Mike Dean and Gary Neville had differing opinions on the decision to overturn Kai Havertz’s penalty against Manchester United. Havertz went down inside the area, and initially, a penalty was awarded to Arsenal. However, after a review by VAR, referee Anthony Taylor overturned the decision. Former referee Mike Dean agreed with the decision, stating that from one angle, the defender hadn’t committed a foul. On the other hand, Gary Neville was surprised by the call and believed there was enough contact to stick with the on-field position. Despite the penalty being overturned, Arsenal still secured the win. In the final minutes of the match, United thought they had secured a goal, but it was disallowed due to offside. Arsenal capitalized on the decision and scored their second goal in stoppage time, ultimately winning the game 3-1. The victory leaves Arsenal with three Premier League wins out of four and maintains their unbeaten record. They continue to challenge Manchester City for the title.
Gary Neville has expressed his shock after the VAR overruled referee Mike Dean’s decision to award a penalty to Chelsea in their 3-1 win over Burnley on Saturday.
The former Manchester United and England defender was surprised when Dean granted a penalty after a handball was spotted in the box by Burnley’s Erik Pieters. However, VAR chose to intervene and the spot-kick issued to Kai Havertz was reversed.
Neville stated that he was “taken aback” by the reversal due to Mike Dean having allegedly been placed in a difficult position by the use of the technology. He said that he believes the VAR should have instead allowed Dean to make his own decision on the spot.
He also pointed to recent incidents involving the introduction of the new handball laws which has led to some confusion amongst players, referees and analysts alike.
“I think the technology should be there to assist the referee and the referee has to make a decision as well – he has to have the authority and the autonomy to make that decision,” he said.
The former footballer suggested that introducing a form of ‘tribunal’ for similar handball incidents would be beneficial in order to make decisions that involve technology, such as VAR, more efficient and fair.
“Now, in reality, we need some kind of tribunal that takes three referees together with the VAR and sees if they agree because it could have gone either way – it was marginal,” he said.
Whilst Neville’s views may not be shared by everyone, it has certainly caused debate amongst fans and football lovers alike about the need to better use the technology available in the modern game.