The 2019/20 Premier League season was unlike any other anyone can remember. Liverpool finished top of the pile, for starters, a turn of events only previously experienced by people now entering middle age at the youngest.
There was also a three-month pause in proceedings due to the coronavirus crisis. When football resumed, the final 92 matches of the season were played behind closed doors in deserted, eerie stadiums.
But back in August, the strangest thing any of us had to deal with was the introduction of VAR. The video assistant referee – to give it its full title – sits in Stockley Park, passing judgment on incidents which should or shouldn’t result in goals, penalties and red cards.
According to data compiled by ESPN, there were 66 goals overturned by VAR this season. Perhaps most interestingly, there were 10 awarded which otherwise wouldn’t have been, but 56 disallowed. In other words, we lost 46 goals thanks to the implementation of the new system.
What effect have VAR decisions had on the Premier League this season?
There were clear winners and losers in terms of which clubs were the beneficiaries of the most decisions and which were most affected negatively by the video reviews.
The most fortunate team in terms of having goals overturned in their favour were Brighton & Hove Albion, who benefited from eight goal overturns.
And while it’s impossible to know how the matches would ultimately have unfolded had the VAR decisions not been taken, the Seagulls profited from some in a selection of tight games.
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