Arsenal decisions among eight VAR howlers PGMOL have admitted to

Mikel Arteta reviews Arsenal v Brentford

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Arsenal fans would have felt aggrieved about how another VAR decision went against them in their draw against Brentford – and the admission from PGMOL that the decision was incorrect will only rub salt into the wound as it cannot be changed. But it is simply the tip of the iceberg as far as how many blunders have been made when using the controversial video system this season.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s 1-1 draw, which saw the Gunners miss the chance to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table, it emerged that VAR should have deemed Ivan Toney’s late equaliser to have been ruled out for offside against Christian Norgaard.

It is understood that the VAR official, Lee Mason, did not fully investigate an offside decision against Brentford’s Norgaard during the build-up to Toney’s leveller at the Emirates Stadium. His mistake led a former professional referee, Keith Hackett, to demand Mason’s sacking, and Mikel Arteta confirmed a complaint had been issued on behalf of the club to the organisation that handles referee and VAR appointments, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).

An independent panel, made up of three former players and one representative for both the Premier League and PGMOL, usually assesses all key match incidents across a weekend and reports to clubs later in the week. 

But an emergency meeting reportedly held by Webb suggested quicker action needed to be taken. After reviewing both incidents, PGMOL issued a statement admitting that “human error” contributed to the wrong decision being made and vowed to launch a review of the two VAR decisions.

“PGMOL can confirm its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted both Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday.

“Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed by PGMOL.”

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That will have little consolation for the Arsenal players and fans though, who saw their side drop two crucial points to Brentford. It is hardly the first time the north London side have found themselves on the wrong side of a divisive VAR call either.

Earlier this season, Gabriel Martinelli was denied a goal to put Arsenal ahead against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the 12th mintue when the game was still goalless. Mason, who was coincidentally the VAR once again, advised referee Paul Tierney that the goal should be ruled out for a foul in the buildup by Martin Odegaard on Christian Eriksen and the goal was chalked off.

United went on to win the game 3-1, condemning Arsenal to their first defeat of the season, leaving the Gunners to wonder what might have been. It means PGMOL have now admitted there have been eight decisions that have been the wrong calls under VAR, and some clubs like Arsenal have fell victim on multiple occasions.

The eight incorrect VAR decisions

Arsenal 1-1 Brentford

Ivan Toney’s equaliser in the 74th minute was allowed to stand despite Christian Norgaard coming back from an offside position. The decision denied Arsenal two points.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton

The visitors felt they had taken the lead when Pervis Estupinan was ruled to have been offside, but the lines were drawn wrong on VAR meaning Marc Guehi was not spotted. The score was 0-0 at the time.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa

Penalty conceded for handball by Lucas Digne in the 55th minute. The score was 1-1 at the time.

Chelsea 2-1 West Ham

Maxwel Cornet goal disallowed for an adjudged foul in the build-up by Jarrod Bowen on Edouard Mendy. The 90th minute call denied West Ham a point.

Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli goal disallowed in the 12th minute for a foul in the buildup by Martin Odegaard on Christian Eriksen with the score at 0-0.

Newcastle 0-0 Crystal Palace

Tyrick Mitchell own goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up by Joe Willock on Vicente Guaita in the 51st minute, which would have handed Crystal Palace all three points.

Fulham 3-0 Aston Villa

Douglas Luiz was sent off for violent conduct against Aleksandar Mitrovic in the 61st minute. Score was 2-0 at the time.

Nottingham Forest 2-2 Brentford

Penalty awarded for a foul by Dean Henderson on Yoane Wissa in the 45th minute. Bryan Mbuemo scored the resulting penalty when it was 1-0 to Forest.

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