‘Definite penalty’ – Gallagher says Soucek ‘seduced’ VAR vs Chelsea despite ‘keeper-type movement’

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher believes VAR did not give a ‘definite penalty’ against Tomas Soucek during West Ham’s draw against Chelsea.

The Blues took the lead at the London Stadium when January signings Joao Felix and Enzo Fernandez combined.

Ex-Chelsea defender Emerson Palmeiri equalised for the hosts and neither side could find a winning goal.

However, Graham Potter’s side felt very hard done by after being denied what looked to be a stonewall penalty.

Czech Republic midfielder Soucek blocked a shot from Conor Gallagher with his hand as he dived to the floor in an attempt to block the effort at goal.

Fans and commentators were stunned after VAR failed to intervene and award a spot-kick.

The Chelsea admin on Twitter was loving it, as you can see…

Speaking live on Sky Sports News on Monday morning, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher insisted that it should have been given as a penalty.

“Definitely a penalty,” Gallagher said during Ref Watch. “I’ve spoken to very few people who don’t think it’s not a penalty.

“The VAR felt that it fell into the bracket of falling and the arm hitting the floor, but if you look at Soucek, he doesn’t fall to the floor, he actually dives towards the ball, there.

“That’s almost a goalkeeper-type movement. I think that’s what the VAR got seduced by is the arm on the floor, but if you look at it a few times here, it’s certainly a handball and a penalty.”

It was a weekend full of controversial decisions in the Premier League. Remarkably, VAR f**ked it in two separate matches.

A goal by Ivan Toney for Brentford against league leaders Arsenal was allowed to stand after the match VAR, Lee Mason, failed to check an offside against Christian Norgaard in the build-up to it.

Mason had checked and cleared another incident immediately before the passage of play leading to the goal.

Meanwhile, Brighton had a goal ruled out for offside away to Crystal Palace when John Brooks drew the offside lines on the wrong Palace defender.

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) issued a statement on Sunday saying its chief refereeing officer Webb had contacted Arsenal and Brighton about the incidents “to acknowledge and explain the significant errors in the VAR process”.

Brooks has since been replaced as VAR for Monday night’s Merseyside derby and Arsenal vs Manchester City on Wednesday.

Mason and Brooks’ involvement in the next round of Premier League games is set to be made clear when appointments are announced at midday on Tuesday.

Mason was not selected to officiate after another high-profile error earlier this season, when he incorrectly disallowed a goal for Newcastle in a home match against Palace in September for a foul by Magpies forward Joe Willock.

READ MORE: Arsenal blood pressure, Guardiola’s bunker mentality and PGMOL feature in winners and losers

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