West Brom vs Southampton: VAR drama leaves Jamie Carragher asking for answers

  • Kobe Tong

VAR is never far away from causing drama in the Premier League.

Whether it’s incredibly harsh red cards or questionable penalty decisions, the introduction of technology to England’s top-flight has brought with it controversial calls at every twist and turn.

So, should it come as any surprise that West Bromwich Albion vs Southampton saw accusatory fingers pointed at the pitchside monitor within just a few minutes on Monday night? 

Chaos in West Brom vs Southampton

Well, the answer is probably not because there was no shortage of eyebrows raised and heads scratched when Mbaye Diagne had a goal chalked off for a marginal offside decision.

Now, I know, they’re controversial at the best of times but imagine the drama when some fans and pundits were led to believe that VAR had in fact drawn the lines against the wrong player.

Even Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was left baffled, posting on Twitter: “Did #var use the offside lines on the wrong WBA player???”


He then demanded answers, asking: “Let us know please @premierleague #VAR”

Diagne goal denied at the Hawthorns

Well, to tell you the truth, we’re not 100% sure, Jamie, because the lines appear to have been drawn for where Kyle Bartley was stood as opposed to the goalscorer Diagne.

And given that there was no reason to think that Bartley was blocking Fraser Forster’s view, then all the evidence points towards Diagne having been played onside by Jannik Vestergaard’s foot.

Don’t just take our word for it, though, because you can check out the drama as it unfolded from Diagne finding the net to having VAR cut his celebrations short down below:

Fans express their anger

It’s not difficult to see why so many Premier League fans were led to believe that VAR had incorrectly drawn the line on Bartley as opposed to Diagne – check out some of the tweets here:


A potential explanation

However, ESPN journalist Dale Johnson, who produces a weekly VAR thread, might have the answer to the VAR confusion and one that could expose a clear fault with the technology.

Johnson tweeted: “There was no angle for the VAR to make a decision with the tech there. Mbaye Diagne’s shoulder blocked on two angles, and the defender’s boot on the other. Impossible for the VAR to over-rule, would be a guess. #WBASOU


“So no doubt we are going to have another massive controversy here. How can the VAR make a decision here when you cannot see the player who scored the goal? It would be a guess.

“This is the correct decision. VAR cannot over-rule the linesman when he cannot see the two player.”

“It is completely impossible to make a VAR decision off this. You cannot see where Mbaye Diagne’s upper body is. For that reason, the ONLY decision is to stay with the field decision.”

In other words, the best guess we have is that there was insufficient footage and angles to be 100% sure about whether or not Diagne was onside, leaving VAR to support the onfield decision.


Either way, though, I think we can safely say that the VAR process could have been far more lucid because to say that it left fans scratching their heads would be the mother of all understatements.

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