Could be Facing a brutal Judgement: The VAR Review verdict on Everton against Arsenal clash

Every week in the Premier League, video assistant referees stir controversy, but how are judgments made, and are they correct?

Following each weekend, we evaluate and explain the significant situations, both in terms of VAR protocol and the Laws of the Game.

– How VAR decisions impacted every Premier League club in 2023-24

– Premier League VAR: The Complete Guide

In this week’s VAR Review, we look at why Eddie Nketiah was declared offside when Gabriel Martinelli scored for Arsenal against Everton. Why wasn’t Anthony Gordon’s penalty for Newcastle United versus Brentford overturned? Was the referee correct in upholding his penalty judgement at Aston Villa?

Arsenal 0-1 Everton
Offside: Nketiah before Martinelli’s goal
What happened: In the 19th minute, Fabio Vieira crossed for Martinelli, who finished past Jordan Pickford. However, Nketiah was flagged for offside by VAR.

VAR ruling: Goal disallowed.
VAR evaluation: Nketiah received the ball from Everton striker Beto, so how could the Arsenal player be offside? The reinstatement of the “deliberate play” part of the legislation generated a one-of-a-kind offside circumstance that we may never see again.

The word “deliberate” generates considerable consternation when “controlled” would be more understandable and reasonable – not just for supporters, but also for players, managers, and analysts.

A player can be considered to have made a “deliberate play” only if they have influence over the outcome of their move. As a result, if a player attempts a block or an interception, the outcome cannot be controlled. As a result, this cannot be a “deliberate play.” Furthermore, since it cannot be a “deliberate play,” the offside phase cannot be reset.

Gabriel received the ball in the center of the circle and attempted a square pass. Beto had moved in on the Arsenal defender and extended his leg to intercept the pass. The ball rebounded off Beto’s shin and up the pitch to Nketiah, who was returning from an offside position.

It’s an amazing sequence of events because Gabriel was never aiming to pass the ball to Nketiah, but the intended recipient of a pass is irrelevant, as is the direction it’s been played; a player can still be offside if the ball is passed backwards or sideways.

Once it is determined that there is no “deliberate play” by Beto, the offside phase begins when Gabriel touches the ball – and Nketiah was obviously ahead of the last defender, Vitalii Mykolenko.

We’ve seen a few other instances of the offside phase not being reset by a defensive player’s touch, but none as unusual as this.

Explained: Why Gabriel Martinelli's goal was ruled out at Everton | Video |  Watch TV Show | Sky Sports

Liverpool had a Cody Gakpo goal against Aston Villa disallowed in April after it was determined that Ezri Konsa had no influence over an attempted interception, hence the offside phase remained active.

Last season, Harry Kane had a late goal against Sporting CP called out due to the ball rebounding off defender Nazinho before he scored.

Despite the fact that “deliberate play” is a subjective term, this was a perfect example of an action that should not reset the offside phase. The overturn on Nketiah’s position did not necessitate sending referee Simon Hooper to the monitor to check it.

As stated in the previous gameweek’s assessment, when Alejandro Garnacho had a goal disallowed against Arsenal, the camera angle used is immaterial because the technology to rectify it exists. So, while the angle may appear weird, the lines are mapped to each pitch.

It seemed possible that Martinelli was offside as a result of Vieira’s pass, but there was no need to investigate once Nketiah’s offside position was verified.

Saliba on Doucoure could face a penalty.
What happened: In the 31st minute, Abdoulaye Doucouré raced into the area but was brought down by William Saliba’s challenge. Referee Hooper was unconcerned about a penalty, so play continued.

Sean Dyche gives honest answer on Everton penalty appeal and other  controversial moment vs Arsenal

No penalty, according to the VAR.
Doucoure was certainly aiming for a penalty in this instance, according to the VAR. He moved to the ball to the right, but kept running in a straight line to avoid colliding with Saliba.

The France international had retracted his leg, and Doucoure had sought to exploit it to gain a penalty, but Saliba had no momentum – and we’ll see a similar situation in the Newcastle vs. Brentford encounter.

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