In a wild and taxing season, there was one thing you could bank on and that was VAR drama. And Liverpool found themselves on the wrong end of the decision more than the rest.
The technology’s introduction has been contentious to say the least, with its use in the Premier League hotly debated after one dubious call after another.
VAR is, of course, technology that is applied by existing referees and as such human error still remains and alongside the tedious offside laws, fans have grown increasingly disillusioned.
Players have likewise spoken out against its use as its application in the top-flight has left a lot to be desired, with the emotion of the game stripped away with its use.
And Liverpool have had their fair share of incidents throughout this season, and as per ESPN‘s Dale Johnson, the Reds have had the most VAR decisions go against them out of the 20 clubs.
With a total of 13 overturns not in their favour, they sit three ahead of the next in line (Tottenham), which is no surprise when you consider the hurdles the Reds have had to clear this season.
So much for LiVARpool…
- Liverpool had most decisions against: 13
- Most VAR incidents: 20
- Most total disallowed goals for: 7
- Zero penalties FOR, 3 penalties AGAINST
The example many will jump to straight away is the application of offside against Sadio Mane at Everton, which was borderline ridiculous, while both Mohamed Salah (Brighton) and Diogo Jota (Aston Villa) present examples of the need to change its laws in line with VAR.
On the other hand, the collapse at Leicester came to be after an incorrect offside call that gave the green light for James Maddison’s goal, with the line placed incorrectly.
In total, the Reds had seven of their goals disallowed (the most in the division) and three VAR decisions that led to the opposition scoring, while Liverpool were led to zero.
It didn’t all go against Jurgen Klopp‘s side with three goals ultimately disallowed from the opposing team, but it all adds up to a net goal score of minus seven.
The incidents totalled together see Liverpool having recorded the most involvement with VAR (20).
But Brighton, Fulham, Leicester and Man United (9) enjoyed the most overturns in their favour, three of whom experienced joy in that arena against the Reds.
When you also consider a lack of any look at Jordan Pickford’s nasty challenge on Virgil van Dijk, it’s been a calamitous campaign with VAR and finishing third in spite of it all is another feather in their cap.
On the whole, it was meant to remove debate over refereeing decisions but its only put them under the microscope with greater scrutiny and change needs to be made ahead of the return of fans, as the emotion of goals cannot be entirely taken away.