More VAR controversy as West Brom edge Brighton

Visitors missed two penalties and were controversially denied a goal by VAR

Referee Lee Mason is surrounded by players after Brighton and Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk scored from a quick free quick which was subsequently ruled out by VAR. Photograph: PA

Referee Lee Mason is surrounded by players after Brighton and Hove Albion’s Lewis Dunk scored from a quick free quick which was subsequently ruled out by VAR. Photograph: PA

 

West Brom 1 Brighton 0

West Bromwich Albion secured a 1-0 home Premier League victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday as the visitors missed two penalties and were controversially denied a goal by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

West Brom began brightly and were rewarded for their pressure in the 11th minute when skipper Kyle Bartley rose above the Brighton defence to head Conor Gallagher’s cross in from close range.

Brighton spurned the opportunity to equalise minutes later when midfielder Pascal Gross’s penalty cannoned off the crossbar after VAR adjudged that Okay Yokuslu had handled the ball in the West Brom box.

Lewis Dunk found the net with a quick free kick that caught West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone off guard, but after a long delay in which referee Lee Mason disallowed and then allowed the goal, the Brighton skipper’s effort was chalked off by the VAR.

The league later confirmed that the decision to award Brighton the goal was overturned as the referee’s whistle had been blown a second time before the ball had crossed the line.

“The referee blew his whistle he said to speak to someone in the wall, there was a bit of pushing,” Bartley told Sky Sports.

“There was a bit of confusion but Lee Mason dealt with it well and came to the right conclusion. It was confusing, I don’t think it would have been right for them to score like that.

“We need to win games, whoever it is, we need to put points on the board.”

Gross won a late penalty when Conor Townsend brought him down but substitute Danny Welbeck’s effort hit the post to complete a frustrating day for Brighton.

Victory left 19th-placed West Brom with 17 points from 26 games, five points below fellow relegation contenders Fulham who visit Crystal Palace on Sunday. Brighton are 16th with 26 points.

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