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Calls made for VAR in the EFL after baffling decisions in Sunderland’s game against West Brom

Calls have been made for VAR in the EFL after a series of baffling decisions in Sunderland’s game against West Brom on Saturday afternoon.

The Baggies messed up a clearance, with Sunderland getting to the loose ball quickest, Adil Aouchiche sent a cross in for Patrick Roberts whose initial shot had been saved.

But there was Jobe Bellingham to bury the loose ball, only for the flag to go up for offside, the call was certainly a harsh one.

Before that on 20 minutes, Patrick Roberts made a run in, made his way past West Brom defenders in the box, but took a tumble with Sunderland players wanting a penalty.

However, replays shows the ball going away from him with Roberts deemed to have been just looked for a foul under a challenge from Jayson Molumby. Bond decided to give nothing.

Kevin Phillips said in the studio: “Yeah no I think they’ve been hard done by. You can clearly see that the goal should have stood if it had VAR it would have been given mistake there by Palmer, Roberts gets onto it again, another mistake by Palmer just into the path of Bellingham who is in the right place at the right time, blocks the pass, doesn’t stand and watch it, gets himself in a good position and there you can clearly see that Kipre is playing him on side.

“And you have to say it’s a bad mistake from the linesman who’s this side so all you can say in his defence is obviously the two West Brom players are blocking his vision but the level of officiating nowadays he’s should be able to see that it’s an onside so Sunderland can feel very hard done by not going to half time 1-0 up.”

Sky Sports co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe said that West Brom were lucky to get away with an incident in the first half.

He said: “Oh they’re so lucky to get away with this Palmer and West Brom, just as they were starting to force the issue.

“He just takes too long, he’s laboured in possession, he’s closed down and then he’s just very lucky to escape when the initial shot comes in.

“I’m presuming they’re saying Bellingham is offside but that is an incredibly tight call, (Patrick) Roberts is in an offside position, but he’s not affecting play, Bellingham to me looked level with those West Brom defenders, so very, very fortunate the away side there.”

Another incident saw Josh Maja, who was given his first start in a West Brom shirt, felled by Dan Ballard from behind. A free kick was eventually awarded to the Baggies with referee Darren Bond booked Ballard for his part, but fans felt it should have been a red.

Maja had a lengthy spell of being treated on the pitch before he limped off with the help of medics. He had only just returned from two months out with ankle ligament damage from a tackle on him.

On the 57th minute, Adil Aouchiche saw his effort smack the post with a shot on the edge of the box on the turn with Alex Palmer nowhere near it in the West Brom goal before managing to keep out the rebound from Jack Clarke.

Deadlock was finally broken on 70 minutes, when Dan Ballard got on the end of a perfect Alex Pritchard free-kick, guiding the ball powerfully at the near-post beyond Alex Palmer.

It was soon 2-0 Sunderland, as on 84 minutes, a bad mistake by Conor Townsend saw him attempt to bring the ball down, lost his footing, and Alex Pritchard sent a through ball to Dan Neil who found the back of the net.

Out of nowhere, that was followed up by West Brom getting one back, Thomas-Asante struggling to make full contact on the cross from the left, however he still managed to take the ball over keeper Anthony Patterson and make it for a grandstand finish.

Amid calls made for VAR in the EFL after baffling decisions in Sunderland’s game against West Brom, fans gave their reaction to it all…


@ANT_LCFC: Thats horrendous 🤣🤣

@JordanAWells2: Horrific officiating in this country, when are they going to be looked at?

@JMO_96: How do linesman make mistakes like that? Surely the defender would’ve been blocking the view for Bellingham. I can understand it if the attacker is closer to the linesman than the defender, but not this way around

@Bobby96LFC: God he’s miles on as well thats disgraceful

@sorrellh: Horrendous decision.

@ReviewEveryFoul: Theres a literal line on the pitch 😭

@SHalliday3773: People moan about the abuse officials get, this is standard & why they get abuse. Improve the officiating of games and you’ll get less criticism.

@markbaker_1: What’s the lino looking at? It’s not even close to being offside 😂

@Milney1989: Thats awful. Surely the Championship could afford VAR.

@1_Kendall_: You shouldn’t need VAR to get this correct. The standard of top level refs and assistants is absolutely shocking. But rather than admit and adress that, they focus on stopping “ref abuse” if they weren’t shite they’d get less abuse.

@ollieclark_8: Wow, the entire refereeing community is in peril. They should all be hideously ashamed of how bad they are at doing their jobs.

@werekickingoff: Wow, that is a poor decision – a Championship assistant should be getting this right. I’d be gutted if it was me – it’s the kind of decision that ends an official’s prospect of promotion for the season.

@harrygbm: Officiating in the English game in the gutter. Joke

@shishbighog: For all the people that want VAR gone, this one’s for you

@connordavies612: Standard of officiating in this league is honestly on its knees

@Matt_Hayden1: Hate VAR but for decisions like this shows exactly why we have it

@SAFCNathn: Imagine my shock, happens to us every single game


@YoungAd_5: How has he not gone off here? Two feet off the ground 🤷🏼‍♂️ unreal

@Stevotop: Straight through Maja , more of an assault than challenge.Poor and classless from the @SunderlandAFC fans abusing him with a serious injury. He scored loads for them when they were dire.

@summerswba24: Shocking, in real time I didn’t realise how bad it was but the refs 2 foot away…

@Stu1906: Right in front of the f***ing ref as well!

@TheDelaney24: I’m fearing the worst looking at the way that leg goes back. Fucking shocker, that.

@Kinetic_Academy: Having only just returned from 2 months out with ankle ligament damage from a tackle on him… A two footed tackle from behind see’s Josh Maja have to be carried off today 😐 This angle shows how reckless it was 😬

@MRose218535: Red all day long, he’s left the ground & that’s dangerous play

@jackjevansevans: Vile tackle

@le_lebouf76: That’s not a tackle on Josh Maja that’s fuckin assault. A cowards challenge #wba

@AllAlbion: It’s a cowards tackle on Josh Maja and it should’ve been a red card. Classless fans cheering him off too #wba

@cooksbits: More top refereeing today lads cheers 👌🏻 @EFL

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