HomeTeams - PLArsenalDid Wan-Bissaka Really Foul Havertz? VAR Weighs In

Did Wan-Bissaka Really Foul Havertz? VAR Weighs In

When VAR Takes Centre Stage

Football, in all its glory and unpredictability, often throws up moments of sheer drama. It’s those nail-biting seconds when technology, namely VAR, comes into play that define modern matches. The Arsenal-Man Utd face-off was no exception.

A Peek Behind the Curtain

In an intriguing revelation, the Premier League, along with the PGMOL, allowed fans a unique behind-the-scenes look, sharing audio exchanges between officials on six pivotal incidents this campaign.

‘Match Officials: Mic’d Up’, with its inaugural episode, presented Howard Webb diving deep into the controversial choices, the thought processes, and the collaborative efforts of the on-field and off-field officials.

That Fateful Day at the Emirates

The Emirates was buzzing. Arsenal clinched a 3-1 win against Manchester United in what can only be described as a pulsating contest. Late into the game, VAR played its part, adjudging Alejandro Garnacho’s effort offside. But an earlier incident truly lit up discussions.

Enter Kai Havertz. Charging into United’s territory, he went down after navigating between Casemiro and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Instantly, Anthony Taylor, the man in the middle, signalled for a penalty, convinced Wan-Bissaka was at fault.

But VAR had other ideas.

As protocol dictates, the review began, leading Taylor to the pitch-side monitor. He was guided, “What you’re going to see is Wan-Bissaka will step across, when there’s no contact with the right foot. There’s minimal contact then from Havertz’s left foot as he runs through.”

A few moments of replay and the outcome? Havertz wasn’t fouled by Wan-Bissaka. Swiftly, Taylor reversed his verdict.

Summing it up succinctly, Taylor commented, “Havertz kicks the leg and Wan-Bissaka doesn’t make a challenge. OK perfect, so restart, drop-ball to the keeper. Thank you.”

Webb’s Take on VAR’s Involvement

With VAR continuing to be the talk of the town, PGMOL chief Webb shed some light on the incident in a chat with Michael Owen for their latest show on VAR analysis.

For Webb, it was another textbook execution of VAR. “It was a good use of VAR. The referee believed that Wan-Bissaka had tripped Havertz, but the video shows something quite different that there’s no actual contact initially. Another step by Havertz, his leg goes into Wan-Bissaka. The VAR, really calm and concise, recognises all of that, thinks it’s a clear and obvious error. I agree. Recommends a review. We get to the right decision.”

In the sprawling world of football, where every decision has cascading effects on the game and its outcome, the intertwining of human judgment and technology, as seen in the Arsenal vs. Man Utd encounter, provides a fascinating insight into the game’s ever-evolving nature.

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