VAR has provided some of the main talking points this season in the Premier League – and it’s unlikely to stop anytime soon.
Thanks to the excellent work of ESPN, we’ve ranked every Premier League club from who has benefited most to who has had the most decisions go against them when VAR has overturned an on-pitch decision.
Note: The figures do not include VAR referrals that have upheld the officials’ original decisions.
Brighton’s first taste of VAR saw Leandro Trossard’s goal against West Ham disallowed in August, but they have fared better since with five goals scored against them subsequently being disallowed.
They were also awarded a penalty by VAR against Everton in October, while Jamie Vardy was forced to retake a penalty against the Seagulls the following month when encroachment was spotted. He scored it anyway, mind.
Southampton have also had five goals against them ruled out by VAR , with only Ryan Bertrand’s red card against Leicester going against them.
Just one VAR referral has gone against United, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s originally ruled out goal for Arsenal was allowed to stand.
The Red Devils have since seen Sadio Mane’s goal for Liverpool ruled out for handball, two penalties awarded at Norwich City – they contrived to miss them both – and then another penalty given against Manchester City.
Josh King’s goal against West Ham was ruled out for offside in Bournemouth’s first taste of VAR, but King then had a goal against West Ham given after being flagged offside before Dan Gosling and Dan Burn benefitted in exactly the same way against Chelsea and Brighton.
Wolves, Spurs and Burnley have all had goals disallowed against Leicester, while Ryan Bertrand was sent off for Southampton. Kelechi Iheanacho also had a goal awarded against Everton after originally being given as offside, but the Foxes had a penalty cancelled in the same game.
Jamie Vardy was made to retake a penalty against Brighton for encroachment, albeit he still scored.
Chelsea and Crystal Palace had goals ruled out against Liverpool, but Sadio Mane had goals ruled out against Manchester United and Watford, leaving the Reds level in VAR judgements.
Then Wolves arrived at Anfield and saw Mane’s goal allowed to stand after the referee had whistled for an Adam Lallana handball, and then Pedro Neto’s goal ruled out for offside.
Tough to take.
"What is it an armpit that's offside, or a toe, or something like that?"
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 29, 2019
Aston Villa had a goal disallowed against Burnley, while a penalty awarded to Chelsea was overturned after Callum Hudson-Odoi was deemed to have taken a dive.
The Clarets were then awarded a penalty of their own after a foul was spotted by VAR, but Sean Dyche’s team also had goals disallowed against Leicester and West Ham.
Palace benefited from three VAR decisions in October when Jordan Ayew’s late goal against West Ham was awarded after initially being given as offside, a penalty was awarded against Arsenal after Wilfried Zaha had been booked for diving and then Sokratis’ late goal was disallowed for the hosts.
Since then, however, the Eagles have had goals ruled out against Liverpool and Southampton.
Gabriel Jesus has seen two goals ruled out, against West Ham and Tottenham, although City were allowed to retake a penalty against the Hammers due to encroachment from Declan Rice, with Sergio Aguero converting from 12 yards.
Like Liverpool, City benefitted from two decisions against Wolves, with a penalty awarded and then retaken after being missed when encroachment was spotted.
Sheffield United also had a goal disallowed for offside against City, but Pep Guardiola’s side did have a penalty given against them in the Manchester derby.
VAR has only been involved once in Newcastle’s games, with Jonjo Shelvey’s goal against Sheffield United given after initially being ruled out for offside.
Spurs were left thanking VAR after Gabriel Jesus’ late winner for Manchester City was ruled out in August, while they saw decisions go both for (Ayoze Perez having a goal disallowed) and against (Serge Aurier’s effort suffering the same fate) them in the defeat at Leicester.
Sheffield United and West Ham both then had goals ruled out for offside against Spurs before the tables turned against Chelsea when the Blues were awarded a penalty and Son Heung-min was sent off.
Harry Kane then had a goal ruled out for offside against Brighton before Teemu Pukki suffered the same fate for Norwich against the north Londoners.
A brilliant bit of control from Teemu Pukki and the Finn thinks he's doubled Norwich's advantage but VAR intervenes and it's ruled out for offside.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 28, 2019
Watford were awarded a penalty against Chelsea and saw Sadio Mane’s goal for Liverpool ruled out for offside, but the Hornets had a penalty given against them against Burnley.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal against Manchester United was initially disallowed for offside, only to be awarded after a VAR referral.
But the Gunners were left to rue the system against Crystal Palace as the visitors were awarded a penalty after Wilfried Zaha was initially adjudged to have dived before Sokratis had a late goal ruled out.
Aubameyang was then allowed to retake a missed penalty after encroachment was spotted against Norwich before the Gunners moved back into the red when David Luiz had a goal disallowed for offside against Brighton.
VAR does NOT like Sokratis 😬 pic.twitter.com/ptF0HOwYYP
— Goal (@goal) October 28, 2019
Villa have also had two goals ruled out, although only one proved costly.
John McGinn’s disallowed goal against Burnley meant VIlla were held to a 2-2 draw, but they still managed to beat Brighton 2-1 despite Conor Hourihane having his goal ruled out.
The Villans were then awarded a penalty against Sheffield United, only for Jack Grealish to miss.
VAR proved costly for Everton against Brighton as Michael Keane was deemed to have fouled Aaron Connolly, conceding a penalty, in the 3-2 defeat.
They then saw a penalty awarded to Leicester cancelled out by VAR before a Kelechi Iheanacho effort, originally ruled offside, was given as a 94th-minute winner.
Kurt Zouma and Cesar Azpilicueta have both had goals ruled out by VAR, against Norwich and Liverpool respectively, while Callum Hudson-Odoi had a penalty overturned after being adjudged to have dived against Burnley and Gerard Deulofeu had a penalty for Watford awarded following a trip by Jorginho.
Bournemouth were also awarded a winning goal at Stamford Bridge that had originally been given as offside, but Frank Lampard’s side did benefit from VAR when West Ham had a goal ruled out for handball before Chelsea were given a penalty and then had Son Heung-min sent off against them when they won at Spurs just before Christmas.
Manchester City, Brighton and Burnley all had goals ruled out against West Ham, but Bournemouth and Crystal Palace had goals originally chalked off for offside eventually given by VAR, while Declan Rice had a goal disallowed for offside against Spurs before Michail Antonio saw goals ruled out for handball against Chelsea and Southampton.
City were also allowed to retake a missed penalty due to Palace encroachment, which was subsequently converted by Sergio Aguero. But given that game ended 5-0, let’s not split hairs.
Norwich benefited from their first taste of VAR when Kurt Zouma’s goal for Chelsea was ruled out, and they came out unscathed when Manchester United had two penalties awarded at Carrow Road following VAR referrals, only for Tim Krul to save them both.
Since then, however, Arsenal were allowed to retake a missed penalty following encroachment, Sheffield United’s Chris Basham had a red card rescinded, and then Teemu Pukki had a great goal against Spurs ruled out for a marginal offside.
It’s even more remarkable how well Sheffield United are doing when you consider how much VAR has affected them.
They had Chris Basham’s red card against Norwich chalked off, but apart from that the Blades have had goals against Southampton, Spurs, Brighton (2) and Manchester City ruled out, while Newcastle saw a goal originally given as offside subsequently allowed to stand.
— GiveMeSport Football (@GMS__Football) December 29, 2019
Like Sheffield United, Wolves are impressing in spite of VAR.
Leander Dendoncker’s effort against Leicester in August and Raul Jimenez’s strike against Southampton in October were both ruled out, and then Wolves had four decisions go against them in the space of three days against Manchester City and Liverpool.
First City were awarded a penalty and then allowed to retake it after it was missed, and then Liverpool had a goal given after originally being ruled out for a handball before Pedro Neto’s goal for Wolves was then ruled out for offside.