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Ranking the Premier League clubs by who was most affected by VAR

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Ranking the Premier League clubs by who was most affected by VAR

The 2021-22 season was the third campaign where we had VAR in the Premier League – but it continued to divide opinion and cause controversy. 

Thanks to the excellent work of ESPN, we’ve ranked every Premier League club from who benefited most to who had the most decisions go against them when VAR has overturned an on-pitch decision.

Note: we’ve only included figures that relate to overturned decisions only so do not include VAR referrals that have upheld the officials’ original decisions.

Liverpool +4

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah will have mixed feelings about VAR after it disallowed his goal against Burnley but awarded his goal against Brentford following incorrect offside decisions.

The Reds were awarded a penalty against Chelsea after VAR spotted a handball on the line by Reece James, who was also sent off. 

Liverpool’s historic 5-0 win over Manchester United was made even easier when Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for offside and Paul Pogba’s yellow card was upgraded to red.

Sadio Mane scored one legitimate goal in their 2-2 draw with Brighton but also saw a goal ruled out for handball in the build-up.

Despite initially being shown a yellow card, Andy Robertson received his marching orders for a reckless tackle on Emerson Royal during Liverpool’s draw with Tottenham.

Liverpool won a controversial penalty against Crystal Palace after Diogo Jota collided with Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita inside the area and the referee was told to review the incident.

Jota won another penalty in their 2-0 win over Watford after VAR ruled that Juraj Kucka had fouled the Portugal international. 

Former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling looked to have given Manchester City a 3-2 lead against the Reds but his goal was ultimately disallowed for offside.

West Ham +4

During West Ham’s win over Newcastle, the offside flag was raised when Aaron Cresswell’s cross appeared to be turned into the goal by Jarrod Bowen. But the goal was allowed to stand after replays showed that Cresswell’s shot had gone all the way into the net untouched. 

They were given a one-man advantage against Leicester City when replays showed Ayoze Perez stamping on Pablo Fornals’ ankle. 

David Moyes’ side were awarded a late penalty against Manchester United, only for Mark Noble to come off the bench and see his effort saved by David de Gea.

Tomas Soucek thought he’d scored against Leeds but the goal was ruled out after VAR showed Michail Antonio had clattered Illan Meslier in the face with his arm in the build-up.

West Ham’s task against Aston Villa was made easier when Ezri Konsa’s yellow card was upgraded to red following a VAR review. 

After Antonio had a goal disallowed for offside in West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Brighton, VAR later gave Southampton a penalty due to Craig Dawson’s foul on Armando Broja.

Bowen had mixed feelings towards VAR during their game against Watford as he had a goal disallowed for offside but was also awarded a penalty.

In January 2022, VAR awarded West Ham a penalty against Crystal Palace, overturned the decision to disallow Bowen’s goal against Norwich and also ruled out Rodrigo’s goal against the Hammers.

Craig Dawson’s yellow card against Chelsea was upgraded to a red card as VAR deemed that he had denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

The Hammers had better luck against Norwich when Sam Byram’s goal was ruled out for handball and VAR spotted Jacob Sorensen’s handball in his own penalty area. 

Dawson had another VAR call go against him when Manchester City were awarded a late penalty, and he was very relieved when Lukasz Fabianski saved Riyad Mahrez’s effort.

Southampton +3

James Ward-Prowse netted a late equaliser against Newcastle after VAR saw Jamaal Lascelles’s foul on Adam Armstrong inside the penalty area.

The Saints thought they had won another spot-kick against Manchester City, but the decision was overturned when VAR intervened and referee Jon Moss watched replays of the incident.

While VAR did disallow Timo Werner’s goal for Chelsea, it also upgraded James Ward-Prowse’s yellow card to a red in the same game.

Southampton beat West Ham in a five-goal thriller on Boxing Day after VAR gave them a penalty for Craig Dawson’s foul on Armando Broja.

A penalty decision went against them when Jan Bednarek was penalised for his foul on Rayan Ait-Nouri during a 3-1 defeat to Wolves.

The Saints picked up four points against Tottenham in 2021-22 after VAR disallowed Harry Kane’s goal at St Mary’s and Steven Bergwijn’s goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Southampton lost 2-0 away to Burnley in April 2022 but the defeat would’ve been even worse if VAR hadn’t ruled out Jack Cork’s goal for offside.

Watford +3

Watford had goals against Norwich City and Everton initially disallowed for offside before VAR intervened and allowed both goals to stand.

The Hornets then had another offside call go in their favour when Bukayo Saka’s goal for Arsenal was disallowed following a VAR review.

But Kiko Femenia’s goal against Manchester United was disallowed as he encroached into the area before Ismala Sarr had taken his penalty. 

While VAR did disallow Jarrod Bowen’s goal against Watford, it also penalised Daniel Bachmann for a foul on Bowen inside the penalty area.

During a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, Juraj Kucka inexplicably rugby tackled Diogo Jota in the box and a penalty was awarded following a VAR review. 

Emmanuel Dennis’ goal against Brentford was initially disallowed after an offside call against Ismaila Sarr in the build-up but VAR overturned the decision. 

The match officials made another mistake by awarding Burnley a penalty against West Ham as replays proved that Moussa Sissoko’s challenge on Dwight McNeil was outside the area. 

Arsenal +3

Aaron Ramsdale was originally penalised for bringing down Burnley’s Matej Vydra, but the penalty was cancelled after a VAR review.

The Gunners were then awarded a penalty against Aston Villa when VAR spotted a foul on Alexandre Lacazette by Matt Targett. 

Bukayo Saka thought he’d opened the scoring against Watford, only to see the goal chalked off due to an offside call.

While VAR intervened to allow Emile Smith Rowe’s goal against Manchester United, it also penalised Martin Odegaard for his foul on Fred in the penalty area.

Everton’s Richarlison had two goals against Arsenal disallowed due to offside but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 2-1 defeat for the Gunners.

Manchester City scored a controversial equaliser against Arsenal after Granit Xhaka was adjudged to have fouled Bernardo Silva in the box.

The Gunners weren’t able to keep a clean sheet against Brentford as VAR overturned the decision to disallow Christian Norgaard’s goal.

Arsenal doubled their lead against Leicester City in March 2022 after VAR spotted Caglar Soyuncu’s handball in the penalty area.

Gabriel Martinelli thought he’d scored an equaliser at home to Brighton but the goal was ruled out following a very marginal offside call.

While Eddie Nketiah’s goal against Manchester United was disallowed for offside, VAR spotted a foul on Bukayo Saka in the build up and gave Arsenal a penalty.

Mikel Arteta’s side had a one-man advantage for most of their 2-1 win over Leeds after Luke Ayling’s yellow card was upgraded to a red card.

Former Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi was penalised for a handball in the penalty area during the Gunners’ 5-1 win over Everton on the final day of the season.

Man City +3

In the opening few weeks of the season, City saw Ferran Torres’ strike against Norwich City and Gabriel Jesus’ equaliser against Crystal Palace ruled out by VAR.

Kyle Walker was initially penalised for a foul on Southampton’s Adam Armstrong but VAR came to their rescue, cancelling the penalty and the red card.

But Pep Guardiola’s side also had a penalty cancelled after Everton defender Michael Keane was adjudged not to have fouled Raheem Sterling.

Riyad Mahrez must be a big fan of VAR as it overturned the decision to disallow his goal in the 4-0 win over Newcastle and his second goal in the 4-1 win against Manchester United.

City were awarded penalties against Leicester and Arsenal during the Christmas period as VAR noticed fouls on Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva.

Laporte thought he’d doubled City’s lead against Brentford with a great header but it was disallowed due to a marginal offside call.

During Tottenham’s trip to the Etihad, VAR ruled out a Harry Kane goal for offside and gave City a late penalty but the hosts still lost 3-2.

Raheem Sterling thought he’d scored a crucial goal against former club Liverpool but his celebrations were short lived as VAR disallowed it for offside.

City were awarded a late penalty against West Ham following Craig Dawson’s foul on Jesus but Mahrez couldn’t convert from 12 yards.

Brentford +3

Brentford’s first experience with VAR in the Premier League went against them as it overturned the original decision to flag Mohamed Salah’s goal for offside.

Bryan Mbeumo had the ball in the back of the net in their home and away games against Norwich City but VAR ruled out both goals for offside.

Ivan Toney netted the winner against Everton in November after Andros Townsend fouled Frank Onyeka in the penalty area.

Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet, Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte, Wolves’ Adama Traore and Norwich City’s Milot Rashica have all had goals against Brentford disallowed for offside. 

They briefly thought they had a one-man advantage against Wolves until Toti Gomes’ red card was rescinded following a VAR review.

Thomas Frank’s side scored a late consolation goal against Arsenal after VAR overturned the decision to disallow Christian Norgaard’s effort for offside.

Brentford had to play with 10 men for most of their home game against Newcastle after Josh Dasilva was sent off in the ninth minute.

Toney was able to score a hat-trick in their away game against Norwich after VAR spotted Ben Gibson’s foul on Pontus Jansson in the penalty area.

Brentford saw the offside flag go up when Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis scored against them but replays showed that the linesman had made the wrong decision. 

A linesman made another incorrect call at Old Trafford as Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against Brentford was initially allowed to stand before VAR ruled it out for offside. Leeds United’s Joe Gelhardt also had a goal against the Bees disallowed for offside. 

Brighton +2

Brighton were able to complete a dramatic comeback against Liverpool after VAR kept the score at 0-2 by ruling out a Sadio Mane goal for handball.

They had a mixed experience with VAR against Newcastle as they were awarded a penalty but also saw Robert Sanchez sent off in injury-time.

VAR came to Brighton’s rescue during their 1-1 draw with West Ham as Michail Antonio’s goal against them was disallowed for offside.

Enock Mbewpu was penalised for a foul on Everton’s Anthony Gordon, but he was able to breathe a sigh of relief when Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed his penalty.

Brighton were awarded a penalty against Crystal Palace but Pascal Gross’ effort was saved and Neal Maupay then had a goal disallowed for a foul on Jack Butland.

Lewis Dunk was initially shown a yellow card after fouling Manchester United’s Anthony Elanga but it was upgraded to a red when the referee reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Graham Potter’s side beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates and VAR played a key role as it ruled out Gabriel Martinelli’s first-half goal for offside.

They won the first of two penalties against Wolves after VAR spotted a handball by Romain Saiss but Alexis Mac Allister saw his effort saved by Jose Sa.

Chelsea +1

The Chelsea players were furious when Liverpool were awarded a penalty and Reece James was shown a straight red card for handball at Anfield. 

While Timo Werner had a goal disallowed against Southampton, VAR did later change James Ward-Prowse’s yellow card to a red card.

VAR awarded the Blues a penalty against Norwich and also ordered the spot-kick to be retaken after spotting an encroachment by Tim Krul.

Chelsea got another penalty via VAR when replays showed that Leeds United’s Raphinha had fouled Antonio Rudiger.

Hakim Ziyech netted an 89th-minute winner against Crystal Palace but also saw a goal in the 75th minute ruled out for offside in the build-up.

During Chelsea’s 3-1 win over Norwich, VAR spotted a handball from Trevoh Chalobah and Teemu Pukki scored from the spot.

The Blues made the most of their advantage and scored a late winner against West Ham after Craig Dawson’s yellow card was upgraded to a red card following a VAR review. 

VAR disallowed Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s goal against Wolves for offside but it also spotted Romain Saiss’ foul on Lukkau in the same game and awarded Chelsea a penalty.

Tottenham +1

Harry Kane endured a difficult start to 2021-22 and was relieved when his goal against Newcastle was awarded by VAR after it had originally been ruled out for offside.

VAR also played a prominent role in Antonio Conte’s first game in charge of Tottenham, cancelling an Everton penalty before upgrading Mason Holgate’s yellow card to a red card. 

Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson initially received a yellow card for his challenge on Emerson Royal but referee Paul Tierney opted to upgrade it to a red card after consulting the pitchside monitor.

During Tottenham’s two league games against Southampton in 2021-22, Kane and Steven Bergwijn both had goals disallowed for offside following VAR reviews.

Kane had another goal disallowed in their 3-2 win over Manchester City and VAR also penalised Cristian Romero for a handball inside the penalty area.

Spurs moved into the top four in May 2022 after VAR spotted a handball by Burnley’s Ashley Barnes and Kane scored the winning goal from the penalty spot. 

Aston Villa 0

Villa had two penalty decisions go in their favour in the second game of the season as they were awarded a spot-kick while Newcastle had their penalty cancelled.

The first VAR decision that went against them in 2021-22 came when Matt Targett was adjudged to have fouled Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette inside the penalty area.

After Villa’s 4-1 defeat to West Ham, Dean Smith criticised the “poor decision” to upgrade Ezri Konsa’s yellow card to a red following his challenge on Jarrod Bowen.

But Douglas Luiz’s red card for a challenge on Crystal Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate was downgraded to a yellow card after a VAR review.

Jacob Ramsey fired home against Leicester City but goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel had one hand on the grounded ball and the goal was ruled out.

During Villa’s trip to St James’ Park, VAR cancelled Newcastle’s penalty but Ollie Watkins also had a goal ruled out for offside.

Crystal Palace 0

Christian Benteke thought he’d scored a late winner against Newcastle but his celebrations were short-lived as VAR disallowed the goal due to a foul against Marc Guehi.

Palace were incredibly relieved when Gabriel Jesus’ equaliser for Manchester City was disallowed due to a marginal offside call against Phil Foden.

During their 1-0 win over Wolves, VAR overturned the decision to disallow Wilfried Zaha’s goal but also cancelled a Wolves penalty.

Palace thought they had a one-man advantage against Aston Villa but VAR downgraded Douglas Luiz’s red card to a yellow card. 

They conceded penalties against Leeds and West Ham after VAR spotted handballs from Marc Guehi and then Luka Milivojevic.

VAR spotted Will Hughes’ foul on Joel Veltman and gave Brighton a penalty against Palace before Neal Maupay had a goal disallowed for a foul on Jack Butland.

Patrick Vieira was left fuming after Liverpool’s Diogo Jota was adjudged to have been fouled by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita and Fabinho then scored from the spot.

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech had a goal against Palace disallowed as VAR spotted that Romelu Lukaku was offside in the build-up.

Zaha had a penalty saved against Leicester City and was relieved when VAR pointed to encroachment in the area by Caglar Soyuncu. His retaken penalty was also palmed away by Kasper Schmeichel, but he was able to head in the rebound.

Leeds -1

During Leeds’ first home game of the season, VAR saw Liam Cooper’s foul on Dominic Calvert-Lewin and awarded Everton a penalty. 

But they then saw goals against them from West Ham’s Tomas Soucek and Leicester City’s Ademola Lookman ruled out by VAR.

Raphinha scored an injury-time winner against Crystal Palace in November after VAR spotted Marc Guehi’s handball inside the penalty area.

But the Brazil international was later penalised for a foul on Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Jorginho scored from the resulting penalty.

Mateusz Klich’s effort against West Ham was crossed off as VAR replays revealed that it brushed an offside Rodrigo on its way in.

Luke Ayling was penalised for bringing down Norwich’s Milot Rashic in the penalty area but the referee overturned his initial decision after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor. 

Ayling’s return to boyhood club Arsenal in May 2022 turned out to be a disaster as he fouled Gabriel Martinelli in the first half and the initial yellow card was upgraded to a red card.

Joe Gelhardt goal had a goal against Brentford disallowed for offside but Leeds still won 2-1 to secure their Premier League survival. 

Newcastle -1

West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell and Tottenham’s Harry Kane both saw their goals against Newcastle initially ruled out for offside before VAR intervened. 

During their defeat to Aston Villa in August, they conceded a penalty and also had a spot-kick of their own cancelled by VAR.

They also conceded a late equaliser against Southampton after Jamaal Lascelles fouled Adam Armstrong in the penalty area.

But they were grateful for VAR when Christian Benteke’s late winner for Crystal Palace was disallowed for a foul on Ciaran Clark. 

Newcastle conceded another penalty during their draw with Brighton but did later see Robert Sanchez sent off for his challenge on Callum Wilson.

They got a penalty of their own during a 1-1 draw with Norwich City after Federico Fernandez’s header struck the arm of Billy Gilmour.

Manchester City took a 3-0 lead against Newcastle after VAR overturned the decision to disallow Riyad Mahrez goal’s for offside.

During the home game against Aston Villa, Newcastle had a penalty cancelled by VAR as Calum Chambers’ challenge on Joe Willock was outside the area. Villa striker Ollie Watkins also had a goal ruled out for offside later in the second half.

Eddie Howe’s side had a one-man advantage against both Brentford and Everton after Josh Dasilva and Allan were sent off.

Chris Wood saw a goal against Wolves chalked off by VAR because team-mate Bruno Guimaraes was narrowly offside in the build-up. 

Guimaraes got his first goal at St. James’ Park after replays showed that he hadn’t fouled Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. 

On the final day of the 2021-22 season, VAR spotted a handball from Burnley’s Nathan Collins and Wilson scored from the penalty spot.

Wolves -2

Hwang Hee-Chan’s goal against Everton was disallowed for offside, while Wilfried Zaha’s goal for Crystal Palace was allowed to stand after the linesman incorrectly gave offside. 

Wolves thought they had a great chance to equalise against Palace but their penalty was cancelled as Joel Ward’s challenge on Rayan Ait-Nouri was outside the box. 

They finally had a VAR decision go in their favour in January when Southampton’s Jan Bednarek fouled Ait-Nouri inside the penalty area.

During their 2-1 win over Brentford, defender Toti Gomes had his red card rescinded after a VAR review but Adama Traore later had a goal ruled out for offside.

Wolves breathed a sigh of relief when Chris Wood’s goal for Newcastle was disallowed for offside against Bruno Guimaraes in the build-up.

Bruno Lage’s side conceded a penalty against Brighton following a handball by Romain Saiss but Jose Sa saved Alexis Mac Allister’s spot kick. 

While VAR ruled out Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s goal for Chelsea, it also penalised Saiss for his foul on Romelu Lukaku n the penalty area. 

Man Utd -2

Luke Shaw was penalised for handball against West Ham, although David de Gea saved Mark Noble’s penalty to secure the three points for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer breathed a sigh of relief when Yerry Mina’s goal for Everton was disallowed for offside following a VAR check. 

During their 5-0 defeat to Liverpool, VAR rubbed salt into United’s wounds by disallowing Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal and upgrading Paul Pogba’s yellow card to a red.

After De Gea saved a penalty from Ismalia Sarr, Kiko Femenia scored on the rebound but the goal was disallowed due to encroachment.

Emile Smith Rowe’s goal for Arsenal was allowed to stand after VAR showed that David de Gea had been injured by a team-mate. But United still got all three points after VAR awarded a penalty for Martin Odegaard’s foul on Fred and Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot.

Raphael Varane thought he’d scored his first United goal during their trip to Burnley but Harry Maguire interfered with play while in an offside position.

United’s players were furious when Brighton’s Lewis Dunk was only shown a yellow card for his foul on Anthony Elanga and the referee upgraded it to a red following a VAR review.

VAR rubbed salt into United’s wounds during their 4-1 defeat to City as Mahrez’s second goal was allowed to stand after an incorrect offside call from the linesman.

Leicester’s James Maddison looked to have scored a late winner at Old Trafford but his goal got ruled out after Kelechi Iheanacho was deemed to have fouled Varane on the edge of the box. 

VAR disallowed Eddie Nketiah’s goal for Arsenal due to an offside call. But it also spotted Alex Telles’ foul on Bukayo Saka in the moments before Nketiah put the ball in the net and gave the Gunners a penalty.

Ronaldo had a first-half goal against Brentford disallowed for offside, but he did net a legitimate goal in the second half at Old Trafford.

Everton -3

Rafa Benitez was grateful for VAR when Everton were awarded penalties against Leeds United and Norwich City in the opening weeks of the season.

But their celebrations after Yerry Mina’s late winner against Manchester United were short-lived as VAR disallowed the goal for offside.

Watford’s Josh King came back to haunt the Toffees with a hat-trick in October and his first goal was allowed to stand after an incorrect offside call.

They were helped out by the technology when Wolves’ Hwang Hee-Chan had a goal disallowed for offside, although Everton still went on to lose 2-1 at Molineux. 

Everton were awarded a penalty against…

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