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Pitch-Side Review: Some Unexpected Results…and VAR

Our week 3 Premier League pitch-side review takes a look at some wild results and further frustration with VAR and FA hand-ball rules.

Paul Pogba by Ardfern is licensed under CC BY SA-4.0

Pitch-Side Review: Some Unexpected Results…and VAR


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Game week 3 in the Premier League was something to remember. And some, including myself, would love to forget. There’s plenty I could really delve into, but I’m going to focus on a handful of things in particular.

Brighton are trying to prove Andrew, Joe, and me wrong.

It’s honestly crazy. We picked Brighton to be relegated. They lost opening weekend to Chelsea, but came out SWINGING in week 2 against Newcastle, winning that match 3-0. They played host to Manchester United this past weekend. To all our surprise, and much to Joe’s chagrin, Brighton…kind of…dominated?

Tariq Lamptey is quickly becoming a household name. He turns 20 on September 30th, and his ceiling seems to be exceptionally high. His pace and work rate may soon make Chelsea regret letting him go so easily. I say this full well knowing that Reece James is their future. But man, this kid is great.

Anyway, Brighton took the lead on a PK near the end of the first half, only to shoot themselves in the foot with an own goal minutes later. Marcus Rashford struck in the 55th to give United an undeserving lead. And then came the added time in the second half. Solly March equalized in the 94th minute. Due to the goal, the referee played on for two minutes on top of the added time, then gave United a penalty on a handball in the box. More on this shortly. Bruno Fernades slotted home. United win in Fergie time.

West Brom showing they belong

First off, Ryan Kelly was calling West Brom “The Barcodes” in our soccer room. And I shall call them that for the remainder of this piece. Second, Chelsea was wearing a poor man’s Crystal Palace kit. We all agreed watching this match was an assault on the eyes.

The Barcodes had a rough start to their latest Premier League account, but they seem to have paid their dues and came ready to scan…er…play. By the 27th minute, The Barcodes were up 3-0 on Poor Man’s Palace. We all knew it would probably take a little time for this Chelsea squad to get on the same page and really get rolling, but wow this was bad. After some halftime subs, Chelsea were able to get a better hold on the game. Then Tammy Abraham managed an equalizer in the 94th minute.

A tale of two halves. The Barcodes with a well deserved point. Chelsea with a lucky save.

Notable results around the pitch

We’re all high on Wolves. Yet the only goal they were able to slot in was in the back of their own net. West Ham played a fast and furious match, beating Wolves 4-0.

Leeds and Sheffield United played a 0-0 match for 87 minutes. It was open, exciting, and seemed more like a cup tie than a week 3 Premier League matchup. Hard work paid off for The Whites, as Patrick Bamford scored yet again, this time with a beautiful header to give his club a 1-0 victory.

Jamie Vardy netted a hat trick, Leicester City was awarded three PKs, and The Foxes walked out of The Etihad with a 5-2 victory over Manchester City. I thought this could be the year City falls out of a Champions League spot, and it’s results like this which make that a likely truth.

Aston Villa proved too much for Fulham, winning 3-0, making it an incredibly steep hill to climb for The Cottagers in this campaign.

Liverpool hosted Arsenal and walked out of Anfield with a 3-1 victory. Arsenal didn’t look terrible, but they also only scored on a horrible gaffe by Andy Robertson. These are the kinds of matches The Gunners need to find ways to at least get a point from if they want to challenge for that Champions League spot.

VAR…

I’m not going to argue these stupid calls. I’m frustrated with the English FA. They are basically putting their hands up saying there’s nothing they can do, while allowing the referees to take the fall for stupid rules that exist. Sure, I’m frustrated in particular because Eric Dier conceded a handball PK in added time when he WASN’T EVEN LOOKING IN THAT DIRECTION.

We had a heated discussion in our soccer room, which was basically everyone against Joe. That’s not out of the norm, but when things “get spicy”, as Ryan put it, before noon on a Sunday, things get wild. I’m stopping here before I ramble forever. But something needs to be done, because it’s ruining the game.

Turf Table

TeamTurf Writer(s)PointsGoal Difference
LiverpoolChristian Heilman9+5
Crystal PalaceJustin Colombo6+2
Tottenham HotspurKevin Morin4+2
ChelseaAndrew Mark Wilhelm/Katie Pierce40
Manchester UnitedJoe Danbusky3-1
Southampton FCRyan Kelly3-3

Kevin is an actor, director, playwright, and musician who works in tech and lives in Brooklyn. He is die hard New England sports and an avid Tottenham supporter. His qualifications include scoring 1 point in his elementary school basketball career, 4 years of mixed little league results, and breaking his arm with a skip-it days before pre-season workouts started for Freshman football.

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