How Premier League table would look without VAR with Chelsea reaping benefits but Man Utd and Arsenal suffering
EVERTON and Brentford fans will be rueing VAR as they would both have been in the top THREE without the technology.
And while there has been less VAR controversy so far this term – with 25 per cent FEWER decisions changed following video intervention – the impact of the men at Stockley Park has already been considerable.
SunSport has analysed the 70 matches played so far and worked out what the result would have been without the changes.
Chelsea would still have been top, but by three points, having 'won' at Liverpool without the penalty and red card awarded after Anthony Taylor was recommended to send off Reece James after a monitor check.
In second place would be Rafa Benitez’s Everton, a point better off than in the real table with a 'defeat' at Leeds more than compensated for by Yerry Mina’s 'winner' against Manchester United on Saturday having counted.
And Thomas Franks’ Bees would stand third, with Liverpool still unhappy at the wrong offside flag against Mohamed Salah that denied him in the 3-2 'defeat' last weekend.
Liverpool are two points better off than they would have been without VAR and privately will know they are more than slightly fortunate this weekend.
Stockley Park was unable to intervene when Paul Tierney missed two clear fouls by James Milner, either side of his booking, in the titanic 2-2 Anfield draw with Manchester City.
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But the two calls by Mike Dean during the match between Chelsea and Southampton – first ruling out a Timo Werner goal for a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta and then upgrading James Ward-Prowse’s yellow card to red – took the total number of overturns so far this season to 23.
That compares with 31 after the first seven rounds of fixtures last term, a fall of more than 25 per cent.
Refs’ chief Mike Riley said before the season that the new 'light touch' approach would reduce the number of interventions.
Tweaks to the handball law and the adoption of 'wider' VAR offside lines have also contributed to the reduced number of changed decisions.
So far this season, seven 'goals' have been disallowed – compared to 10 at this stage last term – and eight penalties awarded (10 in 2020-21).
West Ham have had the most overturns in their favour, with three decisions changed for the Hammers, while Newcastle have a Prem high of four against them.
But Burnley have been hurt the most, with the scrubbed penalty against Arsenal and offside Chris Wood header against Leicester costing the Clarets three points which would have brought them out of the drop zone.
And sacked Watford boss Xisco Munoz might wonder if he would have been booted if the Hornets had stood 11th, rather than in their current 15th in the actual standings.
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