Was West Brom’s first ruled out “goal” against Southampton the most puzzling VAR decision of the season to date?
The Baggies were denied a first goal in controversial circumstances against Southampton in another apparent high-profile VAR mistake.
And while ‘controversial’ and ‘VAR’ have been regular companions this season, this Monday’s incident, broadcast live on Sky Sports, was one of the strangest to date.
So what happened?
Mbaye Diagne, standing near teammate Kyle Bartley, appeared to have boosted the Baggies’ survival hopes when he nodded in four minutes to the Hawthorns, only to have the effort ruled out on the field for offside.
The decision was verified by VAR and the offside decision was upheld, although Diagne appeared to be kept in play by Saints defender Jannik Vestergaard.
Sky Sports’ commentary team were immediately taken aback, with Don Goodman telling viewers, “Once I saw the footage I thought he was okay with it.
“The lines say different … but it’s Kyle Bartley who’s offside. I wonder if they got it right? Kyle Bartley has nothing to do with the goal.”
So why was the goal refused?
Sky Sports was informed by VAR’s match center that Bartley blocked the camera view, meaning that VAR was unable to conclusively prove that the attacker was in play and therefore failed could overturn the decision.
As explained at half-time by Sky Sports presenter Dave Jones: “Obviously he was given offside on the field. Then he went to VAR.
“They say Bartley was blocking Diagne’s line view and because they can’t draw a final line they have to stick with the decision on the pitch.”
What did the Sky Sports experts say?
Kevin campbell at Monday night football: “I’ve had enough of the VAR and the way it is refereed. It was a perfectly good goal. The fact that West Brom scored two goals allowed the linesman and the VAR official to come out in prison. To me that’s a shame. “
Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher: “This is a situation VAR is made for. Diagne is on the line, I have no doubts. I know it’s a tight call, but if you look at his feet, yes it’s on the line.
“VAR can’t see Diagne’s shoulder, but there’s more evidence he’s onside than offside evidence. I would have liked to have seen the goal given, and that highlights the problem with the system rather than the referee’s assistant. “