Tarak Malhotra Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
Liverpool’s recent 3-1 win over defending Premier League champions Manchester City on the 10th of November has sparked controversy among the football community as to whether VAR is beneficial or not.
Early in the game, Manchester City had the ball in a dangerous part of the Liverpool box. City winger Bernardo Silva crossed it in and the ball looked to go off of Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander Arnold’s right forearm. There were shouts for handball from every City player in the Liverpool half. However, while this was happening, Scottish left-back Andrew Robertson played a ball to Liverpool winger Sadio Mané.
Mané took it down the wing, played a ball to Liverpool’s Salah, but the pass was intercepted and cleared by the City defence. The ball found its way to Liverpool midfielder Fabinho who scored from 25 yards out. However, none of the players knew if the goal would actually stand due to Alexander-Arnold’s previous alleged handball.
Liverpool players were off and celebrating, but the VAR check was still underway. It was given as not a handball, and the goal stood. Liverpool led 1-0 early on, leaving City fans and players upset and unsatisfied.
Liverpool went on to win 3-1, with another two goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and a late consolation for City in the 78th minute, courtesy of Bernardo Silva. This recent win has added to the already heated debate regarding VAR and its role in the Premier League.
The 2019/2020 season is the first in Premier League history to fully consist of the addition of VAR in every game. It has raised controversy among both players and viewers, as some say that it ruins the game. Some say that VAR is too harsh on players, but some say that, sometimes, the calls are just plain incorrect.