 season and, five years on, the PA news agency explores five of the most high-profile errors under the system.

Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool September 30, 2023

Liverpool were handed their first defeat of the season in astonishing fashion after VAR failed to intervene with an on-field decision to disallow Luis Diaz’s goal. The Colombia international was clearly onside and audio of the incident revealed communication errors between the officials, with VAR Darren England wrongly thinking the goal had been given, which saw the match continue without intervention. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called for the match to be replayed in the aftermath.

Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham August 14, 2022

Moments before Harry Kane nodded in Spurs’ equaliser from a corner to salvage a rare point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Cristian Romero pulled Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella down by his hair in the box. The goal could not be disallowed after the event as the incident occurred at a previous corner, but VAR Mike Dean later admitted he should have sent referee Anthony Taylor to the pitchside monitor before play was restarted to review for a possible red card to Romero – and therefore a Chelsea free-kick rather than the crucial second corner. The tensions which arose from the fixture saw managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel embroiled in a touchline spat as Taylor showed red cards to the pair.

Manchester United 0-0 Chelsea October 24, 2020

In a forgettable match at Old Trafford, the biggest talking point came after VAR failed to award a penalty after Harry Maguire’s challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta. Maguire appeared to manhandle the Chelsea skipper from behind at a set-piece but the Blues were left disappointed as their appeals for a spot-kick were turned down.

Manchester United 1-0 Wolves August 14, 2023

Andre Onana, who was making his debut for Manchester United, clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic in the final moments at Old Trafford. The goalkeeper misjudged his efforts to claim a high ball as the Wolves striker ended up on the floor. Referee Simon Hooper was not instructed to go to the monitor and Wolves were not awarded a penalty. Manager Gary O’Neil believed Onana “almost took Kalajdzic’s head off” during the incident.

Everton 2-2 Liverpool October 17, 2020

Jordan Pickford’s rash challenge on Virgil van Dijk went unpunished in the Merseyside derby. The Liverpool centre-back missed the rest of the season with a ruptured ACL as the then-champions struggled to compete at the top of the table without his presence.

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