Human Error in VAR Costs Arsenal the Win Against Brentford

February 12, 2023
Arsenal v Brentford 2023

The 1-1 draw between Brentford and Arsenal was marked by a controversial moment when Ivan Toney’s equalizer was allowed to stand as a result of VAR’s “human error.” Although Brentford deserved a point for their performance at the Emirates Stadium, it was fortunate for them that Toney’s late goal was not ruled offside.

After Leandro Trossard scored his first goal for Arsenal, Brentford fought back in the 74th minute with a scramble in the box. Mathias Jensen’s deep free-kick was volleyed back into the box by Toney, leading to a chaotic situation as Arsenal tried to clear the ball. The ball was flicked on by Ethan Pinnock and squared by Christian Norgaard for Toney to nod in from close range.

VAR was used to check the goal for offside against Pinnock, but it was discovered that Norgaard was actually standing beyond the last defender when he received the ball, which should have resulted in the goal being disallowed. However, the lines for VAR did not go down, leading to a missed call and the goal being allowed to stand.

Brentford after scoring their goal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta expressed his frustration at the missed call after watching the goal back and being backed up by PGMOL representative Chris Foy. Foy explained to the Daily Mail that VAR Lee Mason only checked for offside against Pinnock and did not fully investigate the lines, which led to the human error.

Sadly, this was not the only similar incident that occurred in the Premier League on Saturday, as Brighton’s Pervis Estupinan was also wrongly denied a goal against Crystal Palace due to the lines being drawn to the wrong player. These incidents only serve to further emphasize the need for VAR to improve and eliminate human error in the future.

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