What Dermot Gallagher has said about controversial VAR decisions including Aston Villa v Man City & Chelsea v West Ham

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes the officials made the incorrect decisions when using VAR during the majority of games on Saturday.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes the officials made the incorrect decisions when using VAR during the majority of games on Saturday.

VAR and England’s officials in general have been scrutinised more than ever following a number of baffling decisions across the Premier League during the weekend of September 3, including one in the 1-1 draw between Aston Villa and Manchester City.

Philippe Coutinho of Aston Villa reacts after suffering an injury during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United

Philippe Coutinho was denied a goal no thanks to an incorrect offside flag with the scores tied at 1-1 on Saturday, one of many head-scratching decisions.

Former official Gallagher has been taking part in his weekly ‘Ref watch’ segment on Sky Sports and has been dissecting some of the big talking points - including that of Coutinho’s disallowed goal.

“It was an error from the assistant - I don’t think it was an error from the referee,” he explained.

“The assistant has flagged when he’s not offside.

“Referees are encouraged to let the game flow, but bear in mind that Coutinho came back six, seven or eight yards to fetch the ball.

“At that point, if the referee has seen an assistant’s flag... even if he’s encouraged to delay and delay blowing his whistle, given how long it took for Coutinho to come back, in your mind you’re always going to whistle.

“By the time Coutinho shot, the whistle had long gone.”

Predicted finish: 11th - Predicted points: 47 (-7 GD) - Chances of qualifying for the Champions League: 4% - Chances of relegation: 12%

Gallagher reviewed each incident from over the weekend and also came to the conclusion that the incorrect decision was made in the Chesea vs West Ham United game and Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace match.

He doesn’t, however, feel the system should be scrapped - something that many are calling for.

“No, I talk about half-full, half-empty glasses,” he added.

“Think of all the decisions it’s rectified, or got right. The offside at Brentford would’ve been disallowed before VAR, quite clearly an understandable error.

“The ones we talk about that haven’t been given, they wouldn’t have been given without VAR either. As we saw with those two decisions [at Chelsea and Newcastle], it’s about where we’re going to go, how we’re going to make it better. Make it better, don’t kick it out.”