London — The body responsible for refereeing in the Premier League admitted on Sunday that Brentford’s equalising goal in a 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Arsenal was not properly checked for offside by the VAR officials.
The Gunners dropped what could be two huge points in the title race when Ivan Toney headed in after a scramble inside the Arsenal area.
A lengthy VAR check took place after the goal to examine whether Ethan Pinnock was offside and interfering with play earlier in the move.
But VAR officials then missed the fact Christian Norgaard was in an offside position when he hooked the ball across for Toney to equalise.
Brentford’s goal was not the only controversy of a bad Saturday for officiating in the Premier League.
Brighton had a goal wrongly ruled out in their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
🗣️ “Lee Mason actually not doing what he’s employed to do, that’s actual factual information. He was supposed to check and he didn’t because he was busy checking something else and forgot. That just can’t happen.”@VickyGomersall on the offside Brentford goal against Arsenal. pic.twitter.com/8c8svb1UuQ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 12, 2023
Pervis Estupinan’s strike was disallowed after a VAR review deemed the Ecuadorian to be offside.
However, the lines drawn by the VAR official to determine the offside used the wrong Palace defender with Marc Guehi stood behind James Tomkins.
“PGMOL can confirm its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted both Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process in their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday,” said a statement issued by PGMOL.
“Both incidents, which were due to human error and related to the analysis of offside situations, are being thoroughly reviewed by PGMOL.”
A spokesman for Brighton said the Seagulls were “hugely disappointed by the error” but had accepted the PGMOL’s apology.
“It’s an awful error.”@alanshearer has criticised VAR for missing TWO offside Brentford players in the build up to Ivan Toney’s equaliser against Arsenal 🗣
Watch live: https://t.co/krjQLwUPCR#MOTD #BBCFootball pic.twitter.com/ebiq1E90sA
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) February 11, 2023
Those two incidents were far from the only controversial calls over the weekend.
Chelsea were somehow denied a late penalty in a 1-1 draw at West Ham when Tomas Soucek handled Conor Gallagher’s shot inside the box.
“I thought it was a good save,” said Chelsea boss Graham Potter. “I didn’t know Tomas could get down that easily and save like that. But it’s not for me to say about VAR.”