Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea collapse

The 2022-23 Premier League season has only 67 games, but we are already seeing the effect of VAR decisions. Arsenal fans will once again lament the video referee, while some of the other biggest clubs will be delighted he’s there.

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Last season, our VAR effects chart showed that the Gunners would have qualified for the Champions League instead of rivals Tottenham Hotspur had it not been for VAR. So far this season Arsenal have lost just one game – but VAR had a say in that, and without him they would have a 100% record.

It’s a different story for Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United – as they crumble down the table with no VAR decisions in their favour.

As we did last year, we’re looking at all VAR decisions across the Premier League and seeing how they might have affected the outcome of matches.

It’s not just about the number of times a team receives a favorable VAR call or the number of goals affected. What is more important is when these VAR decisions take place, how they could have changed the course of the game and, above all, if this impact would have ultimately changed the final score.

ESPN brings you the Table of VAR effects. We’ve taken all 94 VAR decisions in the Premier League so far this season and calculated how they could have changed the outcome of matches. We will continue to follow VAR throughout the season and find out who the real winners and losers are.

– JUMP TO: Winners without VAR | The losers without VAR

How we construct the VAR Effects Table

We only take the first VAR reversal of each game, because the calculation considers that any subsequent VAR incident would not have happened because the entire direction of the game was changed. (Think of it as a Marvel timeline or the plot of any time travel movie.)

The VAR decision is then reversed from the original on-field call – so if a goal is disallowed for offside it is given as a goal.

If a penalty has been waived, it is considered awarded and scored, unless the team in question has a penalty conversion record of less than 50% over the season. For example, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and West Ham have failed to score from penalties this season. If it is less than 50%, a penalty may be considered missed.

If a team has been awarded a goal by an incorrect penalty or offside by VAR, the goal is disallowed.

We then consider a range of factors before settling on a predicted outcome:

Team form: The results of the previous six matches give an indication of how a team has played in general.

Time of incident: For example, if an incident occurs late in the game, the score is less likely to change again after that point.

xG at the time of the incident: This allows us to take into account which team has created the best chances and is gaining momentum.

Team Strength: In addition to form, the general strength of a team plays a role. This takes into account league position and a team’s scoring and defensive records throughout the season.

Incident impact: For example, an overturned red card decision can change the outcome of a game.

These results were then used to modify the table and determine the impact VAR has had on team positions this season.

The table shows each team’s position after the modified results, with the arrows indicating whether their league position is better or worse without VAR. It should be noted that not all teams played the same number of games due to postponements.

The big winners without VAR

ArsenalThe lead at the top of the Premier League drops from one point to two points without VAR. Mikel Arteta’s side lost 3-1 at Manchester United in early September, but a Gabriel Martinelli goal was disallowed for a preparation foul by Martin Odegaard in the 12th minute when the scoreline was goalless. The Gunners’ superior form at the start of the game is a key factor in the VAR effects chart concluding that they would have won the game having scored first. It’s a three-point swing for Arsenal and restores their record by 100%.

Tottenham Hotspur also suffered from VAR, and were two points better off to send Antonio Conte’s men past Manchester City (points unchanged) in second place. Spurs had a penalty canceled in a 1-1 draw at West Ham as Aaron Cresswell was penalized for a handball; the draw at the London stadium becomes an away victory.

The greatest climbers are Leeds United and Everton, both of which are raised five places to move up to seventh and eighth place respectively. Leeds win just one point, their defeat at Brentford becoming a draw. For Everton, the Merseyside derby becomes a 2-1 win as VAR had ruled out a Conor Coady goal for offside, giving them two extra points.

AFC Bournemouth are two points and four places better off, climbing to sixth, after a VAR penalty awarded to Newcastle resulted in a 1-1 draw; the game is a 1-0 win for the Cherries. Wanderers of Wolverhampton also moved up four places to 13th, three points from the relegation zone, after their home draw against Newcastle turned into a win; Raul Jimenez had a late goal ruled out for a build-up foul that would have made it 2-0.

The last team to receive points is West Ham United. Most controversially, they had a late equalizer from Maxwel Cornet at Chelsea ruled out by VAR for a foul by Jarrod Bowen, a decision that was later admitted as a mistake and caused huge controversy. The Hammers have a one-point net gain on all decisions.

Brighton and Hove Albion, Leicester city and Newcastle United are the only teams to remain on the same points and league position.

It might come as a surprise to Newcastle fans, but as the home draw against Crystal Palace – when Tyrick Mitchell’s goal was incorrectly ruled out by VAR – becomes a Magpies win, they have also benefited from more VAR calls than any other team, with the penalty won against Bournemouth and Wolves’ disallowed goal giving them extra points.

Fulham move up one place in fifth, while remaining on the same points.

The big losers without VAR

look away, Manchester United fans, because it is the Red Devils who have had the best VAR this season and who lose the most points without him. The key decision is this game against Arsenal, with the early VAR ruling in their favor meaning a win becomes a loss in our calculation.

liverpool just clinging to a place in the top half of the table after losing the Merseyside derby point, dropping two places to 10th.

Other teams actually go lower in the table even though they have lost fewer points, with chelsea and Brentford both losing two points and dropping five places to 12th and 14th respectively. Chelsea drop two points as home win over West Ham becomes a draw, while Brentford’s home win over Leeds is ruled 2-2 with no VAR appeals.

Nottingham Forest also drop two points without VAR as their 1-0 home win over West Ham becomes a draw – the Hammers were denied a goal for a Michail Antonio foul.

crystal palace are the only other team to drop points without VAR, with the draw at Newcastle turning into a defeat. That point puts Patrick Vieira’s men on the edge of the relegation zone and only in the bottom three against West Ham on goal difference.

Southampton and AstonVilla both fall one place, to 15th and 16th, although their points tally is unchanged.