Premier League refs chief: Four mistakes past two Match Days

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VAR overruled four correct on-field decisions in the past two match days of Premier League play, says referees chief Mike Riley.

All four decisions were massively controversial when they happened, including a baffling pull back of an Arsenal would-be winner against Crystal Palace.

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“Part of the balance of understanding ‘clear and obvious’ [the terminology used to determine when an on-field error should be overturned] is that there will be times when we don’t intervene and everyone thinks we should,” said Riley. “But that is a better place to be than intervening and everyone saying ‘you shouldn’t have done that’.”

The four instances are:

  1. Michael Keane‘s “foul” on Aaron Connolly to give Brighton an equalizer from the penalty spot in what eventually became a 3-2 loss for Everton.
  2. Manchester United were awarded a penalty when VAR saw Ben Godfrey‘s challenge of Daniel James as a penalty against Norwich City.
  3. Arsenal’s Calum Chambers was said to have fouled Luka Milivojevic of Crystal Palace while winning a ball for Sokratis Papastathopoulos‘ would-be third Gunners goal in a 2-2 draw.
  4. Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu was awarded a penalty after minimal contact from Jorginho in a 2-1 Chelsea win.

Two of those calls were relatively inconsequential to the result, as Chelsea and Manchester United had comfortable wins in instances 2 and 4, but Arsenal and Everton will feel they should have two and three more points, respectively.

That would have Arsenal six points back of the Top Four, not eight, while the Toffees would be seventh instead of 15th.