BT Sport's refereeing expert Peter Walton came out with a somewhat surprising take on VAR in the aftermath of Arsenal's 1-0 loss at Villa Park this afternoon.
There were two contentious calls in the game, with Arsenal fans on Twitter livid that Aston Villa defender Ezri Konsa was shown only a yellow card for bringing down Bukayo Saka in a dangerous position - even after VAR had a look at the incident.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) February 6, 2021
Later in the game, Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette appeared to be dragged to the ground by Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, but referee Chris Kavanagh gave the free kick Villa's way. VAR again had a look at the incident and decided to stand by Kavanagh's decision.
BT were covering the game live and called in their refereeing expert Peter Walton to take a look at the Lacazette incident. Walton, as usual, stood by the on-field decision - before coming out with quite a startling quote about the way VAR should be used by referees.
The point is, VAR is not there to get the correct decision.
It is there to identify the clear and obvious errors from the referee, or in fact where the referee has missed something.
This is not the first time Walton has come out with such claims - he made a very similar statement after Aston Villa's 3-0 win at West Brom in December.
According to Peter Walton, VAR isn’t there to come to the “correct decision” 🤨 pic.twitter.com/vJWS4Bd91b
— Riva (@Riva_Niall) February 2, 2021
Though Walton is correct in saying that VAR was brought in to correct errors from the referee, that will be little solace to Arsenal fans, who will feel that the on-field calls were indeed clear and obvious errors.
The 1-0 Villa win leaves them within touching distance of the European places in the Premier League, while Arsenal will now be looking anxiously over their shoulders at the likes of Leeds, Southampton and Crystal Palace in the bottom half of the table.