The introduction of VAR in 2019 was met with scepticism and controversy.

It still remains a topic for debate but it’s mostly led to crucial decisions being corrected, confirmed or reversed. The technology played a pivotal role once again in both of Manchester United and Manchester City’s season.

Stats compiled by ESPN have depicted how much better – or worse – off the fierce rivals were this season thanks to VAR. It noted how each team had been affected when referees had used VAR and the pitch-side monitor.

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Overall, City earned a net score of +3, meaning VAR decisions fell in their favour three times more than they went against them. The number of overturned decisions in a match involving City was 13, with five decisions leading to goals being awarded.

Four led to disallowed goals while four penalties fell in their favour. One of the most controversial decisions of the season came in City’s 1-0 away win at Everton in February.

Many deemed Rodri to have handled the ball in the area late on but officials decided that it was not a foul from the midfielder with the ball instead hitting his ‘T-shirt line’. It would prove crucial in City’s one-point title race win.

Meanwhile, United received a net score of -2. They saw 14 decisions overturned during their matches with three of them leading to goals they scored being disallowed.

Only one led to a goal being correctly awarded to United while four goals they conceded were ruled out by VAR. One that lives in the memory of some United supporters was the decision to award West Ham a penalty in the 92nd-minute during their September clash.

Mark Noble missed the spot kick meaning United travelled home with a 2-1 win. The club ultimately beat the Hammers into the final Europa League spot by two points with an inferior goal difference.

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