When VAR was first introduced to the Premier League for the 2019/20 season, sides in England's top flight were confident that refereeing mistakes would be eradicated through the use of technology.
Oh, how wrong they were. In the preceding four-and-a-bit seasons since, officiating group PGMOL have had to issue apologies to Premier League sides on 13 separate occasions - and that's not even mentioning the other times where less obvious mistakes have been made.
Below, FourFourTwo highlights all 13 refereeing mistakes PGMOL have directly apologised for in the Premier League. Technology, eh?
1. Everton 0-1 Manchester City, February 2022
Manchester City were handed a huge slice of luck at Goodison Park when chasing the 2021/22 Premier League title, after Rodri misjudged a deflected ball and touched it with his arm. The on-field referee Paul Tierney didn't deem the Spaniard to have handballed it, with VAR official Chris Kavanagh sticking with that decision, too.
With Everton fighting for their lives, however, then-referees chief Mike Riley apologised to the club for failing to award them a penalty late on in the game. Pep Guardiola even admitted Everton should have been awarded a penalty, too.
2. Crystal Palace 3-1 Aston Villa, August 2022
When Marc Guehi outjumped Lucas Digne at a corner for an inswinging ball at Selhurst Park to head the ball, it struck the Frenchman's arm from an incredibly short distance on the way towards goal.
While referee Andy Madley didn't believe it was worthy of a penalty, a VAR check convinced him to change his mind and award a spot kick that Howard Webb later had to apologise for - his first, but by no means last, in the job.
3. Chelsea 2-1 West Ham, September 2022
With the score 2-1 and entering the 88th minute, Edouard Mendy had to race out from his goal and beat the onrushing Jarrod Bowen to a misplaced, headed backpass from Reece James. The goalkeeper palmed the ball straight into the path of Maxwell Cornet, who fired into the Chelsea goal.
However, Bowen was wrongly adjudged by VAR to have fouled Mendy, despite only lightly brushing the Senegalese 'keeper.
4. Newcastle United 0-0 Crystal Palace, September 2022
Despite being pushed into Vicente Guaita by Tyrick Mitchell, the VAR believed Joe Willock had fouled the Crystal Palace goalkeeper just seconds before Mitchell then headed the ball into his own net.
The Newcastle midfielder could do nothing about the shove in the back that he received, but the officials deemed his challenge, or lack thereof, meant the goal shouldn't have stood.
5. Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal, September 2022
In the build-up to Gabriel Martinelli's disallowed goal at Old Trafford, Martin Odegaard supposedly fouled Christian Eriksen with a slight touch on the Danish midfielder to initially win the ball back. While Paul Tierney didn't see this in real time, VAR sent the referee to the monitor to have another look.
Martinelli's goal was ruled out, incorrectly.
6. Fulham 3-0 Aston Villa, October 2022
On the night Steven Gerrard lost his job, things could have turned out a whole lot differently. With the score only 1-0, the VAR advised the referee to send off Douglas Luiz after clashing with Aleksandar Mitrovic - despite the Serbian striker instigating the coming together.
The FA later rescinded Luiz's ban, and PGMOL apologised for the VAR's incorrect intervention in the incident.
7. Nottingham Forest 2-2 Brentford, November 2022
VAR, somehow, managed to spot contact between Dean Henderson and Yoanne Wissa at the City Ground, awarding the Brentford striker a penalty even though the pair had barely touched. In fact, Wissa seemed to have initiated the contact himself, forcing Webb to apologise once again after the game.
8. Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United, November 2022
Sticking a free-kick into the top corner against David De Gea is a difficult task, but it's made slightly easier when the referee sets the Manchester United wall more than 10 yards back from where the free-kick is being taken.
A post-match review concluded that the referee had set the United wall too far back, giving the Frenchman extra room to dispatch the ball at Villa Park.
9. Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton
Offsides are black and white. Someone is either beyond the last line of defence or they're not. So officials shouldn't get them wrong with the use of VAR, right? Wrong.
In this game, VAR John Brooks drew an offside line in the wrong place, denying Brighton's Pervis Estupinan the opening goal at Selhurst Park - despite it being a legitimate goal.
10. Arsenal 1-1 Brentford, February 2023
Arsenal fans have been left to rue what might have been in the 2022/23 season, and pointing towards this game certainly won't help. Ivan Toney equalised at the Emirates Stadium, but only after receiving a helping hand from Christian Norgaard stood in an offside position.
VAR Lee Mason failed to spot the Dane when reviewing the goal, though, wrongly allowing it to stand and denting the Gunners' title challenge in the process.
11. Tottenham 2-1 Brighton, April 2023
In a game filled with a seeming catalogue of errors from the officials, the most obvious came when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg clearly stood on Kaoru Mitoma’s foot inside the box. Referee Stuart Atwell missed the foul, but then the VAR officials failed to advise him to go to the monitor.
Webb later admitted a penalty should have been awarded.
12. Manchester United vs Wolves, August 2023
With Wolves chasing the game in the dying seconds of their opening match of the 2023/24 season, Andre Onana came flying out of his Manchester United goal to try and claim a cross. While neither made contact with the ball, Onana smashed straight into Sasa Kalajdzic.
Neither the referee nor the VAR spotted the reckless challenge, however, with PGMOL having to later apologise for not awarding Wolves a penalty and an opportunity to take a point at Old Trafford.
13. Tottenham 2-1 Liverpool
The most recent, and arguably the most high-profile incident on this list came at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Luis Diaz had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside to put Liverpool 1-0 up with ten men, as VAR Darren England failed to intervene.
England failed to realise that the on-field decision was given as offside due to miscommunication, despite knowing that Diaz was onside and that the goal should have stood. PGMOL put the incident down to "significant human error".
More VAR stories
Tottenham vs Liverpool: why was Luis Diaz's goal wrongly disallowed by VAR?
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp blasts 'unfair' and 'crazy' decisions in Saturday's Premier League clash, while Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou admits he is not a fan of VAR.
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