Fans will be surprised at how VAR has impacted Liverpool since it arrived

While every football fan believes VAR and refereeing decisions go against them, data suggests Liverpool have been surprisingly impacted since its introduction.

VAR was brought into the Premier League five seasons ago, which provides a useful point to assess how each club has been affected.

ESPN‘s Dale Johnson has reviewed each decision overturned by VAR since 2019/20, with Liverpool benefiting more than all but one club.

Brighton are top of the leaderboard when it comes to overturns for and against, with +8, while Liverpool are second with +5.

That means that the Reds have seen five more VAR decisions go their way than there have been those that negatively impacted them.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 26, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott looks on as referee Paul Tierney goes to the VAR screen, before his goal is disallowed, during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. Liverpool won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aston Villa (+4), Man City (+4), Man United (+3), Newcastle (+3), Everton (+2) and Crystal Palace (+2) are the other clubs deemed to have been positively affected.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wolves (-18) are out in the distance when it comes to the net score of overturns for and against them.

However, in the season just gone, no club was seen to have been worse-affected by VAR than Liverpool, with the Premier League‘s KMI Panel – comprised of former players and coaches – determining mistakes made.

Liverpool are claimed to have seen four VAR mistakes go against them and none in their favour, those mistakes being:

The flaw in this system, of course, is that it is still highly subjective – with one notable omission being Jeremy Doku’s high boot on Mac Allister in the 1-1 draw with Man City on March 10.

Johnson’s data also looks into “situations that the KMI Panel deemed to be a refereeing error, but not sufficient to be classed as ‘clear and obvious’ for a VAR intervention.”

Those are labelled referee mistakes, which surprisingly Liverpool are deemed to have benefitted more from than any other club in 2023/24.

Liverpool saw one official referee mistake go against them – Diogo Jota‘s second yellow card vs. Tottenham (September 30) – and six in their favour.

The KMI Panel determined that penalties for Jota vs. Newcastle (January 1) and Dominik Szoboszlai vs. Bournemouth (August 19) should not have been awarded, while Ibrahima Konate should have been shown a second yellow vs. Everton (October 21).

Of course, this is unlikely to change how VAR is viewed among Liverpool fans – and it is questionable whether it really should do.

Every situation remains subjective, whether the opinion of officials on a matchday or ex-pros on the KMI Panel, and therefore it can never be cut and dried.