Liverpool suffer second VAR blunder

Liverpool suffer second VAR blunder

For the second week in a row, Liverpool were on the wrong end of a serious VAR error

#var #varerror #varblunder #varisrubbish #liverpoolerror

It might not have garnered the same media attention as the Luis Diaz 'offside' goal, but VAR has once again made a huge error in a Liverpool game.

There's an old adage in football, that says that 'mistakes will even themselves out across the season'.  Well if that's the case, then Liverpool will be due some serious luck over the coming months.

Just one week after the VAR debacle involving Luis Diaz's 'offside goal', Liverpool have once again found themselves asking for an explanation, as to why VAR did not act on an incident during the Brighton game on Sunday.

The moment in question came near the end of the first half.  With the game finely balanced at 1-1, Brighton made a mess of playing the ball out from the back, allowing Darwin Nunez to nip in and roll the ball towards Dominik Szoboszlai, who had the goal at his mercy just 10 yards out.  Brighton defender Pascal Gross grabbed the back of Szoboszlai's shirt, pulling him to the ground and preventing him from scoring.  Liverpool were duly awared a penalty kick, which VAR checked and confirmed was the correct decision.  However, as Gross was denying Szoboszlai a 'clear goalscoring opportunity', VAR should have also asked the referee to review the incident for a possible red card.

In such circumstances, the guidance states that "Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball or a challenge for the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.), the offending player must be sent off."

Surely Szobozslai was in an obvious goalscoring position.  He was 10 yards from goal with the keeper out of position.  And there can be no doubt that Gross was not attmpting to play the ball, as he was the wrong side of the Liverpool player....

PGMOL issue statement

Following the game, the PGMOL issued a statement clarifying the situation, stating that the VAR official, Craig Pawson, did not ask the referee to check for a red card, as he did not feel Szoboszlai was in a 'obvious goalscoring position', as he did not have the ball under control, and was not moving towards the goal.

Really....!  Since when did you need to have full control of the ball 10 yards from goal to score.  One touch is all it will take to pass the ball into the net.  And Szoboszlai was not moving towards the goal when he was fouled.  So you can only score a goal now if you are directly facing it....?

In my opinion, the explanation is another failed attempt by the PGMOL to legitimise an obvious error from the VAR officials.  We all know mistakes happen, and can accept them, if the people in charge (The PGMOL, The FA, The Premier League) learn from these mistakes and implement better strategies and practices in the future.  But all the time that they hide behind these ridiculous explanations, hoping that fans will accept them and move on, there is little hope that VAR or the officials operating the system will improve.

It is surely just a matter of time until the next VAR incident.  We can only hope that Liverpool are not on the receiving end of a 'serious error' once again.

Liverpool suffer second VAR blunder

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About the Author

About the Author

Peter Farrell

Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.

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