sport news The major Premier League VAR incidents uniting everyone in anger

VAR is under the microscope now more than ever and frequently causing havoc when used to interpret rules in black and white when there are many shades of footballing grey.

While the addition of the pitch-side monitor has boosted the decision making from referees, the new handball rule in particular has been badly exposed and needs urgent surgery. Even the referees are angry about it but feel powerless to change it due to instructions from their boss Mike Riley.

Marginal offside calls and goalkeepers penalised for creeping ever so slightly off the line for penalties all fly in the face of common sense.  

Here, Sportsmail takes a look at some of the major VAR incidents this season and offers a verdict on the referee's decision.

Eric Dier (Tottenham vs Newcastle)

Original decision - No penalty for handball 

Decision after VAR - Penalty to Newcastle 

Tottenham had battered Newcastle from pillar to post but only held a slender 1-0 lead in the closing moments. 

Newcastle then crossed a ball in, Andy Carroll headed it and Eric Dier, with his back to the attacker and trailing arm up from the leap, had the ball deflect off his arm. 

Only two or three Newcastle players appealed hopefully for a decision but the VAR had a look and advised it was a penalty. 

VERDICT : A ludicrous decision and the greatest example yet of how the handball law needs changing rapidly. Dier had no idea where the ball was.

There was huge controversy after Eric Dier was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area

There was huge controversy after Eric Dier was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace vs Everton)

Original decision - No penalty for handball 

Decision after VAR - Penalty to Everton

A floated cross from the right flank found Lucas Digne on the edge of the area, he powered a header downwards and it hit Joel Ward's arm. 

The referee Kevin Friend ignored the appeals for a penalty and waved play on. 

He was then told by the video assistant referee to take a look at the monitor and after doing do reversed his on-field decision to award a spot kick. 

VERDICT:  Even Everton supporters would admit that Ward's hand was by his side and there was no intent to play the ball, so it felt horribly wrong. 

A ball struck Joel Ward on the arm in the penalty area after Lucas Digne's headed knockdown

A ball struck Joel Ward on the arm in the penalty area after Lucas Digne's headed knockdown

Kai Havertz (Chelsea vs West Brom) 

Original decision - No handball 

Decision after VAR - No handball  

West Brom were clinging on to their three goal half-time lead when television replays appeared to show Havertz control the ball with an arm in the build-up to an injury time equaliser from Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham.

'How people can that is say not a handball is beyond me,' lamented Slaven Bilic at full-time.  

The ball hit Havertz's arm, Mason Mount's shot was saved but then Abraham was on hand to tuck in the follow-up.  

VERDICT: The rules were changed at the start of the season so accidental handballs from attacking players are only penalised if that team immediately scores from it. Bilic said: 'I do not even want to talk about it because it is not "a maybe" or "a possibly" it IS a handball.' Given that the ball went in very soon afterwards, it is easy to sympathise with him.

Chelsea's Kai Havertz appeared to handle the ball against West Brom, but it was not given

Chelsea's Kai Havertz appeared to handle the ball against West Brom, but it was not given

John Egan (Aston Villa vs Sheffield United) 

Original decision - Red card

Decision after VAR - Red card (did not check monitor)

New Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins was played in on goal with a ball over the top in the first half and grappled with John Egan. 

Egan was around 35 yards from his own goal and the referee opted to send the defender off straight away. 

Crucially he did not go across to the pitchside monitor to have another look and make sure the decision was spot on before making it. 

VERDICT: For such a big call, the decision not to use the video

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