Ranking the Premier League clubs by who is most affected by VAR in 2020-21
The use of VAR continues to create controversy in the Premier League – but which clubs have been affected most by its use this season?
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: we’ve only included the 15 Premier League clubs have been affected by VAR so far this season and will update this throughout the season, and the figures relate to overturned decisions only so do not include VAR referrals that have upheld the officials’ original decisions.
Everton have enjoyed a great start to the season on and off the pitch, benefitting from three VAR decisions in the first five league games.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s equalising goal against West Brom was awarded by VAR after it was originally ruled out for offside.
The Toffees were then given a controversial penalty in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace when Joel Ward was adjudged to have handled Lucas Digne’s knockdown.
VAR came to Everton’s rescue once again during their game against Liverpool, ruling out Jordan Henderson’s late goal for offside.
It doesn't get any closer than that…😳🤯
Jordan Henderson was denied a dramatic last-gasp winner after a marginal offside call as 10-man Everton held on for a 2-2 draw with Liverpool in an electric Merseyside derby at Goodison Park! ⚡
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 17, 2020
Despite benefiting from three VAR decisions in their first two league games, Southampton still failed to pick up a single point from those fixtures.
Kyle Walker-Peters was shown a red card for a high boot on Crystal Palace’s Tyrick Mitchell, but the decision was rescinded by VAR in their opening match.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane had an early goal ruled out for offside against the Saints, while Danny Ings scored a late consolation after VAR awarded a penalty for handball against Matt Doherty.
Aston Villa +1
Villa have enjoyed a fine start to the season, aided by a disallowed goal in their favour at Fulham. Ten minutes into the second half a Bobby Decordova-Reid goal was disallowed for foul in the build-up by Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Sheffield United +1
The Blades looked set to lose their first five games of the season until VAR gave them a late penalty against Fulham for a foul on Jack Robinson.
Newcastle were left frustrated by VAR when they saw Neal Maupay’s originally ruled-out goal for Brighton allowed to stand during their first home game of the season.
In the Magpies favour, Yves Bissouma was sent off late on for a dangerous challenge on Jamal Lewis, having initially been shown a yellow card by the referee.
They also scored an injury-time equaliser against Tottenham in September after Eric Dier was penalised for handball.
In their 4-1 defeat to Manchester United, VAR disallowed a Bruno Fernandes goal for offside but also gave the visitors a penalty for Jamal Lewis’ foul on Marcus Rashford.
🎙 – "Whoever is in involved in this – stop it. You're ruining football." @Carra23 is 𝙣𝙤𝙩 happy with the decision to give this as a penalty – your thoughts? 🤔
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 27, 2020
West Ham +1
The newly happy Hammers were already home and dry at Leicester, but their clean sheet was preserved when VAR overturned a late Harvey Barnes goal – Jamie Vardy had encroached into an offside position during the build-up.
Liverpool enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over Chelsea after referee Paul Tierney consulted the pitchside monitor and gave Andreas Christensen a red card for his challenge on Sadio Mane.
The Reds thought they had scored an injury-time winner against Everton in October, only for VAR to disallow the goal for offside.
Crystal Palace 0
Southampton were temporarily reduced to 10 men at Selhurst Park, only for Kyle Walker-Peters’ red card to be rescinded by VAR.
Palace benefited from two decisions against Manchester United, with a penalty awarded and then retaken after being missed when encroachment was spotted.
But they were left to rue the system against Everton as the visitors won thanks to a controversial penalty that was awarded for handball.
Brighton benefitted from more VAR decisions than any other team in 2019-20 and Neal Maupay’s goal against Newcastle was allowed to stand after originally being ruled out for offside.
VAR then went against them up by upgrading Yves Bissouma’s yellow card to a red card in the closing stages at St James’ Park.
Aaron Connolly thought he had won a penalty against Manchester United, only for the referee to reverse his decision after watching the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Brighton were relieved when Marcus Rashford’s goal was ruled out for offside, but United were awarded a penalty after the full-time whistle had gone for a handball by Maupay.
Despite originally being shown a yellow card, Andreas Christensen was sent off for bringing down Sadio Mane during Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
Red or yellow?
Did the referee get it right with Andreas Christensen's dismissal?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 20, 2020
Leicester’s winning start was unceremoniously ended by West Ham in their fourth match and Brendan Rodgers’ team were denied a late consolation due to VAR’s intervention. Jamie Vardy strayed offside during the build-up to Harvey Barnes’ goal.
West Brom -1
Slaven Bilic made a furious on-field protest after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s originally ruled-out goal for Everton in September was allowed to stand following a VAR review.
Manchester United -1
United’s first taste of VAR in 2020-21 saw Victor Lindelof concede a penalty for handball against Crystal Palace in their opening game.
David de Gea saved Andre Ayew’s original penalty, only for VAR to ask for the spot-kick to be re-taken due to encroachment.
Marcus Rashford’s goal against Brighton was ruled out for offside but a penalty awarded to Graham Potter’s side was overturned by VAR.
The Red Devils were then awarded a penalty of their own when Neal Maupay handled from a Harry Maguire header.
Ole Gunnar Slskjaer’s side had a goal ruled out for offside against Newcastle United but they later had a penalty awarded for a foul on Rashford.
Incredible drama as Man Utd beat Brighton with 99 minutes on the clock 😮
The referee had blown the final whistle, only for VAR to award a penalty for a clear handball…
Bruno Fernandes buries it to win 3-2. pic.twitter.com/CP7bKhGLn7
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 26, 2020
Fulham have endured a difficult start to the season and two VAR decision shave gone against them.
Bobby Decordova-Reid’s goal against Aston Villa was disallowed for offside while Sheffield United scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot after Aleksandar Mitrovic fouled Jack Robinson.
No wonder Jose Mourinho doesn’t like VAR….
Harry Kane’s goal against Southampton was disallowed for offside and the Saints were later awarded an injury-time penalty following Matt Doherty’s handball.
A week later, Spurs were penalised for an Eric Dier handball, allowing Newcastle United to score an injury-time equaliser from the penalty spot.