‘Why is VAR so mad at me?’ Newly-instituted VAR takes center stage on its Premier League debut
The Video Assistant Referee, or VAR, didn't take long to have an influence on Premier League proceedings as it marked its debut in English football's top flight in controversial fashion.
The introduction of VAR to the Premier League comes after a successful integration in last year's World Cup in Russia but like any new piece of tech, its inception in England has already divided opinion.
The new system wasn't called upon in Friday's fixture between Liverpool and Norwich at Anfield but it wouldn't be long before it would be called upon to wield its influence in the remaining first-week fixtures.
The Premier League has developed its own set of criteria for when the technology should be used, and arranged for various seminars to educate the game's managers, players and media ahead of the new season. But, even after a campaign aimed at priming both players and fans as to how it may affect the game, it was still the source of some controversy.
Champions Manchester City didn't need any favors from officials in their 5-0 away win at West Ham on Saturday, as numerous checks with VAR were made. Two checks came in the first half for relatively minor infractions but it was in the second stanza when VAR took center stage.
Gabriel Jesus had a strike ruled out by VAR after it was adjudged that Raheem Sterling was marginally offside in the build-up, prompting the England forward to complain on social media after the game.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) August 10, 2019
Later in the game, VAR decided that referee Mike Dean had missed a 'clear and obvious' infraction on the field when West Ham's Declan Rice encroached in the box as Sergio Aguero had a penalty saved.
The video officials mandated that the penalty be retaken and this time Aguero didn't repeat his error, even if confusion reigned just moments prior after the video screen in the stadium informed the fans that a non-existent 'goal' was being checked.
Further checks came in Tottenham's match with Aston Villa on Saturday, with VAR officials asked to sign off on strikes from John McGinn, Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele. VAR also decided that there was to be no red card for McGinn after he hacked down Spurs fullback Kyle Walker-Peters. It also turned down a penalty appeal for Tottenham after a Toby Alderweireld strike appeared to graze the arm of Villa's Jonathan Kodjia.
Eight VAR checks occurred during Crystal Palace's draw with Everton, while Southampton's Che Adams escaped a red after VAR decided to be lenient on Southampton&#Read More – Source