The Premier League table would look very different during the World Cup break in Qatar if it weren’t for the impact of VAR.
There has already been plenty of controversy this campaign, with teams now taking a break from league action until Boxing Day. Decisions on the pitch have been changed 48 times this season after the intervention of VAR while on two occasions the referees stuck to their decision after being summoned to the pitch monitor.
The changes in decisions led to 16 goals being awarded and 15 disallowed on advice from Stockley Park. We analyzed how each match was impacted by overturned decisions and how this would affect the standings.
The premier league table without VAR would see Arsenal stay ahead, but Manchester City would be just two points behind instead of the five points they currently occupy. This is because Phil Foden was denied a goal in City’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield and Miguel Almiron’s strike in the 3-3 draw at St James’ Park was granted after being initially flagged for offside.
Leeds United have seen VAR overturn four decisions in their encounters this season, only one of them going the way of Los Blancos. Against Brentford in September, a penalty was awarded to the hosts in the first half after Luis Sinisterra was found guilty of fouling Ivan Toney. In the same match, a Bryan Mbeumo goal was allowed after initially being scored for offside.
Against Arsenal, Leeds were awarded a 60th-minute penalty after a William Saliba handball missed by Patrick Bamford. United then saw a penalty canceled in the 90th minute after Gabriel was ruled not to have fouled Bamford in the box and the Arsenal man had his red card downgraded to yellow. This decision, and similar incidents, were not used when calculating the table without VAR, as almost half of Stockley Park’s penalties were missed.
Taking into account the impact overturned decisions could have had on the table, here’s what things could look like without VAR…
Premier League table without VAR
|City of Man||35||(=)|