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Five contentious incidents which Howard Webb might review in VAR analysis on Sky

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 May 2023


Referees’ chief Howard Webb will analyse the two-way audio between on-field officials and VARs from some of the key incidents in the current Premier League season on the next Monday Night Football programme on Sky Sports.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) has not said which incidents will be looked at on May 15, but here the PA news agency picks five recent moments which might be analysed.

Brighton v Manchester United (May 4)

Referee Andre Marriner was close to blowing for full-time with the score at 0-0 at the Amex Stadium earlier this month when VAR Andy Madley advised him to review a possible handball by United full-back Luke Shaw.

Marriner went to the pitchside monitor and after reviewing the incident pointed to the spot, with Shaw’s arm raised high above his head and deemed to be in an unnatural position.

Alexis Mac Allister scored the resultant spot-kick deep in time added on to secure all three points for the Seagulls.

Tottenham v Brighton (April 8)

VAR Michael Salisbury failed to recommend a review when on-field official Stuart Attwell did not give a penalty after Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma was tripped by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Webb issued an apology to Brighton over the incident, and Salisbury did not feature in the subsequent round of matches.

Leeds v Liverpool (April 17)

Liverpool’s first goal at Elland Road by Cody Gakpo was given by on-field referee Craig Pawson despite Reds player Trent Alexander-Arnold blocking the ball with his arm in the build-up.

As with all goals, VAR Tony Harrington checked the incident but opted not to send Pawson to the monitor to review it, despite some observers insisting it was a clear and obvious instance of handball because the player moved his arm towards the ball.

Wolves v Leeds (March 18)

Referee Michael Salisbury initially booked Wolves’ Jonny for a foul on Leeds defender Luke Ayling but Marriner, as VAR in this match, advised the on-field official to review the incident on the monitor and he changed his mind and produced a red card instead.

Salisbury was then advised to check whether there had been a possible foul in the build-up to Leeds’ final goal by Rodrigo in their 4-2 win at Molineux, but Salisbury stuck by the decision to give the goal.

Wolves were fined the following month after the angry reaction from their backroom staff and players at the end of the match.

Nottingham Forest v Newcastle (March 17)

A goal by Elliot Anderson for the Magpies was initially given by on-field referee Paul Tierney, but he was advised to check for a possible offside in the build-up against Anderson’s team-mate Sean Longstaff by VAR Peter Bankes.

The officials had to decide whether Forest defender Felipe had deliberately played the ball as he tried to clear – if they ruled that he did, then Longstaff would be considered onside and the goal would stand.

However, Felipe’s contact did not constitute deliberate play in the eyes of the officials and Longstaff was ruled offside, with the goal disallowed. Sky pundit Gary Neville, who will join Webb on Monday night, said at the time he was “bemused” by the decision.


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