Premier League: Goal-line technology fails in first game back with potentially big implications

The Premier League returned on Wednesday after a three-month absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It instituted all likes of safety checks, from temperature checks and social-distancing and no fans in the stands.

Everything worked, it seemed, except on thing: the goal-line technology.

Sheffield United appeared to take the lead in the first half when Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland caught Oliver Norwood’s free kick over the line, but no goal was detected by the Hawk-Eye, the goal-line technology system, and play went on without the intervention of VAR.

The game ended in a 0-0 tie with potentially huge implications for both teams.

Hawk-Eye admitted its error afterwards, explaining it was the first such error in more than 9,000 matches using the system. Seven cameras were monitoring the goal, but the wild scramble meant that they were all obscured by either the goalkeeper, a defender or the goalpost.

Sheffield United would have jumped into fifth place with a win, just two points behind Chelsea for fourth place and the EPL's final Champions League berth. Instead, it sits in sixth place behind Manchester United. Aston Villa remains in 19th place but is now only one point behind three teams tied in a tense relegation fight.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder's issue wasn't that goal-line technology failed to detect the goal, but that VAR didn't intervene to review the play.

"We went to Tottenham last year," he said, "John Lundstram's big toe was offside and I was hanging around at White Hart Lane in the pouring rain for 10 minutes waiting for a decision. I don't understand why I can't wait 10 minutes in Birmingham.”

Premier League, Makeup Games:
Wednesday, June 17
Aston Villa 0 Sheffield United 0.
Manchester City 3 Arsenal 0. (Sterling 45+2, De Bruyne pen. 51, Foden 90+1.)

Premier League, Standings:
1. Liverpool 82 points
2. Manchester City 60 points
3. Leicester City 53 points
4. Chelsea 48 points
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5. Manchester United 45 points
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6. Sheffield United 44 points
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7. Wolves 43 points
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8. Tottenham 41 points
9. Arsenal 40 points
10. Burnley 39 points (34-40)
11. Crystal Palace 39 points (26-32)
12. Everton 37 points
13. Newcastle United 35 points
14. Southampton 34 points
15. Brighton & Hove Albion 29 points
16. West Ham United 27 points (35-50)
17. Watford 27 points (27-44)
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18. Bournemouth 27 points (29-47)
19. Aston Villa 26 points
20. Norwich City 21 points

Premier League, Matchday 30:
Friday, June 19
Norwich City vs. Southampton
Tottenham vs. Manchester United
Saturday, June 20
Watford vs. Leicester City
Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Arsenal
West Ham vs. Wolves
Bournemouth vs. Crystal Palace
Sunday, June 20
Newcastle United vs. Sheffield United
Aston Villa vs. Chelsea
Everton vs. Liverpool
Monday, June 22
Manchester City vs. Burnley

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