VAR

Premier League tells referees to view replays for red cards
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Premier League tells referees to view replays for red cards

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LONDON — The Premier League has advised its referees to use sideline monitors to make a final ruling on red card decisions.

Through 22 rounds of the first Premier League season with video review, referees have not gone over to the screens at any point to watch replays after being told to use them sparingly. Instead, referees have been relying on feedback from the video assistant referee in a London control room.

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But officials were reminded at a meeting of Premier League referees this week that they should go over to what is known as the “referee review area” when VAR suggests upgrading a yellow card to a red or downgrading a red to a yellow.

It has been a more familiar sight at games in other European competitions, like the Champions League, to see referees watching replays in the stadium.

Pep has Wilder’s back on VAR: ‘Every weekend is a big mess’

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It’s not news that Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder doesn’t like the Video Assistant Referee system.

Wilder was fuming after the referee was in the middle of a Sheffield United giveaway that led to Man City’s opening goal in Sunday’s 2-0 City win over the Blades at the Etihad Stadium.

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And Man City boss Pep Guardiola has his fellow Premier League manager’s back.

From the BBC:

“I said many times I have a huge list to talk about with the guys from VAR. Every weekend is a big mess. In other games today it was a big mess. It’s happened every week, so hopefully next season it can do better.”

Wilder was furious when Jonjo Shelvey was able to score despite a raised offside flag earlier this month, and the decision on Sunday was even tougher to take.

That said, it’s very much in the rules. The referee didn’t touch the ball, which would’ve led to the play blown dead. He was just in the way (see video atop page).

VIDEO: Offside VAR calls lead to Premier League statement

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VAR took center stage on Saturday in the Premier League, as three very similar calls saw three goals chalked off.

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The incidents all came in separate games, as Dan Burn and Teemu Pukki had goals disallowed and Wilfried Zaha’s cross led to Max Meyer’s goal which was ruled out as all three players had half a shoulder, at most, offside.

Needless to say, plenty of fans are in uproar about the decisions, as long delays led to VAR officials disallowing goals as “armpit offside” has now been replaced by “shoulder offside” in the VAR drinking game, PL style.

Below the video of Pukki’s incident is broken down by our crew as the Premier League released a statement on the decision, while there are also still images of Crystal Palace’s disallowed goal and Burn’s goal being chalked off to show just how tight all three goals were.

“After consulting the VAR, Kevin Friend has overturned the goal because Teemu Pukki was offside in the build-up,” the Premier League said in a statement.

Fans and pundits are calling for VAR to stop being used on tight offside goal decisions, but if the technology is there, why wouldn’t we use it?

There is a legitimate argument to be made that the offside rule needs tweaking by IFAB to allow a clear distance between attacking and defending players, but many point to VAR getting it correct as any body part which can score a goal being offside is crystal clear.

We haven’t heard the end of this debate and it will rumble on for many months, if not years, as leading officials have suggested that it will take up to three years for VAR to work correctly and smoothly in the Premier League.

Between now and then, incidents like the ones below will be debated across the globe?

PL AT HALF: VAR saves Spurs two-goal deficit; West Ham equalizes v. Leicester

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We’ve had four goals through two halves of 12:30 p.m. ET kickoffs in the Premier League, but only three have stayed on the scoreboard.

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Teemu Pukki saw a goal controversially taken off the board, but Norwich City still leads Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road.

West Ham United 1-1 Leicester City [ STREAM ]

Brendan Rodgers made nine changes to his Starting XI, but still took the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho‘s header.

The lead didn’t last long, as Felipe Anderson cut a pass back through the 18 to a late arriving Pablo Fornals for a 45th minute equalizer.

Leicester has also seen a Demarai Gray penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel.

Norwich City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur [STREAM ]

Jose Mourinho can thank VAR that his visiting North Londoners aren’t behind two to 20th place Norwich City.

Josip Vrancic had the Canaries ahead when Teemu Pukki burst through the Spurs back line to make it 2-0, but the thinnest of lines pulled the goal off the board.

Lucas Moura’s emphatic strike gives Spurs early lead

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Lucas Moura did the work to give Tottenham Hotspur an early lead in its high-intensity visit to Wolves at the Molineux Stadium.

The 27-year-old Brazilian dribbled through and past defenders in the Wolves box, then produced a vicious strike that left Rui Patricio pawing at oxygen.

[ STREAM: Wolves-Spurs | Man Utd-Everton ]

The 1-0 lead would last to halftime despite some promise from hosts Wolves, and that’s the same score line in Manchester.

It’s a controversial one, as David De Gea failed in a bid to push away a corner while taking a hand to the face from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The ref saw nothing in it, and VAR saw no clear and obvious error after the ball skipped off Victor Lindelof and into the United goal.

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What do you think? Fair play or VAR bungle?