Whisper it quietly but has the Premier League finally learned how to use VAR?
In recent weeks the technology has barely been used during matches as, more often than not, the on-field decisions are being upheld.
It’s now only interfering for big errors - clear and obvious.
This is the way it should be.
The damage has already been done, though.
This season, we’ve witnessed plenty of VAR controversy and we’ve done our very best to ignore it.
That’s why we’ve continually updated our ‘VAR table’ throughout the season.
To calculate this table, we look at all the overturned VAR decisions each week and work out how it’s affected the match in question.
So ahead of this midweek fixtures, how does that table look right now?
Let’s take a look:
So, let’s break this down.
Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United would all be level at the top of the Premier League table on 38 points. Wow. Now that’s a title race.
City’s point tally isn’t actually affected, while Liverpool would be four points better off.
Those four extra points would have come against Everton (where VAR ruled out Jordan Henderson’s last-minute winner) and Brighton (where VAR awarded Brighton a last-minute penalty to equalise).
United have gained two points from VAR courtesy of their dramatic ‘after full-time’ penalty vs Brighton.
Leicester have dropped down to fifth, losing four points in the process with Everton down in eighth having gained an extra three points thanks to VAR.
West Ham have also been big beneficiaries of VAR with them four points better off. Ollie Watkins’s injury-time winner being disallowed during their match against Aston Villa an example of their fortune.
Down at the other end, the bottom three remains the same but Sheffield United would have just TWO points if it wasn’t for VAR. A draw against Fulham was earned by an 85th-minute penalty being awarded by VAR, while their win came after the use of technology given them a spot-kick against Newcastle.