VAR Vitriol and Man Utd continue to rise – 5 things we learned this weekend

Arsenal’s victorious start to the season was eventually spoiled by a rising Manchester United side, while a host of controversial decisions put VAR back in the spotlight.

Here the PA news agency selects five things we learned from this weekend’s Premier League action.

VAR vitriol

West Ham boss David Moyes was left furious following his side’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea (Steven Patson/PA).

(PA wire)

If the introduction of VAR was intended to make decision-making in the Premier League more harmonious, this weekend made a strong argument that the exact opposite has been achieved.

West Ham boss David Moyes slammed the referees in his side’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea and reserved particularly good words for VAR official Jarred Gillett after Maxwel Cornet’s last-minute equalizer following a monitor report of Jarrod Bowen’s contact with the Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy had been checked off.

In a lengthy tirade, Moyes condemned the incident as “no excuse for VAR,” a view shared by Eddie Howe after Newcastle were denied a potential match-winner in a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

A deflection from Palace defender Tyrick Mitchell appeared to result in an own goal, but the decision was reversed after a VAR review found Joe Willock fouled Eagles keeper Vicente Guaita in the build-up.

The resulting controversy saw the Premier League announce it would review Newcastle and West Ham’s decisions with refereeing panel Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), who effectively admitted on Sunday the calls were wrong.

United’s improvement halts Gunners’ winning streak

Manchester United’s Antony (right) and Marcus Rashford both scored in the 3-1 win over Arsenal (Martin Rickett/PA)

(PA wire)

A few weeks ago neither bookies nor fans would have backed Manchester United as the most likely player to stop Arsenal’s 100 per cent start to the season but that is exactly what happened as the rising Red Devils prevailed 3-1 to end the weekend in fifth place Place.

Since the start of the season with demoralizing defeats by Brighton and Brentford, United have now gone on to win four in a row – including notable wins from Old Trafford against bitter rivals Liverpool and Arsenal.

Sunday’s win, secured by goals from big-money debutant Antony and a brace from Marcus Rashford, will have been particularly gratifying for Erik ten Hag as he faced a red-hot Gunners side who have all lost their first five games had won.

forest not from the forest

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest broke the Premier League transfer window record this summer when they welcomed 21 new faces to the City Ground.

While fans celebrated the spending spree with memes of four-decker team buses, her side’s on-pitch performance against Bournemouth on Saturday – where they gave up a 2-0 lead at half-time and lost 2-3 – showed there was still work to be done will be to avoid a return ticket to the championship.

It was Forest’s fourth loss in six games as Gary O’Neil celebrated his first win as interim head coach of the Cherries.

Toney’s hat trick sparks English cap talk

Ivan Toney certainly put Gareth Southgate on the map with his hat-trick in Brentford’s impressive 5-2 win over Leeds.

The uncapped forward is in fine form, having scored five goals and two assists in six Premier League games so far this season. His outstanding performance on Saturday included a penalty, a curl shot from 20 yards and a chip from distance.

Bees boss Thomas Frank argued that no forward other than Harry Kane was in better form than the 26-year-old, who since August 2021 has sat behind only the Three Lions captain and Tammy Abraham when it comes to goals scored by England players in the have scored five of the best European leagues.

The foxes’ financial problems mean they are in danger of being dropped

Leicester suffered their fifth consecutive defeat in the Premier League with a 2-5 win at Brighton and remain at the bottom of the table by just one point this season.

It was the latest chapter in a story with no silver lining for fans who witnessed Wesley Fofana’s long-awaited departure to Chelsea last week.

Meanwhile, the only newcomers to the King Power Stadium were goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who joined Leicester on a free transfer, and Reims centre-back Wout Faes.

Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha even conceded the spending challenges in a program article ahead of Leicester’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester United last week, citing the “undeniable” impact of the pandemic among the difficulties he and the club are dealing with are faced. VAR Vitriol and Man Utd continue to rise – 5 things we learned this weekend

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