Why VAR was overruled at Brentford – has this happened before?


Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has explained why Andy Madley overruled VAR Michael Oliver to dismiss Brighton’s penalty claim at Brentford.

Madley became the first referee in the Premier League to reject a VAR review for a second time after he refused to disallow Fulham’s second goal for handball at Crystal Palace last season.

On Wednesday night Brighton appealed for a penalty, claiming Brentford’s Yoane Wissa had pulled down Lewis Dunk at a corner, and the VAR sent the referee to the pitchside monitor.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between Brentford and Brighton.

But Madley ruled Wissa had been fouled first by Dunk and gave a free-kick to Brentford instead.

Gallagher said: “I thought it showed two things: that Michael Oliver is very diligent. He can only say ‘potential penalty’ because the referee did not give a foul by Dunk. Therefore, he cannot judge that, he can only judge if it is a penalty, so he refers that to the referee.

“The process is really good as he goes over to the TV monitor and judges that Dunk has no doubt committed the first foul, he has pulled back Wissa and then Wissa has fouled Dunk.

Referee Andrew Madley checks the pitch side VAR monitor for a potential penalty
Image:
Referee Andy Madley checks the pitch side VAR monitor for a potential Brighton penalty at Brentford

“But as he quite rightly says, he thinks it is a foul and he gives a free-kick, so it is a good process. And because the VAR has alerted him to a possible penalty, it has covered all bases.”

It was also the first time in the Premier League that a referee has been sent to the monitor to give a penalty and restarted the match with a free-kick to the defending team.

Frank: Fantastic decision – protocol was followed

Brentford manager Thomas Frank: “Fantastic decision. I spoke to the referees, as far as I know it’s the protocol. The VAR had to ask him to go to the screen.

“Even though it’s clearly a foul on Wissa first, it’s just part of the protocol. Between them, it worked well. It’s good, Andy was good overall. There were a lot of tricky situations but he was good.”

De Zerbi: I’ve learned something new

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi: “The referee was correct, maybe the decision was correct. My assistant told me at the beginning Dunk made a foul, but I’ve not seen the referee go to the screen and then change the VAR’s decision before.

“I’ve learned something new.”

When referees have overruled VAR…

Madley allows Fulham goal to stand

Madley rejected a VAR review for the first time in his career by awarding Fulham’s second goal at Crystal Palace last season.

Aleksandar Mitrovic nodded down Andreas Pereira’s corner for Tim Ream to fire home, but the goal was subject to a VAR check for handball after appearing to touch the Serbian striker’s left arm.

Madley was sent to the pitchside monitor but allowed the goal to stand.

Villa win leaves Palace with ‘bitter taste’

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Crystal Palace were left frustrated as Aston Villa were awarded a penalty after Chris Richards’ challenge on Ollie Watkins…

The only other example so far this season of a referee overruling VAR came in September, when Darren England handed Aston Villa a stoppage-time penalty for Chris Richards’ tackle on Ollie Watkins in their win over Crystal Palace.

Richards made contact with both the ball and the Villa striker, prompting enough doubt over the decision for Robert Jones, the VAR, to call for England to review his decision.

But after a lengthy process, the referee backed his original call, allowing Douglas Luiz to convert the spot-kick and claim a dramatic victory.

Paddy McCarthy, who was standing in for Roy Hodgson as Palace boss, said: “The result just leaves a really bitter taste in our mouths.

“If it takes five minutes to make a decision, that tells you everything you need to know.”

Kavanagh rules in Calvert-Lewin’s favour

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Free Matchday+ highlights of Everton’s 2-0 win at Liverpool in February 2021

Back in February 2021, Everton wrapped up their first win at Anfield since 1999 when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was tripped by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the area, with the Toffees scoring the penalty to seal a 2-0 win.

Referee Chris Kavanagh decided Alexander-Arnold, who was already on the floor after sliding to attempt to block Calvert-Lewin’s shot, had tripped the Everton striker as he attempted to retrieve the rebound.

The on-field official was advised by Andre Marriner, the VAR, to review the incident at the monitor but quickly decided to stand by his decision.

After the game, Jurgen Klopp said: “The way VAR calls him over in a situation like that, then I think he is in doubt about the decision. But he needed only a second.

“He went there, watched from three or four yards, then turned and… penalty. He obviously saw something that all other people didn’t see.

“Everybody tells me the same: ‘How can it be a penalty?’.”

Kelly penalised for ‘ridiculous’ handball

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Bournemouth’s win against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League in September 2022

Another example came in Bournemouth’s 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest in September last season when Michael Oliver awarded the visitors a penalty for handball against Lloyd Kelly as he blocked Neco Williams’ shot.

Kelly’s arms were close to his body and he was turning away from the ball as he made the block, leading Graham Scott, the VAR, to recommend an on-field review.

But Oliver eventually decided to stick to his original call, with Brennan Johnson scoring the penalty – although Bournemouth went on to win 3-2.

Gary O’Neil, Bournemouth’s interim manager at the time, called the decision “harsh”, adding: “If that is a pen, I feel like we’re in a ridiculous place.”

Leeds get away with Traore shirt pull

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Leeds’ win against Wolves in the Premier League in March 2023

Leeds’ 4-2 win at Wolves in March 2023 featured another example of Marriner seeing his advice being turned down while serving as the VAR.

Michael Salisbury, the on-field referee, allowed Rodrigo’s goal to stand despite a clear shirt pull on Adama Traore by Marc Roca in the build-up.

Marriner believed the offence was enough to rule out Leeds’ strike, but Salisbury disagreed as he stuck by one of a number of controversial decisions which led to tempers flaring between the benches followed by unused substitute Matheus Nunes being sent off.

Julen Lopetegui, Wolves’ manager at the time, said of the shirt pull on Traore: “It was a very clear foul. I have seen the image. He is fouled very clearly.”

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