English Premier League Teams That Have Benefited From VAR – Video Assistant Referee


English Premier League Teams That Have Benefited From VAR – Video Assistant Referee

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be used even more in the 2020/2021 season of the English Premier League, despite its a fair share of controversies in the 2019/2020 debut season. According to a recent survey done by ESPN, “109 goals or incidents” needed the eye of the referee in a technology room. Out of this 109: leading to goals (27), leading to disallowed goals (56), penalties awarded (22), penalties overturned (7), penalties retaken (4), goals ruled out for offside (34), goals awarded after incorrect offside (8), goals ruled out for handball (14), goals allowed after wrong handball (2), red cards (9), and overturned red cards (3).

Manchester United has in the recent past been referred to as ‘VAR-CHESTER’ by fans of opposing teams. This is due to the numerous VAR decisions that have been ruled in their favor during the English Premier League (EPL) games. You remember an incident in January 2020, while playing against Liverpool, a Roberto Firmino goal was disallowed after a foul on David De Gea by Virgil Van Dijk in the 25th minute. On February 17, while taking on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge,  a goal by Kurt Zouma was disallowed for a foul on Brandon Williams by Cesar Azpilicueta in the 55th minute.

Another club that has ripped benefits from VAR decisions is Brighton & Hove Albion. They have had over 8 overturned decisions, 1 more than Manchester United, that have been in their favor. Their recent one was on July 26, playing against Burnley, a goal by Jay Rodriguez was ruled offside in the 57th minute.

Crystal Palace has also found themselves on the right side of the video referee with over 12 decisions overturned in their favor. One of those VAR calls was on July 12, while playing Aston Villa, a penalty was canceled in the 47th minute. Another decision was on February 1, in their match against Sheffield United, where a red card for Joel Ward was rescinded after 74 minutes.

Other EPL teams that have benefited from VAR are Burnley (11 overturns), Newcastle (3 overturns), Southampton (13 overturns), Liverpool (8 overturns), Leicester City (15 overturns), and Tottenham Hotspur (15 overturns).

VAR has not been so kind to Arsenal, Everton, AFC Bournemouth, Chelsea, Watford, Aston Villa, and West Ham United.

In August 2020, during the EPL’s Annual General Meeting, stakeholders agreed to continue using VAR this season. The implementation will be different in certain areas: one of them being the frequent use of pitch-side monitors by the center referee, officials having full attention on how penalties are taken, and having a keen eye on offsides, amongst a host of other changes and modifications to their rules.


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