VAR expert reveals the exact reason why Liverpool star’s goal vs Tottenham was disallowed

  •  PGMOL admits “significant human error” in disallowing Luis Diaz’s goal, causing embarrassment for referees’ body.
  •  Video assistant referee (VAR) check didn’t show offside line graphic, but later footage suggests Diaz was onside.
  •  Pivotal moment in match as Liverpool loses 2-1 to Tottenham, leaving them cursing their luck and questioning VAR’s effectiveness.

It’s now clear why Liverpool forward Luis Diaz’s goal against Tottenham on Saturday was controversially disallowed, and it’s safe to say that PGMOL, the organization that represents referees, is in a very bad spot.

After the game, PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) released a statement acknowledging “significant human error” was to blame for Diaz’s incorrectly incorrectly disallowed first-half goal. The 26-year-old thought he had put Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario in the wrong with an outstanding finish, but the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside. Liverpool was down ten men at the time.

How did it happen?

What happened?

Darren England then performed an exceptionally swift video assistant referee (VAR) check, but oddly, the offside line graphic was not displayed. At halftime, viewers were shown footage from the broadcaster beIN SPORTS that appeared to confirm that Diaz was in fact onside when the ball was sent through to him.

Luis Diaz 'offside'

It proved to be a pivotal moment in the match. Liverpool – who were reduced to nine men midway through the second half when Diogo Jota was sent off for a second bookable offence, following Curtis Jones’ earlier red card – went on to lose the match 2-1.

Son Heung-min put Spurs 1-0 up in the 36th minute before Cody Gakpo equalised on the stroke of half-time. The visitors battled valiantly with nine men after Jota’s dismissal but Joel Matip’s unfortunate own goal in the dying seconds handed all three points to Ange Postecoglou’s side and left Jurgen Klopp’s men cursing their luck.

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp responded to the PGMOL’s apologetic statement by telling reporters that it didn’t help because we wouldn’t receive any points for it. Nobody expects 100% correct choices to be made on the pitch, but I believe we all believed that when VAR was introduced, things may be made simpler. This is unquestionably one of, if not the greatest VAR error since the technology was introduced.

An expert in VAR explains why Luis Diaz’s goal was incorrectly overturned.

The precise reason why Diaz’s goal was finally overturned has now been revealed by ESPN’s Dale Johnson on X (formerly known as Twitter). Not only does it make the situation even more embarrassing for PGMOL, but it also makes it more difficult for everyone connected to Liverpool Football Club to accept.

The nuts and bolts are here, Johnson wrote. This is what happened with the Luis Diaz ‘goal’ that Liverpool had ruled against Tottenham illegal. In the Monday VAR thread, there will be a deeper analysis, but in short, the goal was disallowed because the VAR made the incorrect on-field judgement.

Therefore, presuming that the on-field ruling was a “goal,” the VAR, Darren England, investigated offside. As soon as the referee saw that Diaz was in fact onside, he quickly declared the offside check to be complete. He affirms the accuracy of the on-field judgment by telling the referee that the check is complete.

“So the ‘human error’ by the VAR team is getting the onfield decision wrong. Not by failing to draw lines etc. The lines were drawn and Diaz was clearly onside. The huge, quite unbelievable error was misunderstanding the onfield decision.

“As soon as Spurs take the free-kick for the offside, which they were set up for, the decision cannot be rolled back. Can only imagine the VAR room when that free-kick was taken…”

Liverpool players after losing to Tottenham

Indeed, that’s a shocker – and who knows how costly that might prove to be for Liverpool, who would have moved to the top of the Premier League table with a victory, come the end of the season. Klopp’s side now sit fourth in the league, one point behind second-placed Spurs and two behind leaders Manchester City.

Premier League table
Club Played GD Points
1. Manchester City 7 +12 18
2. Tottenham 7 +9 17
3. Arsenal 7 +9 17
4. Liverpool 7 +9 16
5. Aston Villa 7 +7 15
6. Brighton 7 +5 15

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