The Worst VAR Mistakes in the Premier League

The 2019/20 Premier League season proved to be historic in more ways than one. Not only were Liverpool shaping up to win the Premier League title for the first time, but a video assistant referee (VAR) system was to be utilised and then COVID-19 would shut down the competition by springtime. However, VAR was undeniably the most controversial of the three, with questionable decisions causing punters to lose money with online sportsbooks.

VAR Inhibits the Champions

After winning the Premier League in 2019/20, it has been a season to forget for Liverpool. Following 34 matches, the Reds were seven points adrift of the Champions League spots after losing nine and drawing nine. And the fans can point to VAR as an issue, based on the fact that seven goals have chalked off following a review by officials.

At the same time, it would be difficult to argue that Liverpool would win the league if those seven goals had been permitted. After all, this has been a tumultuous season in which Jürgen Klopp has attempted to weather an injury crisis. And the biggest loss of all was the knee injury suffered by world-class centre-back Virgil van Dijk, who is widely considered to be the best in the world at his position.

Bonuses Can Help Punters Rebound

With VAR resulting in unjust and incorrect outcomes, it comes as no surprise that some unfortunate punters have been forced to pay the price for poor officiating. For the punters who have been frustrated by VAR, it’s fortunate that there are many different bonuses available that can help them get back on their feet. For example, here’s a handful of the more common online sports bonuses out there in the marketplace:

  • Reload bonuses – The simplest offer to look for is a reload bonus. With this option, the punter can deposit fresh funds into their account and then receive a bonus to reinforce their bankroll;
  • Bonus bets – These vary from reload bonuses as you need to fulfil specific requirements. For example, you could have to place a bet of £10 or more and on odds of even or higher to trigger a bonus bet. The bonus bet is provided after the fact and the funds disappear when the offer is used, leaving behind any winnings if they have been generated;
  • Betting clubs – There can be weekly initiatives in which a punter can place eligible bets to receive a complimentary bonus once the promotional period has ended. Rather and earn a bonus bet all at once, this can be done over a series of bets;
  • Cashback – When a user opts-in for a cashback bonus, they can receive a percentage of their losses back as complimentary funds. Please note that these bonuses typically require a complete loss of the user’s funds.

Liverpool – Seven Goals Denied

According to ESPN, no Premier League club has had more goals disallowed this season than the seven goals denied to Liverpool. In fact, there was an away match against Brighton in which the Reds were denied a Mohammed Salah goal for offside the 35th minute and then Sadio Mané in the 85th minute. One bad VAR decision in a match is already frustrating without a second one occurring.

Mané – an Elbow Offside?

One of the most egregious moments that impacted Liverpool was when Mané spun onto a through-ball from Thiago Alcântara and then crossed for captain Jordan Henderson to score a last gasp winner away against local rivals Everton. VAR, however, had other ideas and the fans were forced to watch as an official drew a yellow line on the screen to indicate that Mané was onside yet proceeded to determine that a microscopic hair on the forward’s elbow was offside. Ultimately, the match ended 2-2 and Liverpool were robbed of two points.

Giovanni Lo Celso – No Red Card

In the 2019/20 season, Tottenham Hotspur’s Giovanni Lo Celso went into a challenge against César Azpilicueta and clearly stamped on the Chelsea captain’s right leg. The referee on the pitch had failed to see the incident and spectators were left willing VAR to do justice. However, nothing happened – VAR reviewed the incidents, as did the TV viewers at home, who repeatedly saw Lo Celso stamp on Azpilicueta’s leg. Fortunately, Azpilicueta escaped without receiving a career-ending injury.

Érik Lamela – No Red Card

As of the 2020/21 season, Érik Lamela is 29 years old. Having arrived for an initial £25.8 million from Roma, as funded with a portion of the £85.3 million record fee that was received for Gareth Bale in 2013. Despite isolated moments of flair, Lamela has struggled for consistency. However, he hasn’t struggled for controversy. When playing Manchester United in October 2020, Lamela discretely struck Antony Martial in the face with a forearm. Incensed, Martial raised his hands in retaliation. Despite watching the incident in full, VAR was content that only a red card was shown to Martial.

Eric Dier – an Unjust Penalty

The 2020/21 season began with a litany of handball penalties that were granted by VAR despite no action being taken by the referees on the pitch. The worst example came in September 2020 when Tottenham defender Eric Dier was jumping in the air and conceded a penalty when Newcastle United striker Andy Carroll headed the ball against his hand. Many analysts saw the penalty as the moment when the Premier League finally deigned to relax their approach to calling penalty kicks against accidental handballs.

Embarrassing Display in Man Utd vs. Chelsea

When VAR was called on to review a clear handball by Callum Hudson-Odoi, the official was uncertain and didn’t give the penalty. Later in the game, the VAR official wasn’t too embarrassed to call a penalty against Man Utd captain Harry Maguire, who had both arms around Azpilicueta and threw the defender to the floor during a set-piece.

Bamford – Another Offending Body Part

The 2020/21 campaign has witnessed an absurd number of disallowed goals by VAR officials who found offence with shoulders, elbows, and knees. One of the most frustrating came in in November when Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford used his arm to call for a through-ball and was then denied an excellent goal by VAR. When reviewing the goal, out came a red line up to Bamford’s elbow.

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