For the first time in about 100 days, the English Premier League was back in action. And it didn’t take long for the officiating to be the talk of English soccer’s return.
During Wednesday’s match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, Oliver Norwood took a free kick for Sheffield and sent the ball towards goal. Aston Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland hauled in the cross as it curved towards the net but had his momentum (and a bump from a teammate) push him beyond the goal line.
Again, the ball was clearly across the line. Nyland was grabbing onto the net for balance a good three feet beyond the goal line with the ball past the post. Yet, no goal was given.
That isn’t even close. It’s an obvious goal.
As Sheffield players argued with referee Michael Oliver, the referee pointed at his watch to signal that goal-line technology didn’t alert him to the goal. He didn’t want to consult VAR either and none of that sequence made any sense at all.
There’s a chance that Nyland falling behind the goal line confused the goal-line technology system as it tracked the ball because otherwise, something must have gone wrong there.
But we can’t be too upset. It feels great to have an in-game sports controversy back in our lives.
Hawk-Eye statement on the goal line incident during Aston Villa v Sheffield match this evening. pic.twitter.com/I2u5lqKMqe
— Hawk-Eye Innovations (@Hawkeye_view) June 17, 2020