Thanks to a 1-1 draw at West Ham and Arsenal’s shooting aid, Aston Villa remains in the Premier League. A great story for the newcomer. But a scandalous wrong decision leaves a bitter aftertaste.
It happened at the opening game of the Premier League after the Corona break on June 17. Aston Villa met Sheffield United at home. The game ended 0-0, although a completely regular goal had been scored for the guests.
It was the 42nd minute when Villa goalkeeper Örjan Nyland could not control the ball after a supposedly harmless free-kick cross and could only hold on to it when the game machine had already passed the goal line. The Sheffield players were already cheering, but referee Michael Oliver did not give the goal. The reason: The crucial signal of his watch, which is supposed to provide information through the goal line technology, was missing, whether a goal has been scored or not.
Although the TV images clearly demonstrated that the ball was completely over the line, the VAR did not intervene and did not count the goal, which was actually a regular goal. Because there were no other hits afterwards, Aston Villa secured a point that is ultimately worth gold. Thanks to a 1-1 draw at West Ham on the last day of play, the promoted team from Birmingham remains in the Premier League – one point more than Bournemouth, who has a better goal difference than Villa after a 3-1 win at Everton.
Goal line technology operators apologized
It later became clear, by the way, that Michael Oliver’s watch only vibrated at half-time and then displayed the hit. The operators of the Hawk-Eye confirmed the failure and apologized via Twitter “to the Premier League, Sheffield United and everyone affected by this incident”. The referees received no signal on the wristwatch or headphones because the view of all seven cameras in the goal area was obscured by the goalkeeper, defenders and goalbar. Goal line technology has already been used in 9,000 games, but there has never been such a visual impairment.
For Bournemouth, the matter is of course particularly bitter. Had Aston Villa lost this game to Sheffield in June and the rest of the results would have been the same, Villa would have relegated to Bournemouth. The “Cherries” are likely to be annoyed about the gross wrong decision green and blue six weeks later. Nevertheless, they must of course also touch their own noses at not having scored more points in the last season games.