ASTON VILLA’S unlikely title charge would have been even MORE serious without VAR.
A SunSport study of the 54 decisions altered after VAR interventions so far this season shows how Unai Emery’s men, currently second in the Prem table, would be TOP of the table if the Stockley Park video booth did not exist.
Our “No VAR” table shows how the standings would have looked if every changed decision had remained as it was called on the field by the referee and his assistants.
Given that 15 of the 16 penalties awarded by VAR have been converted, we have also assumed that the five spots kicks initially awarded but then wiped after video intervention would also have been scored.
While Villa have had three changed decisions in their favour and four against, two of those decisions cost them points.
Drawing the lines saw Lucas Digne deemed offside before Diego Carlos “scored” in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, while Leon Bailey’s strike was controversially overturned for a foul on Sheffield United keeper Wes Foderingham in last month’s surprise 1-1 draw.
With both those goals counting, Villa would be on 46 points, up four on their current tally, and heading Liverpool by a point.
The “No VAR” table has Arsenal and Spurs both on 41 points – with Mikel Arteta’s side one point better off and Ange Postecoglou’s outfit up two although Manchester City would leapfrog the pair if they win their game in hand.
But the biggest winners if the technology had not been in place would have been Brighton – while Chelsea’s dismal season would have looked even worse.
Roberto di Zerbi’s Seagulls would be on 36 points – five points and one place higher in the table.
Chelsea, though, would be SIX points worse off and stand in 12th place, just six points away from the drop zone and 24 points adrift of the pace-setters.
So far 24 goals have been disallowed and only two awarded after video review, while eight players have been dismissed after VAR intervention.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea have had the most VAR changes so far, with seven in their favour and five against. Luton have seen just two VAR overturns, one for and one against.
Nottingham Forest have been the biggest beneficiaries in terms of decisions, with five changes in their favour and just one against, although the match situation and final outcomes mean they would only be one point worse off without VAR.
Manchester City and Fulham are plus-three in VAR changes, with Brentford joining Chelsea with a plus-two tally.
Liverpool, who have been involved in a number of controversial incidents including the wrongly-disallowed Luis Diaz goal at Spurs and Diogo Jota’s penalty-winning tumble against Newcastle on Monday, stand alone on minus-three VAR changes, with three in their favour and six against.
Those interventions, though, would have made no net change to their points tally, although they would have scored two goals more and conceded the same number over the season to date.
At the other end of the table, the relegation places would be the same but Luton would only be behind Everton – deducted 10 points for financial fair play breaches – on goal difference and Burnley would be two points better off.