Ranking the 10 worst Premier League VAR calls after West Ham and Newcastle farce

Criticism over the use of VAR in the Premier League has never been more fierce following blunders that cost both Newcastle and West Ham – because they are not the first and won't be the last monumental mistakes.

With Eddie Howe's missing out on all three points after the extra official failed to spot an obvious push on Joe Willock, David Moyes was left seething after Jarrod Bowen's boot brushing past Edouard Mendy was deemed to be a foul.

Even fans that backed the use of the technology on it's introduction have been left disillusioned over how it has been used in practise.

READ MORE: Fans rage over Premier League VAR calls with 'meaningless gesture' slammed

With the latest blunders being recognised as errors by the Professional Game Match Officials Board, the future of VAR could well be adapted with talks with the Premier League now underway.

As well as the Newcastle and West Ham debacles, there have been countless incidents of VAR calls taking an age before coming to the wrong decision.

Daily Star Sport has now taken a look at 10 of the most controversial uses of the Video Assistant Referee in the Premier League since it's 2019/20 arrival.

10. Ben Godfrey's stamp

In at number 10 we have VAR's failure to recommend a red card be shown to Everton's Ben Godfrey during their trip to take on Arsenal in December of 2021.

The 24-year-old's studs clearly made contact with the face of Gunners star Takehiro Tomiyasu moments after the central defender had looked at his rival before turning away.

Mike Dean may have had VAR Stuart Attwell in his ear, but it was quickly dismissed with Gary Neville later saying of himself and Jamie Carragher: "We think he definitely means that."

9. Mario Lemina's 'handball'

Fulham thought they had an equaliser against Tottenham during their March 2021 clash at Craven Cottage but it was ruled out for a handball against Mario Lemina.

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Before Josh Maja found the net, Davinson Sanchez had hammered the ball at the midfielder and it struck his arm that was tucked into his body.

The decision caused uproar, with IFAB announcing a change in rules to make it clearer for referees and VAR officials the very next day.

8. Phil Foden crunched

During Manchester City's clash against Southampton, also in March of last year, Phil Foden was crunched by Alex McCarthy in the box which looked a certain penalty.

Somehow, the professional foul was not given as such by either referee Jon Moss or VAR, despite Foden rounding the keeper and being ready to tap into an empty net.

Pep Guardiola's side went on to win the match 3-1, which might have spared the blushes of the Premier League officials.

7. Anthony Martial's dive

Manchester United's clash against February 2021 is not best remembered for VAR controversy thanks to the 9-0 scoreline – but it certainly didn't help the Southampton cause.

United were awarded a hugely controversial penalty with the score at 6-0 as Jan Bednarek was adjudged to have brought down Anthony Martial inside the area.

Replays showed that the Poland international barely touched the French forward before being dismissed – later saying on camera that Martial himself admitted it wasn't a foul.


6. Jordan Pickford's lunge

Some Liverpool fans might argue that Virgil van Dijk has not been quite the same since Jordan Pickford's tackled ruled him out for nine months during 2020/21.

The England stopper came flying out and crunched the knee of the Netherlands defender which left him with an ACL injury that needed surgery.

Supporters were left baffled as Pickford remained on the pitch, with referee Michael Oliver later admitting that he made a mistake.

5. Harry Kane's studs

Harry Kane was incredibly lucky not to be sent off for a studs-up lunge on Andy Robertson during Tottenham's trip to take on Liverpool in December of 2021.

Kane's reckless tackle was not upgraded to a red card, with Robertson later being dismissed for a foul of his own on Emerson Royal.

"It was a strong tackle but I thought I won the ball," Kane then said of the first-half challenge.

4. Edouard Mendy's acting

West Ham boss David Moyes was left seething with VAR's decision to rule out what looked to be Maxwel Cornet's equalising goal against Chelsea this weekend.

The former Burnley man found the top corner after Jarrod Bowen had brushed Mendy while jumping over him inside the penalty area.

Declan Rice later called it "one of the worst VAR decisions since it came into the game".

3. Tyrick Mitchell's shove

Another VAR blunder from the latest round of Premier League football came at St James Park, with Tyrick Mitchell having an own goal ruled out after Joe Willock made contact with Vicente Guaita.

What VAR didn't seem to take into account was that Willock was shoved into the goalkeeper by Mitchell before the ball went into the net, meaning a penalty should've been given at the very least.

Alongside the aforementioned West Ham complaints, the PGMOL has since effectively accepted that both decisions were wrong.

2. Mistaken identity?

Premier League fans across the country were left incensed back in early 2021 after West Brom were denied a goal because offside lines were drawn on the wrong player.

Mbaye Diagne was denied a goal despite appearing to be inside, with further forward Kyle Bartley playing no part in putting the ball in the net.

It was later argued that the right angle could not be found to prove the forward was not offside – despite it being pretty clear on Sky Sports.

1. Rodri's handball apology

First on our list is a decision that was so bad that Frank Lampard received a personal apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley Riley.

Spain international Rodri clearly handled the ball in the box to aid getting it under control but nothing was given by the ref or the VAR.

Lampard had accused the VAR official Chris Kavanagh of being a "professional who cannot do his job right" before getting an apology alongside chairman Bill Kenwright.


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