Former Premier League referee
Ref Watch: Clubs can have no complaints over offside VAR calls, says Dermot Gallagher
VAR to the fore as incidents at Stamford Bridge and the King Power analysed and Gary Neville hails 'highest level' of refereeing and accuracy
Last Updated: 23/09/19 4:40pm
Clubs can have no complaints about the technology used for VAR offside calls as they signed up to that process, says Dermot Gallagher.
The former Premier League referee returns with Ref Watch to have his say on some of the biggest incidents of the weekend, including various VAR incidents, plus, speaking on his podcast, Gary Neville chips in with some insight.
Goals that were overturned for Tottenham and Chelsea are looked at with Gallagher giving his views...
INCIDENT: After half-time with Tottenham 1-0 up, the visitors thought they had doubled their lead when Serge Aurier powered in a low effort from just outside the box before VAR again adjudged an offside in the build-up, and moments later Leicester equalised when Ricardo Pereira fired in a loose ball from 12 yards.
DERMOT'S VERDICT: Tight, but correct call
DERMOT SAYS: This is a tough one. This is one only VAR could give as no human being can see this, without doubt. We can be confident that when the teams signed up, they knew about the pictures to decide offside. Everybody knew these decisions would be given offside as the lines show it's just offside. That's where we are - that's the best product available at the moment. The clubs all signed up to it. That's what we work to.
INCIDENT: With Liverpool 1-0 up, Cesar Azpilicueta found the back of the net after Fabinho failed to clear Willian's drilled cross into the area, but VAR found Mason Mount to be offside in the build-up, and the jubilation inside Stamford Bridge evaporated in an instant.
DERMOT'S VERDICT: VAR decided Liverpool defence didn't have the opportunity to reset, so correct call.
DERMOT SAYS: Mount was clearly offside. The view of the VAR was that Liverpool never had a chance to defend that situation. Chelsea had six players touch the ball while Liverpool's two touches were accidental touches. The VAR has to decide whether Liverpool had a chance to defend and he chose 'no'.
GARY NEVILLE SAYS: The part of VAR I'm most comfortable with is offside. The point when the ball is kicked the VAR get it to the closest frame they can and then the lines are brought down, very meticulously. These calls are marginal but they are consistent with the technology. I get the frame-by-frame could make a difference but that isn't the issue, the issue is that the same technology is being applied each time. So they are consistent. We've been crying out for this consistency for years and we've now got it. I'm really comfortable with it.
INCIDENT: Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who was booked earlier in the game for bringing down Anwar El Ghazi, was sent off after crashing into Neil Taylor to earn a second booking. VAR can't intervene on second yellow cards.
DERMOT'S VERDICT: Wrong decision.
DERMOT SAYS: He's very unlucky. He gets the ball and Taylor comes down on his leg to get the injury. The referee hasn't got the best view - he only sees the start of the challenge where Maitland-Niles' leg is raised.
INCIDENT: Mark Noble picks up a booking for a thunderous challenge on Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the touchline. Should it have been red?
DERMOT'S VERDICT: He could have no complaints if he was sent off.
DERMOT SAYS: He's late, he's come at distance with intensity. It ticks a lot of boxes for a red card. The VAR can step in but they supported the referee as they thought it was within the yellow card boundary.
INCIDENT: At St Mary's, having just conceded a penalty for Steve Cook fouling Che Adams, Bournemouth are then denied a spot-kick for a similar challenge by Cedric Soares on Josh King. VAR takes a look but goes with the on-field decision. The next day at Turf Moor, Ben Godrey seems to catch Ashley Barnes with a late challenge just inside the area. Replays show there is contact but VAR doesn't step up.
DERMOT'S VERDICT: Tough one in the Southampton game, but should have been a penalty for Burnley.
DERMOT SAYS: On both decisions, it comes back to the threshold. VAR doesn't believe those two incidents met the threshold in order to overturn.
GARY NEVILLE SAYS: I do have an issue with the bar in terms of overturning decisions. I think the Josh King one is a penalty. If it had been given it wouldn't have been overturned the other way either. It frustrates me, but they are being consistent with it. What I would say the VAR and the officials are applying it really well.
Neville: Standards of refereeing never been higher
Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast, Neville said: "I think the standard of officiating is the best I've ever seen. I was watching pitch-side at St Mary's on Friday night and I noticed the referee sprinting back to get a correct decision. I thought to myself, 'that's fantastic' - I've never defended referees and I'm not just doing it now because I'm a commentator but I watch them week-in, week-out with their energy levels and their ability to call it right first time.
"And, the application of technology now means we've got the most accurate football decisions we've ever had - and some still aren't happy. I think the decision making is really good on the pitch and the introduction of VAR is making things more accurate. Yes, I still have frustrations but generally it's the highest level of refereeing and accuracy we've ever seen."