Which teams have benefitted the most from VAR in the Premier League this season?

With the return of the Premier League now under a week away, the sense of anticipation for the run-in is at an all-time high nationwide. While Liverpool have all-but sewn up the Premier League title, both the race for European football and the battle to avoid relegation remain in the balance. 

One of the biggest factors over the final stretch of games is the impact of VAR – a process that has been under the spotlight for the majority of the season. Many goals have been given and ruled out at the hands of VAR, but here at Grosvenor Sport, if you place a goalscorer single on a Premier League game and your bet loses due to a VAR decision… we’ll pay you out in full anyway

To help you find the best goalscorer betting opportunities, we’ve ranked the Premier League teams who have been affected most by VAR this season in terms of total decisions in their favour.

 

Manchester United

Decisions in favour: 9
Decisions against: 1

Net Gain from VAR: +8?

No team in the Premier League have benefited more from VAR this season than Manchester United. There have been a total of 10 overturned decisions in United games so far this campaign, six of the decisions have seen a goal ruled out for their oppositions, including two goals reversed against them when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge in February.

VAR has also awarded Manchester United three penalties which were missed by the on-field officials, including two in the away win at Norwich in October which were both missed by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. The third penalty given by VAR came in the away win at Manchester City in December, which Rashford converted.

The only VAR decision to go against Manchester United this season came in September against Arsenal, when United thought they had caught Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang offside prior to his second half strike, but replays revealed the striker was onside and the goal was given.

 

Brighton

Decisions in favour: 9

Decisions against: 2

Net Gain from VAR: +7

Brighton have seen a total of 11 decisions overturned by VAR in their games this season, one of the highest totals in the Premier League. The Seagulls have seen VAR award and rule out two goals apiece for them, but it has been a curse on their opponents this season. Teams facing Brighton have seen a combined six goals given on-field later ruled out by VAR, most notably against Sheffield United in December where both John Egan and Jack O’Connell has goals for the Blades chalked off. That being said, they were still able to go on and win the game.

The final decision that fell in favour of Brighton this season was in their November clash with Leicester. After James Maddison reacted fastest to score the rebound after Jamie Vardy’s 80th minute penalty was saved, VAR ruled that Maddison had encroached and a retake was required. Unfortunately for Brighton, Vardy made no mistakes the second time around.

 

Crystal Palace

Decisions in favour: 7

Decisions against: 2

Net Gain from VAR: +5

A total of nine decisions have been overturned in Crystal Palace’s fixtures this season, including three goals that were ruled out in real time later awarded at the hands of VAR. While also seeing two goals of their own later ruled out, VAR also helped Palace salvage a point away at Arsenal when Sokratis’ 83rd minute strike to send the Gunners 3-2 up was disallowed by the video assistant, meaning Palace have had a net gain of two goals over the course of the season by VAR.

VAR has also favoured Palace in decisions not involving goals. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was sent off by the VAR for a dangerous challenge on Max Meyer when the Eagles squared up against Arsenal in January, while Joel Ward saw his marching orders revoked when the VAR overturned his on-field sending off against Sheffield United in February.

Sandwiched between those games, Crystal Palace took on Manchester City and Jairo Riedewald thought he had gifted City the opportunity to score when he was judged to have handled the ball in his own box, only for VAR to overturn the decision.

 

Burnley

Decisions in favour: 6

Decisions against: 2

Net Gain from VAR: +4

Of the eight decisions involved in Burnley’s games this season, they have seen two goals for them given by VAR and two goals scored later ruled out in the same process. However, a total of four opposition goals have been overturned by VAR as well, handing them a strong handicap of four goals net gained through the video assistant. 

Since the turn of the year, all VAR decisions involved in the Clarets’ games have been in their favour, most notably against Bournemouth in February where both Josh King and Harry Wilson saw goals ruled out by VAR due to handballs, with the latter actually resulting in a Burnley penalty, which Jay Rodriguez went on to score.

 

Newcastle

Decisions in favour: 3

Decisions against: 0

Net Gain from VAR: +3

VAR has not been a common occurrence in Newcastle’s fixtures this season, with only three decisions being overturned upon review – the fewest in the league. Fortunately for Newcastle, they’ve all gone in their favour and remain the only team yet to be penalised at the hands of VAR.

Jonjo Shelvey’s goal at Sheffield United was initially ruled out for offside but later awarded in a 2-0 win, while in their last game before lockdown against Southampton, Steve Bruce’s side benefited from Moussa Djenepo seeing red in the first-half while also having a penalty awarded for handball on Sofiane Boufal, given by VAR, just before half-time. However, it was missed by Matt Ritchie but the Toon Army were able to go on and win the game.

 

Leicester

Decisions in favour: 7

Decisions against: 6

Net Gain from VAR: +1

A staggering 13 decisions have been overturned in Leicester’s games this season, split pretty evenly with the Foxes only coming away with a +1 net gain in terms of decisions for and against them.

With three separate games involving two overturned decisions this season, the most notable came in September against Tottenham. After Ayoze Perez had a goal later ruled out for offside early in the first-half, the game was level at 1-1 when Son Heung-Min was judged to be offside during the build up for Serge Aurier’s goal which would have put Spurs ahead midway through the second half. The Foxes went on to win courtesy of a James Maddison strike five minutes from time.

 

Liverpool

Decisions in favour: 4

Decisions against: 3

Net Gain from VAR: +1

The Premier League leaders and champions elect haven’t actually been the beneficiary of as many VAR decisions as their rivals in the league. With seven total overturns in their games, the Reds have only seen a net gain of +1.

Back in December, Liverpool scraped a 1-0 win against Wolves at Anfield, but probably wouldn’t have if not for the intervention of VAR. Sadio Mane’s opener and eventual winner, originally ruled out for a handball from Adam Lallana in the build-up was overturned and given by VAR. Wolves though they equalised minutes later when Pedro Neto struck just before half-time, but VAR found that Jonny was offside in the build-up, ruling out the Portuguese’s goal.

In a match against Crystal Palace in November, with the game poised at 0-0 approaching half-time, Palace thought they took a shock lead against the league leaders when James Tomkins found the net, but the VAR ruled that Jordan Ayew fouled a Liverpool player in the build up. After the restart, it took Sadio Mane four minutes to make the breakthrough for Liverpool who went on to win the game 2-1.

 

Manchester City

Decisions in favour: 6

Decisions against: 5

Net Gain from VAR: +1

Manchester City’s luck with VAR has been turbulent, despite owning a net gain of +1 in terms of decisions for or against them this season. While they have seen two goals given by VAR, the review process has also ruled out three strikes of their own.

Penalties have followed Manchester City this season as well. Their home defeat to Manchester United in December was heavily influenced by VAR when United were awarded a penalty, later scored by Marcus Rashford early in the first-half, while City themselves have seen four penalties given to them by VAR, three of which were missed by three different takers – Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan and Sergio Aguero.

The fourth penalty given by VAR was actually a retake in the August win at West Ham. Having missed the initial penalty, Aguero was handed a reprieve when VAR adjudged Declan Rice to have encroached. Aguero didn’t make any mistakes the second time around.

 

Southampton

Decisions in favour: 6

Decisions against: 5

Net Gain from VAR: +1

An interesting nuance of the 11 total overturned decisions in Southampton’s games this season are that none of them involve a potential goal for the Saints being awarded or disallowed. A total of six goals for Southampton’s opponents this season have been ruled out by VAR, to just one given upon review, a net gain of +5 goals.

VAR has impacted Southampton aside from goals being awarded and ruled out, and in quite a negative way. The video assistant referee has handed out two red cards upon review to the Saints, with Ryan Bertrand being sent off against Leicester in October and Moussa Djenepo being sent off against Newcastle in March.

In addition to these, VAR has also awarded two penalties against Southampton that were missed by the on-field officials, first at Wolves in January after Jack Stephens was ruled to have fouled Jonny in the box, with the spotkick converted by Raul Jimenez, and the second coming against Newcastle in March when Sofiane Boufal handled in the area, but Matt Ritchie missed from 12 yards. VAR also overturned a penalty decision for the Saints against Leicester in January when Shane Long was caught offside in the build up to them winning the penalty.

 

Tottenham

Decisions in favour: 6

Decisions against: 5

Net Gain from VAR: +1

Tottenham have also seen 11 decisions in their games later overruled by VAR, including three goals of their own later being ruled out as opposed to just two goals given in their favour. That being said, their opponents have been less fortunate. This season, Spurs’ opponents have had just one goal given by VAR, with five others being overturned, leading to a net gain of +3 goals this season for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Subjective VAR calls have also gone against Spurs this season having seen two penalties awarded against them after review. In the 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea, Willian scored his second of the game deep into first-half injury time after VAR ruled that Paulo Gazzaniga fouled Marcos Alonso, resulting in a spotkick for Chelsea. In the same game, the VAR was in action again and sent off Son Heung-Min for a foul on Antonio Rudiger that went unpunished by the on-field referee.

The second penalty awarded against Tottenham came in February against Manchester City, with Serge Aurier being judged to have fouled Sergio Aguero. This time, however, Spurs escaped unscathed as Ilkay Gundogan missed from 12 yards.

 

Bournemouth

Decisions in favour: 4

Decisions against: 4

Net Gain from VAR: 0

The only team in the Premier League to be on an even keel with VAR this season, Bournemouth have neither benefited nor been penalised by VAR when looking at total decisions overturned. 

When breaking it down, however, the Cherries would be one goal better off if VAR wasn’t around, having seen three goals disallowed because of VAR compared to just two given, with two of those three overturned goals coming in the defeat at Burnley in February. Josh King’s 22nd minute strike which was ruled out for handball would have given them the lead at the time, while Harry Wilson’s second half goal, also overturned due to handball, would have drawn the Cherries level. The handball occurred in Bournemouth’s own box to boot, resulting in a Burnley penalty which Jay Rodriguez scored.

In the 1-0 defeat at Norwich in January, a 10-man Bournemouth side saw the playing numbers levelled up when Ben Godrey was sent off for the hosts by VAR for a foul on Callum Wilson missed by the on-field officials.

 

Arsenal

Decisions in favour: 3

Decisions against: 4

Net Gain from VAR: -1

The Gunners have actually seen three goals given for them by VAR this season, compared to just two that were ruled out, but the video assistant hasn’t been terribly helpful to Mikel Arteta’s side on the whole this season.

Of the seven total overturned decisions in their games this season, the most notable decision saw the VAR instruct referee Paul Tierney to send off striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a dangerous challenge on Crystal Palace’s Max Meyer, forcing Aubameyang to miss the next two Premier League games, none of which they were able to win. 

Watford

Decisions in favour: 2

Decisions against: 3

Net Gain from VAR: -1

Watford have only experienced five decisions in their games requiring the VAR to overturn an on-field decision, and in terms of goals, they come out level, having seen one goal given for them and one goal ruled out by the video assistant, and the same for their opponents.

The outlying decision which sees them on the wrong end of VAR decisions on the whole was from their New Year’s Day clash with Wolves, where defender Christian Kabasele was sent off by the VAR after initially only receiving a yellow card. Fortunately for the Hornets, they were able to win the game without Kabasele at the back.

 

Everton

Decisions in favour: 2

Decisions against: 4

Net Gain from VAR: -2

Everton have been on the wrong side of VAR more often than not so far this season, having seen two of their goals later ruled out by VAR compared to just one given in their favour.

One of the most controversial VAR decisions of the entire season so far came at Goodison Park in March when Everton thought they had beaten Manchester United thanks to a 92nd minute goal from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but after a lengthy VAR review, the goal was chalked off as Gylfi Sigurdsson was judged to be offside and in the line of sight of David De Gea in the United goal.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has also seen another goal given on-field ruled out by the VAR. In the meeting with Brighton in January, Calvert-Lewin thought he’d made it 2-0 before VAR ruled there was a handball in the build up to the goal. Everton were still able to hang on for the 1-0 win.

 

Aston Villa

Decisions in favour: 1

Decisions against: 4

Net Gain from VAR: -3

While Villa have only seen a total of five decisions overturned by VAR in their games this season, they have yet to have a ruled out goal in live play later awarded by VAR, while they have seen three goals overturned upon review.

At Sheffield United in December, VAR gave Villa the chance to get back in the game whilst 2-0 down after John Egan was penalised for handball and a penalty was awarded. Unfortunately for Villa, Jack Grealish was unable to convert.

 

Chelsea

Decisions in favour: 3

Decisions against: 7

Net Gain from VAR: -4

The notion that big teams favour more from VAR decisions hasn’t quite washed with Chelsea this season, with a net differential of -4 in terms of decisions in their games, including four goals that were awarded real time later ruled out by VAR. 

In their 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United in February, Kurt Zouma thought he had levelled early in the second-half only to see VAR rule that Cesar Azpilicueta fouled Brandon Williams in the build up, while Olivier Giroud also had his named chalked off the scoresheet later in the game for an offside call spotted by VAR.

In December, Chelsea did have some favourable luck with VAR against Tottenham. Willian doubled the visitor’s lead shortly before half-time after Paulo Gazzaniga fouled Marcos Alonso in the view of the video assistant, and in the second half, Son Heung-Min was sent off for Tottenham for a foul on Antonio Rudiger missed in real time.

Norwich

Decisions in favour: 2

Decisions against: 7

Net Gain from VAR: -5

VAR will have had a huge role to play this season if Norwich are to be relegated from the Premier League. The video assistant has awarded two goals to Norwich’s opponents this season as well as ruling out one of their own, while they have also been on the wrong end of two red card decisions.

Down 2-1 at the time, Norwich thought that momentum might have been swinging back towards them when Chris Basham was sent off for Sheffield United in their clash at Carrow Road in December, but the video assistant reviewed the footage and overturned the decision to send Basham off, and the Blades saw out the game to claim all three points.

After taking the lead against Bournemouth in January, Norwich themselves were reduced to 10-men after Ben Godfrey was sent off 14 minutes from time. Daniel Farke’s side were able to cling on to the victory.

 

Wolves

Decisions in favour: 2

Decisions against: 7

Net Gain from VAR: -5

Of the nine total overturned decisions in Wolves’ games this season, four of them have seen goals they thought would have counted later ruled out by VAR. In the race to secure European football next season, Wolves believed they were on their way to securing a vital three points against Leicester in February when Wily Boly scored just before half-time, but VAR judged that Pedro Neto was offside in the build up.

 

In their December defeat to Liverpool, Sadio Mane’s opening goal was originally ruled out due a handball from Adam Lallana in the build-up, only for VAR to award the goal upon review. Three minutes later, Wolves thought they had levelled just before the break through Pedro Neto, but the video assistant ruled that Jonny was offside in the build-up, keeping the score at 1-0 which was how it finished.

Wolves beat Manchester City 3-2 in December, despite the interventions of VAR. With the score at 0-0, the video assistant ruled that Leander Dendoncker fouled Riyad Mahrez in the box, awarding City a penalty which was missed by Raheem Sterling. However, VAR stepped in again and judged that Conor Coady had encroached on Sterling’s miss, awarding a retake. Having saved Sterling’s first attempt, Rui Patricio in goal for Wolves saved Sterling’s second penalty, but the winger was able to slot home the rebound to give the visitors the lead.

 

West Ham

Decisions in favour: 4

Decisions against: 9

Net Gain from VAR: -5

There aren’t many teams who believe they have been more unlucky in terms of VAR decisions this season than West Ham. Of the 13 total decisions in their games overturned by VAR, four of which were goals in their favour later chalked off, including Robert Snodgrass’ late equaliser at Sheffield United, which was ruled out for a Declan Rice handball in the build-up.

In their 2-2 draw at relegation rivals Bournemouth, West Ham saw their early lead eradicated when Josh King’s equaliser, initially ruled out for offside, was given by the video assistant upon review. Then in October, the Hammers suffered an agonising late defeat at Crystal Palace after Jordan Ayew’s 87th minute winner, which was at first chalked off for an offside call, was awarded after a VAR review. 

Back in February in a crucial relegation six-pointer, West Ham saw their two-goal lead against Brighton wiped off in the space of four minutes late on. After Pascal Gross pulled one back to make it 3-2, Glenn Murray thought he had equalised with 11 minutes to play before he was ruled to have controlled the ball with his arm. VAR reviewed the decision and awarded the goal which would cost the Hammers another two points.

Finally, on course to secure a vital away point at Arsenal, West Ham again were left to rue a VAR decision after Alexandre Lacazette’s eventual winner, initially not given due to an offside call, was awarded by the video assistant.

 

Sheffield United

Decisions in favour: 2

Decisions against: 8

Net Gain from VAR: -6

Sheffield United have seen 10 decisions in their Premier League games thus far overturned by VAR, including five goals by the Blades that the video assistant ruled out. 

In the 1-0 home defeat to Southampton, Oli McBurnie saw his 52nd minute strike which would have put the Blades in front overturned by VAR, while in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham, a marginal offside from John Lundstram forced VAR to rule out David McGoldrick’s then equaliser.

One of the few strokes of good fortune Sheffield United have been given by VAR came in their January home win against West Ham. Leading 1-0 deep into injury time, Sheffield United conceded a late injury-time equaliser when Robert Snodgrass looked to have snatched a point for the visitors. However, VAR took a look and found that Declan Rice handled the ball in the build-up, ruling the goal out and allowing the Blades to walk away with all three points.

What do you believe has been the most controversial VAR decision of the season so far? Let us know in the comments below!

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